The Impact of Lupus

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Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of the most baffling diseases in modern medical science. Its origin is unknown, diagnosis is exceedingly difficult and there is no fixed cure for it. However, there is little doubt as to the impact it has on the physiological and psychological well - being of afflicted individuals.

Introduction

As Petri puts it, "Instead of fighting infection, the immune system attacks 'self/ the person's normal tissues" (qtd. in Meadows 29). An examination of the causes, symptoms and treatment of lupus helps one to better understand the physiological impact the disease has, while a look at families coping with lupus and certain other symptoms illuminate the psychological aspects.
Researchers have attempted to combat lupus by pinning down its origin or causal factors but thus far they have been largely unsuccessful. There are many factors that appear to be closely associated with lupus, and a combination of these factors may be responsible for its origin. Experts believe that it develops from complicated genetic and environmental factors. The fact that it is mainly the women who contract this disease and that it is more prevalent in certain races (Asians, Hispanics, and African - Americans) point to genetic determinants. Moreover there is some evidence that it runs in families. Environmental factors, such as prolonged exposure to sunlight are believed to trigger dormant symptoms. There have also been reported cases of drug - induced lupus, where drugs like hydralazine, procainamide, sulphasalazine, minocycline, may aggravate symptoms or cause similar symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals (Hughes 100).
Lupus is a complex illness that may focus its atta ...
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