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SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE)

SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS (SLE)

Definition of SLE

SLE is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory condition which involves various systems of the body such as skin, joints, and kidneys. The symptoms of SLE are similar to many other illnesses and hence the patients are not easily diagnosed with SLE.

Most of the patients of SLE come up with skin symptoms. The skin symptoms mimic many other diseases and hence SLE remains undiagnosed and untreated.

 

Symptoms of SLE

There can be an involvement of any system of the body producing the following signs and symptoms:

  • General symptoms
  • Fatigue, tiredness, fever, joint pains, weight loss or weight gain
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Joint pains, morning stiffness, muscle pains, frank arthritis, avascular necrosis
  • Skin symptoms
  • Malar rash, sensitivity to light, discoid lupus
  • Hair loss with brittle hair shafts
  • Kidneys
  • Acute or chronic renal failure or other nephritic diseases, protein or casts in urine, glomerulonephritis
  • Nervous or psychiatric symptoms
  • Seizures or psychosis or confusion of mind
  • Peripheral neuropathy or myelitis
  • Pulmonary system
  • Pleurisy, pleural effusion, pneumonitis, pulmonary hypertension, interstitial lung disease
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, improper digestion
  • Heart symptoms
  • Pericarditis or myocarditis, pericardial effusion
  • Hematologic symptoms
  • Anaemia (decrease in hemoglobin)
  • Thrombocytopenia (decrease in platelet count)
  • Leucopenia (decrease in white blood cells)
  • Lymphopenia (decrease in the count of lymphocytes)

 

Causes of SLE

SLE is an autoimmune disease wherein the cells of the body attack themselves recognizing them as some foreign substance.

Risk factors that can lead to SLE are:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Too much exposure to sunlight
  • Certain viral infections like Epstein-Barr virus
  • Hormonal changes especially during child bearing period(pregnancy) or menopause in women
  • Toxins such as cigarette smoke or silica particles
  • Certain drugs can cause SLE
  • Emotional upset or stress

 

Diagnosis of SLE

SLE is difficult to diagnose because of its multi systemic involvement which mimics many other diseases. However, the following criteria can help in diagnosing SLE:

  • Increased levels of ANA antibodies
  • Increased anti-dsDNA antibody levels
  • Presence of anti-Sm antibodies
  • Serositis
  • Oral ulcers
  • Arthritis
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blood disorders
  • Kidney diseases
  • Malar or discoid rash

 

The following tests are to be carried out in people who are suspected of having SLE:

  • CBC with differential count
  • Serum creatinine
  • Urinalysis with microscopy
  • Complement levels
  • Liver function tests
  • Creatine kinase assay
  • Spot protein/spot creatinine ratio
  • Autoantibody tests
  • Joint radiography
  • Chest radiography and chest CT scanning
  • Echocardiography
  • Brain MRI/ MRA
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Arthrocentesis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Renal biopsy

Self help

  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to bright sunlight by using full sleeves clothes or sunscreens.
  • Proper rest to the body and mind.
  • Stopping certain medications that can lead to SLE; or taking alternative medicines that are harmless.

Homoeopathic Management of SLE

Flare-ups of lupus may affect different parts and organs at different times, and homeopathic remedies may be very useful in alleviating symptoms.

Homeopathy treatment attempts to correct the auto-immune process giving long term relief from the symptoms. Homeopathy helps to bring Lupus under control. The treatment is absolutely safe and without any kind of side effects even when taken for a longer duration.

Calcarea carb

  • Lupus patient suffers from bone loss/osteoporosis, and/or inflammation and soreness of joints, especially of the hands and knees
  • Obese individual
  • Chilly, oversensitive to cold air
  • Fat and flabby individual
  • Sluggish, easy fatigue
  • Craving for boiled eggs, indigestible things like chalk, lime
  • Aversion to fat
  • Excessive sweat on forehead
  • Constipation- initially hard stool followed by soft stool
  • Prolonged, Profuse and early menses with coldness of feet

Arsenicum album

  • Lupus patients suffering from swelling of the eyes, headaches, fever, and itching.
  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Offensive eruptions
  • Night  warmth
  • Acute Anxiety, Restlessness
  • Fastidiousness
  • Thirst: Sip by sip
  • Chilly Patient
  • Mid Day Mid night aggravation
  • Pustules form into scabs.
  • Eruption on the back of the hands.
  • Rawness, worse washing, moist eruption.

Rhus Toxicodendron

  • The lupus patient experiences lower back pain, stiffness in and around the tail bone and pelvic girdle.
  • Pain and stiffness in joints morning initial motion rest
  • Continous motion
  • Warm application
  • Dampness, cold in general

Thuja occidentalis

  • Thuja can prove helpful for those with joint inflammation and skin conditions such as itching that present themselves in lupus patients
  • Lupus patients with bone pain, joint pain, nausea and arthritis

Ruta graveolens

  • Lupus patients with arthritis with a feeling of great stiffness. Tendons and capsules of the joints can be deeply affected or damaged by lupus
  • Deep aching pain in tendon
  • Injuries to ligaments and tendons
  • Overuse and overexertion leading to pain and stiffness
  • Worse in cold weather and rest
  • Better by warm application and motion

 Belladonna

  • Violent throbbing Headache
  • Sudden pains
  • Temporal Headaches
  • Touch, noise, slightest motion, light, exposure to cold air, supine position
  • Pressure
  • Face becomes red and hot

Lachesis

  • Intolerance to tight clothing around the neck and waist
  • Aversion to work, Loquacious
  • Hot flushed face, Palpitation
  • Short scanty menstruation
  • All complaints aggravates during sleep

Phosphorus

  • Tall thin individual oversensitive to external impressions
  • Chronic diarrhea, profuse offensive stool with debility
  • Feels hungry soon after eating
  • Hair fall in bunches
  • Craves cold drinks, ice cream, meat, salt