Systemic lupus erythematosus often abbreviated to SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, theimmune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It is both a type and a type III hypersensitivity reaction in which antibody-immune complexes precipitate and cause a further immune response.
SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, andnervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (calledflares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.
There is no cure for SLE according to allopathic medicine but not according to natural medicine.. It is treated with immunosuppression, mainly withcyclophosphamide, corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants which slows down the bodies healing process so that the individual suffering with the disease will be stuck on drugs for life. SLE can be fatal. The leading cause of death is from cardiovascular disease due to accelerated atherosclerosis. Survival for people with SLE in the United States, Canada, and Europe has risen to approximately 95% at five years, 90% at 10 years, and 78% at 20 years and now approaches that of matched controls without lupus.
Childhood systemic lupus erythematosus generally presents between the ages of 3 and 15, with girls outnumbering boys 4:1, and typical skin manifestations being butterfly eruption on the face and photosensitivity.
Lupus is Latin for wolf. In the 18th century, when lupus was just starting to be recognized as a disease, it was thought that it was caused by the bite of a wolf. This may have been because of the distinctive rash characteristic of lupus. (Once full-blown, the round, disk-shaped rashes heal from the inside out, leaving a bite-like imprint.)