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What are the dangers of SLE Lupus

The dangers of lupus are attributable to either the damage inflicted by the disease which is characterized by unpredictable flares which punctuate periods of disease inactivity or the toxicities of treatment. The often most effective drug for lupus and certainly the quickest acting is steroids and their use is a classic double edged sword since altough this approach can suppress disease activity and spare the patient from serious or permanent damage to organs (e.g. skin, joints, kidney, brain, lung and heart) their use, especially at high doses for prolonged periods, can lead to, for example, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, joint collapse or avascular necrosis of bone, skin fragility and stretch marks, cataracts, and infection. With that said, few patients experience this entire litany of "possible" side effects and steroids once taken for more than a week or two generally can not be stopped cold turkey or all of sudden because they substitute for the bodies own production of an important hormone, glucocorticoids, which often shuts off until a patient is weaned off the steroid medication. Regardless, patients are best served if their treatment is guided by physicians with much experience with the disease. Finally, a healthy life style is recommended and desirable, but certainly can not guarantee some one with lupus will not suffer with a flare, even major flare, requiring presciption medication to douse the flames so to speak before there is harm done to important body organs.

SLE can endanger life by causing the immune system to attack the kidneys, heart and/or lungs, but this doesn"t happen in all patients, and the severity of the attack varies - some patients respond better than others to treatment. Occasionally, SLE can attack other organs, such as the gut, but the effects of this tend to be less severe. Rarely, SLE can attack the brain, causing fits and seizures. Treatment for SLE can leave a patient immunosuppressed and therefore more vulnerable to infectious illnesses. Most of these risks can be reduced by healthy living.

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