Essay on Lupus Presentation

Submitted By aswint4
Words: 731
Pages: 3

In the 13th century, a physician by the name of Roderius first coined the term “Lupus”. Characterized by the lesions left on its victims, resembling a wolf bite, the Latin word for “Lupus” cleverly means wolf. It wasn’t until late in 1872 that more serve symptoms of this disease began to manifest. Today, physicians and experts have discovered that this disease is much more complex than previously believed. With no known cause or cure, it is only certain that Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system functions hyperactively and begins to attack normal, healthy tissue ("Lupus Foundation of America"). When functioning properly, the immune system creates antibodies that protect the body against foreign invaders. These proteins are also responsible for fighting off these harmful antigens. Lupus makes it nearly impossible for the body to differentiate between healthy tissue and harmful viruses and bacteria ("Lupus Foundation of America"). Therefore, the body’s immune system begins to attack all tissues at an increased rate, leading to tissue damage, swelling and intense pain. Not all cases are classified as severe. According to the Lupus foundation, “1.5 to 2 million Americans are living with some form of Lupus today”. (Lliades) Some patients only exhibit mild symptoms while others are forced to face life altering symptoms every day. The dramatic range in the severity of symptoms is characterized by the many different types of lupus. While experts haven’t been able to identify a single cause, they have been able to categorize the different types based on the symptoms a patient may exhibit. General symptoms include but are not limited to: swollen or achy joints, persistent kidney problems, prolonged fatigue, fever exceeding 100 degrees, photo sensitivity and hair loss. Some patients may exhibit all symptoms while others show one or two. Discoid Lupus was the first type to be identified. This form of the disorder affects only the skin, characterized by lesions described in my opening paragraph. Sores may be red in color, concentrated mostly on the face and neck. The second form is known as Systematic Lupus; this is also the most well-known and is often referred to simply as “Lupus”. (Lliades) Systematic Lupus can affect most any part of the body and is most prevalent in African American women in their child bearing years. Because symptoms may come and go for long periods of time, it is often more difficult to treat. ("Diseases and Conditions " ) Drug induced Lupus, the most rare form, occurs over an extended period of time after taking certain drugs. The most common medications which lead to this disorder are used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease. Men are especially prone to this form of lupus. Once the medication has been stopped symptoms usually subside and are followed by no long term complications. Finally, Neonatal Lupus, is transferred from a mother to her child at the time of birth. (Lliades) Researchers are continuing to