How does systemic lupus erythematosus develop?
Normally, antibodies are a healthy response to bacteria or viruses. With lupus, the immune system creates antibodies that attack the body’s organs and connective tissues. Because of the variety and number of antibodies associated with this disease, the affects are wide ranging. In some people, for instance, antibodies that attack the skin will produce mild symptoms on the skin, which can be lessened with limited exposure to sunlight; for others, the results can be extreme and disfiguring. Lupus tends to flare up at different times. Sunlight can be a factor for these flare-ups but many causes are still unknown. Also, drugs for the heart such as hydralazine, procainamide and beta-blockers can create a lupus-like syndrome but usually disappear when drug usage stops. Sometimes extra fluid and inflammation builds around the membranes around the lungs, making breathing deeply painful. Around the heart sac, there can also be a build up of fluid that leads to pericarditis, which results in con