A Closer Look at Lupus Erythematosus

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Under normal function, the immune system makes proteins called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus makes the immune system unable to differentiate between antigens and healthy tissue. This leads the immune system to direct antibodies against the healthy tissue - not just antigens - causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage.
History of Lupus
The word “Lupus" comes from the Latin word for "wolf". In the 13th century, a physician name Rogerius used this term to describe facial lesions that reminded him of a wolf's bite (Boltzer 1983). Later in the early 19th century, several physicians noted the various symptoms of lupus, which lead them to believe that there was more than one type of lupus. There was one that affected the skin (cutaneous disease), and there was one that had an effect on the body, the systemic form. The systemic form is what we call lupus today.
Types of Lupus
The disease that we know as lupus is considered to be systemic lupus erythematosus. However, there are several forms of lupus. Grönhagen and Nyberg did a Venn diagram to illustrate the relationships between the various types of lupus (Fig.1 ) (2014). The following are some symptoms that are associated with each type of lupus, and may serve to be a distinguishing factor between them.
Systemic Lupus (SLE)
When a person has SLE, some of the symptoms may include fatigue, joint pain and swelling, and headaches. They may develop a fever, or have unexplained weight gain or loss. Their extremities may turn purple from poor circulation.
Acute Lupus erythematosus (ACLE)
Sometimes when people have ...

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