Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. The inflammation can affect numerous body systems, from your joints to your lungs. It can be a challenging disease to diagnose as its signs and symptoms mimic those of other ailments.
It’s believed that lupus is caused by your genetics and your environment. Some people are born with a tendency towards developing lupus. It may be triggered by certain drugs, sunlight or infections.
Loading the player...What is Lupus? Dr. John Watterson, MD, FRCPC, discusses what the disease Lupus involves.
Loading the player...Symptoms of Lupus Disease Dr. John Watterson, MD, FRCPC, discusses diagnosis and symptoms of lupus disease.
Loading the player...Diagnosing Lupus Erythematosus Dr. John Watterson, MD, FRCPC, discusses diagnosing lupus erythematosus.
Because lupus is due to your body’s immune system attacking healthy tissues in the joints, skin and other organs. Lupus causes a wide range of symptoms that vary among patients, depending on the severity of the disease and the area of the body affected. In treatment your pharmacist, is the right HCP to make sure it’s the right medication for you.
That said, many patients experience a consistent pattern of symptoms and flare-ups that’s personal to them. In treating this condition, often seeing a local massage therapist for muscle tension, a local personal trainer for muscle strength and a physiotherapist for release and conditioning is a good option. Getting a referral to a rheumatologist or your local pharmacist is also important in dealing with Arthritic conditions.
If you have lupus, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
For most patients, lupus symptoms are the worst in the first few two to five years after diagnosis. It’s important to work with your rheumatologist to minimize damage as much as possible.
The vast majority of manifestations of lupus are treatable. One should seek attention with their medical practitioner and referral to a specialist with expertise in this area before going forward. Presenter: Dr. John Watterson, Rheumatologist, Victoria, BC
Local Practitioners: Rheumatologist
There are a number of blood tests that can help diagnose lupus:
Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) test: This important test looks for antibodies that attack the body. If this test comes back negative, then it’s generally believed that they don’t have lupus. If it comes back positive, your rheumatologist may prescribe more tests to confirm lupus.
Anti-Double Stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) test: Your rheumatologist can measure antibodies that attack DNA with this very specific test for lupus.
Extractable Nuclear Antigen (ENA) panel: The antibodies in this panel may include anti-Ro (also called anti-SSA), anti-La (also called anti-SSB), anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Jo-1, anti-Scl70, and anti-centromere. This test looks for antibodies that attack certain proteins.
Complete Blood Count (CBC): Because lupus can cause inflammation, this blood test can detect abnormal results.
Creatinine: If you have abnormally high levels of creatinine, this can indicate a problem with how your kidneys are functioning.
To properly diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus, you should see a rheumatologist, a type of physician who specializes in arthritis and autoimmune disease.
To diagnose lupus, your physician will take your complete medical history, perform a complete physical examination and order blood tests. Local Rheumatologist
It is treatable, but it needs to be recognized. So the most important thing is that, if you feel you may have systemic lupus erythematosus and are developing symptoms or signs suggesting that, that you seek medical attention.