What is lupus?
When it is working normally, the body's immune system kills germs and “bad” cells that could turn into cancer. Sometimes, instead of killing only bad cells, something goes wrong and the immune system starts to attack healthy cells. That is called an autoimmune response. It is what happens in lupus. In other words, if you have lupus, your body is attacking itself.
Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe.
Other symptoms include Fatigue, joint pain, skin rash fever, hair loss, mouth ulcers, low blood amongst others. It is more common in women especially of child bearing age.
It can also present as unexplained strokes or blood clots
Recurrent pregnancy loss is also a symptom
The lupus picture in Kenya is mainly in ladies, joint pain and skin rash are the most common
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you develop an unexplained rash, ongoing fever, persistent aching or fatigue.
1.Uptodate: Patient education: Lupus (The Basics)
2. Genga EK, Otieno FO, Oyoo GO. Clinical profiles of patients SLE in Nairobi Africa Journal of
Rheumatology 2015; 3(2):62-66