Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks women between the ages of 15 and 40. It occurs less often in men than in women. The people affected by lupus vary depending on the country or region. In the US alone, the prevalence rate is highest among Asians of Hawaii, blacks of Caribbean origin, and Native Americans of the Sioux, Arapahoe, and Crow tribes. Lupus is a disease that affects the immune system. We can think of the immune system as an army within the body with hundreds of defenders (known as antibodies). They defend the body from attack by germs and viruses. In lupus, however, the immune system becomes overactive and creates antibodies that attack healthy tissues in the body, such as: the skin, kidneys, lungs, heart and brain.
…show more content…
During the examination the doctor will check for the presence of certain criteria and then must separate these from other diseases with similar symptoms. If the individual has 4 of the 11 criteria; they will likely be diagnosed with lupus. With 3 there is a probability that it is present, and 2 raise the possibility of the disease. Afterwards an antinuclear antibody (ANA) test will be conducted. This test alone cannot diagnose a person with lupus, but along with the medical history, physical, and other tests, the ANA test can help confirm the diagnosis. If physical signs and a positive ANA test result occur, further testing may not be necessary. If the doctor deems further testing necessary, these are some that he might request:
Other antibody blood test
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) or C-reactive protein (CRP)
Complete blood count (CBC)
Some of these tests, the CBC and urinalysis, will be used to monitor the progression of lupus. The Complement and anti-DNA antibody tests can be used to monitor disease severity. Because lupus can affect the kidneys, you may have a:
Urinalysis, to check for protein and cells, signs of possible kidney problems.
Kidney biopsy, only a small number of people with lupus need a kidney biopsy.
To evaluate other possible causes of symptoms (depending on which organ