What Is Lupus Nephritis
Lupus Nephritis is a kidney inflammation caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It occurs when the SLE causes your immune system to attack your kidneys. Systemic lupus erythematosus is one of the so-called collagen diseases; it occurs throughout the world; in Asians and blacks slightly more likely than whites.
To date, there is no definitive answer to the question why a lupus erythematosus develops. Scientists assume that the lupus of various external influences can be triggered and hit a receptive body’s immune system. For yet unknown reasons, immune cells attack the body’s own tissue. It creats so-called immune complexes, which are spread over the blood circulation throughout the body and can be deposited in almost all organs. Consequences and common lupus symptoms are inflammation in these organs and possibly a functional limitation.
Causes of Lupus
Lupus is not a hereditary disease, but certain genetic traits may contribute to the development of the disease. Even female sex hormones appear to play a role in the development of the disease, because the majority breaks in women between the age of 18 and 25 years. Female sex hormones in drugs, for example birth control pills, and also infections may play a role and influence the course of the disease unfavorably in triggering lupus. Sunlight, especially ultraviolet light can activate the disease. Therefore, patients should protect themselves from the sun.
While many other kidney infections are caused by bacteria, lupus nephritis is caused by deposition of immune complexes in the filter apparatus and by inflammation and narrowing of blood vessels in the kidneys. If this inflammation is discovered too late, it may lead to impaired renal function, ultimately kidney failure and requires dialysis. It is therefore important for early regular checks at the doctor, when lupus symptoms occur.
Symptoms of Lupus
Common problems related to lupus symptoms:
- Weight Loss
- Slight hair loss
- Swollen lymph glands
- Dark urine
- Blood in urine
- High blood pressure
- Foamy urine
- Swollen ankles, wrist and legs
- Slightly elevated temperatures
- Red Butterfly-shaped spots
Examples of Lupus rash
Treatment for Lupus
So far, Lupus is incurable. Therefore, regular medical monitoring of patients is required – ideally with a doctor who is experienced in the care of lupus patients. Thus, the patient can learn to interpret changes and peculiarities of his disease correctly.
The success of treatment depends largely on the early detection of disease activation and organ changes. Also important is the prophylaxis, this includes the avoidance of certain medications or direct sunlight. The treatment of comorbidities (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) is especially important for lupus patients, since they have a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis (vascular calcification).
This article is not a replacement for medical advice. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the above mentioned lupus symptoms.