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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus)

My closest cousin, Mimi were diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus). I knew about it when I was visited her during last Gawai. She is still young (a year older than me) and has a cute twin baby boys (I did post few photos on her boys previously).

Lupus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Patients with lupus produce abnormal antibodies in their blood that target tissues within their own body rather than foreign infectious agents. Because the antibodies and accompanying cells of inflammation can involve tissues anywhere in the body, lupus has the potential to affect a variety of areas of the body. Sometimes lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and/or nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

The precise reason for the abnormal autoimmunity that causes lupus is not known. Inherited genes, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs may all play some role. Genetic factors increase the tendency of developing autoimmune diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and immune thyroid disorders are more common among relatives of patients with lupus than the general population. Some scientists believe that the immune system in lupus is more easily stimulated by external factors like viruses or ultraviolet light. Sometimes, symptoms of lupus can be precipitated or aggravated by only a brief period of sun exposure.

(Read more about SLE)

I pray to God Almighty that she will be alright so that we both can grow old together and gossiping about our motherhood experience (once I have mine), like what we had done while we were back in school days.

May GOD always be with you...