How dangerous is Selena Gomez’s lupus?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a life-threatening disease. Currently, doctors have not identified the root cause and the complete cure of this disease.

Over the last few days, the media and millions of fans around the world have been shocked by the news that pop star Selena Gomez had to undergo kidney transplant due to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This is a very dangerous disease, but so far, not many people have exhaustively known about it. 

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Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks the body's healthy cells, causing inflammation and tissue injury from the inside. 

The extent of the impacts of systemic lupus erythematosus varies from patient to patient. Some people are affected on the skin only, but some others’ lives are in danger. The body parts that are most affected by SLE include the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and the nervous system. 

Up to now, scientists have not found out the exact causes of lupus erythematosus. However, there are three common causes that are likely to lead to this disease. They stem from the genes, environmental factors (sun exposure, depression, etc.), and drugs’ side effects. 

The disease usually occurs in women from the ages of 14 to 45. Initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain and muscle aches. 

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People with Lupus erythematosus can have many health problems like pleurisy, pericarditis and mouth ulcers. Besides, patients also have arthritis pains. The skin become more sensitive to direct sunlight, rashes, itchiness and redness also appear. What is more, patients can also be diagnosed with anemia due to the decreased number of red blood cells or white blood cells. 

In addition, people with SLE also have kidney failure, immune disorder (false positive results received when doing syphilis tests). Moreover, the patients are at high risk of epilepsy and mental illness. 

Till today, no complete cure of lupus erythematosus has been announced. Patients are often given some medications to control the development of the disease such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, immunosuppressive drugs, painkillers. In many cases, kidney transplant, as in the case of Selena Gomez, is recommended. 

In addition, people with Lupus are advised to change their lifestyle such as eating more nutritious foods (which are rich in iron, zinc, vitamins), keeping their mind soothed, exercising regularly, relaxing themselves, being in good mood. Patients should also keep the direct sunlight out of the skin, always wear sun protective clothing together with sunglasses when going out on sunny days, and do not hesitate to ask for help from people around you when you are not feeling good.

By: Chris Stewart

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