Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Butterfly Disease)

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus or butterfly disease is a group of disorders with an unknown cause. This butterfly disease, which is more common in women, progresses by the body’s immune system attacking healthy tissues and cells in the body.

Eğer kontrol altına alınmazsa hasta için hayati risk arz eder. Bu nedenle pek çok organ ve sistemi etkileyen kelebek hastalığının tedavisinde multidisipliner yaklaşımlardan faydalanılması ve etkilenen organa bağlı olarak en uygun tedavinin başlatılması gerekir.

What Is Butterfly Disease?

Lupus, also known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease. It is a chronic and inflammatory disease that is caused by the immune system.

In lupus, the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues and cells, which can lead to problems in different organs. Lupus can affect different areas of the body, including the joints, kidneys, heart, brain, and skin. Therefore, it is important to plan treatment according to the progression of the problem and the affected tissue.

What Causes Butterfly Disease?

Lupus is a disease that is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The exact cause is unknown, but smoking, stress, and excessive sun exposure are all thought to play a role in the development of the disease.

Lupus is more common in women than in men, and it is especially common in women of childbearing age. Men with lupus tend to have more severe disease.

The following groups are at high risk for lupus:

  • Women are more likely to develop lupus than men because they experience more hormonal changes.
  • Women of childbearing age are especially at risk. The risk is slightly lower after menopause, but it is still higher in women than in men.
  • Lupus is less common in men, but it tends to be more severe.
  • Smoking, certain medications, and some diseases caused by viruses can increase the risk of lupus.
  • The risk of lupus is very high in identical twins.
  • Older adults and children are the two groups with the worst course of the disease. In these groups, lupus often develops more slowly and can often affect the lungs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Butterfly Disease?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many tissues and organs in the body. As a result, the symptoms that are observed in each lupus patient may differ from one another. Lupus is a complex disease with many accompanying symptoms, and joint pain is one of the initial symptoms. Some of the other symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Permanent hair loss
  • Inflammation of the small vessels in the skin, called vasculitis
  • The formation of spots around the nails, and bleeding under the skin
  • Inflammation of the oral mucosa
  • The formation of butterfly-like eruptions on the nose and cheeks
  • Fingertips turning purple and white in cold weather
  • Pain in large and small joints, especially in the morning
  • Redness and swelling caused by joint inflammation
  • Muscle stiffness, pain, and inflammation
  • Inflammation of the lining of the lungs and heart
  • Development of pneumonia
  • Enlargement of the spleen and liver
  • Problems related to the digestive system
  • Abdominal pain due to inflammation of the lining of the abdomen
  • Blood and protein in the urine due to kidney involvement
  • Kidney failure and kidney inflammation
  • Migraine, epilepsy, and balance problems in cases related to the nervous system

Diagnosis And Treatment Methods In Butterfly Disease

The most commonly used method for the diagnosis of butterfly disease is blood tests. For this purpose, blood counts are taken and kidney tests are evaluated. In addition, chest radiography, anti-DNA, ANA and LE cells should also be analysed. When deemed necessary by the physician, different tests can be applied depending on organ involvement.

Organ involvement is decisive in lupus treatment. The disease may require different treatment methods in each tissue and organ, and in some cases, the affected areas are more than one. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach is taken in the treatment of lupus.

Early diagnosis is very important in preventing the progression of the disease and alleviating its severity. It is not possible to reverse advanced cases, but effective treatment methods can be used in patients with early diagnosis.

Another determining factor in the treatment of butterfly disease is the severity of the symptoms. In order to eliminate the inflammation observed in different tissues and organs, medications should be used. In addition, steroid-containing drugs that suppress the immune system can be used to prevent the immune system from attacking body tissues.

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