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Lupus affects 10,000 Portuguese.  Symptoms of an untreated disease that forced Selena Gomez to have a transplant

Lupus affects 10,000 Portuguese. Symptoms of an untreated disease that forced Selena Gomez to have a transplant

American singer Selena Gomez underwent a kidney transplant in September 2017 due to her deteriorating health. The artist suffers from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a multi-system autoimmune disease with very diverse manifestations It has no cure.

“This disease affects the immune system – made up of cells like lymphocytes and mediators like antibodies – that naturally protect our bodies. As an autoimmune disease, this disease causes an adverse reaction in the immune system, causing inflammation and altering the function of the affected organ. Inflammation can cause pain, heat, redness (or redness), and swelling (or edema), “says Antonio Marinho, internal medicine specialist.

Around 10,000 Portuguese suffer from lupus, a condition that mainly affects women, according to figures estimated by medical experts, although there is no uniform national registry.

There is no known cause

There is no known cause and no cure for lupus. It is a chronic disease, although there are stages of remission. It can affect many different organs and systems (hence the systemic name), especially the skin and joints, and it can be present in different forms that differ from patient to patient and from period to period.

Antonio Marinho, from the Autoimmune Diseases Unit at the Santo Antonio Hospital in the Centro Hospitallar de Porto, stresses that these measures along with avoiding exposure to sunlight, adequate protection from the sun’s rays, and the correct intake of medications are the cornerstones of treatment against this disease.

The specialist also explains that although SLE is currently very diverse and complex, many of the treatment failures are due to the low implementation of healthy lifestyle habits combined with therapeutic non-compliance with basic measures, such as taking vitamin D and supplementation. Hydroxychloroquine.

Symptoms

They include rashes on the face, on the cheeks, with a typical distribution on butterfly wings, arthritis, alopecia (hair loss), thrush, sensitivity to light, and multiple types of skin diseases often associated with exposure, and the influence of internal organs. It is detected in most cases. Through a set of data obtained through clinical history, a careful physical examination and simple laboratory tests available in most laboratories, ”says Antonio Mariño.

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However, the internist warns that “manifestations of the disease can appear over time and sometimes it is possible to confirm the diagnosis only after a period of follow-up.”

According to António Marinho, the goal of treatment is to keep the disease inactive, prevent its recurrence and reduce the permanent damage that the disease can cause, while reiterating that treatments for severe forms, such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and biologicals, also cause harm and the rationale for its use means implementation. Good for the above measures.