There are several different types of lupus, which is a disease that can affect joints, skin, internal organs, and other parts of
the body. Much like Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus is an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the body's immune system produces
antibodies that attack the body's own cells and tissues. Also like Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus is very often a chronic condition
characterized by periods when the disease is active (flares) interspersed with periods of relative disease inactivity (remissions).
The most common form of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). As the name suggests, SLE is known to affect multiple body
systems such as the heart, lung, skin, joints, and nervous system. About fifty percent of all cases of SLE affect mainly the
internal organs, while the other fifty percent of cases affect mainly the skin and the joints. SLE accounts for approximately 70% of
all lupus patients.
Fifteen percent of those people with lupus have a form of the disease that affects the skin. This type of lupus is referred to as
discoid lupus or cutaneous lupus. This strain of lupus causes recurring skin rashes that can also leave scars.
Genes appear to play a major role in determining who gets lupus. Studies have shown that lupus is more prevalent in families in
which one or more family members have lupus or a related autoimmune disease. The majority of people with lupus are female – about
ninety percent. Although it can strike at any age, lupus usually appears in the 18 to 45 year-old population.
Treatment for lupus often involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce inflammation and immunosuppressive drugs
to suppress the autoimmune response. Getting plenty of rest and exercise as well as eating a balanced diet is also beneficial
to the successful management of lupus.
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»Arthritis Centers of Texas is currently conducting clinical research for individuals
with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. If you or someone you know is interested in additional information about
these studies, please contact our Clinical Research Department at (214) 823-6503, extension 234.
Participation in Clinical Research Studies is completely voluntary.
During inclement winter weather, the main office will be closed on days that the DISD closes due to bad weather. The Richardson Office will be closed on days that the RISD closes for bad weather.