Lupus, causes and symptoms

Lupus, causes and symptoms

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease. Let’s find out the causes and symptoms.


  • Causes of Lupus
  • The autoimmune mechanisms of lupus
  • Symptoms of Lupus
  • Cure for Lupus

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease. 

The name Lupus, of Latin derivation, evidently means “wolf” and was used to indicate this disease because it was said that the rash on the face could resemble the marks left by a wolf bite .

It mainly affects women, and occurs in various parts of the body, with different degrees of severity, from inflammations that include skin and joints, to more serious conditions involving the blood, internal organs and nervous system. This wide range of pathological inclusion has given Lupus the definition of chronic systemic inflammatory disease .

Causes of Lupus

What exactly determines and triggers Lupus has not yet been precisely identified. What has been ascertained is that it is an immune alteration conditioned by various factors : genetic-hereditary, hormonal and environmental. 

  • The genome is a large map that can help to understand the origin of the disease: more than 50 genes have been identified that can influence the onset of lupus and help predict the possible onset in a genetic parental key.
  • The hormonal aspect is another determining factor, also considering the high incidence of women affected by Lupus. Possible relationships with specific female hormones such as estrogen have been searched and it has been observed that symptomatic acme appears close to the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. Strangely, however, this evidence is countered by the almost total ineffectiveness of the contraceptive pill on the recurrence of symptoms, despite the concentration of estrogens contained.
  • Exposure to completely heterogeneous environmental factors of various types can trigger the manifestation of Lupus. These include emotional stress caused by major trauma, vitamin D deficiency , the intake of some antibiotic and antiepileptic active ingredients, exposure to ultraviolet rays, contact with silica dust, the possible encounter with some herpes-viruses . Such an enumeration of very different environmental causes makes it clear that the identification of the cause is still a long way off.
    The autoimmune mechanisms

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. What does it mean? In our immune system, antibodies can change into autoantibodies , or “sentinels” which instead of attacking external pathogens, concentrate their attack on molecules that are part of the organism itself. Autoimmune diseases such as sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus are therefore triggered in an endogenous form, where the immune system responds in a morbid way , ignoring what belongs to the organism itself and fighting it as if it were an external agent. This malfunction of the immune system can cause serious damage to organs and tissues with very serious functional alterations. 
Symptoms of Lupus

Just as the causes are differentiated and heterogeneous, the symptoms are also extremely varied in themselves and also on the basis of the characteristics of the subject who is affected and a diagnosis is always recommended, by exclusion (differential).

The most common symptoms that appear in case of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are:

  • Asthenia, fatigue, general malaise sometimes with fever.
  • Scattered exanthematous appearances, which can sometimes expand. A butterfly erythema may develop on the face, involving the cheeks and nose. Sometimes the skin shows signs of Raynaud’s syndrome, with areas first red and then bluish. 
  • Joint pain (about 90% of Lupus sufferers suffer from it), especially concentrated in the wrists, hands and knees, stiffening of the parts and swelling.
  • Loss of weight, and of appetite

Over time, lupus also reaches very deep parts, in the blood, heart, lungs and kidneys, until it insinuates itself into the nervous system, causing severe headaches, memory difficulties, confusion, psychosis, epilepsy attacks, cognitive difficulties.

Lupus can also affect the lymphatic system or, by swelling lymph nodes and glands such as the spleen and salivaries. 

Lupus, cure

Lupus is not an easy disease to combat and at the moment there are no definitive treatments. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually given .
Antimalarial drugs, immunosuppressants, functional to the symptoms are also used.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours