Condition description:

It is an autoimmune disease.  In this disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues.  It can affect skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.

Common symptoms:

These depend on the organ involved and vary person to person.  Symptoms may include joint pain and swelling, fatigue, fever with no other cause, hair loss, weight loss, mouth sores, and headaches.  Brain and nervous symptoms include headaches, numbness, tingling, seizures, and personality changes.  Digestive symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Skin symptoms include patchy skin color with typically butterfly rash on face and Raynaud’s phenomenon (fingers or toes change color when exposed to cold).

Underlying causes:

The cause of SLE is not clearly known, but it may be linked to the following factors; genetic, environmental, hormonal and certain medicines.

Conventional treatment:

Mostly consists of symptomatic treatment in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and other NSAIDs. Lower dose of corticosteroids like prednisone for skin and arthritis symptoms, corticosteroid creams for skin rashes, immunosuppressant medicines (that suppress the immune system). These may include mycophenolate, Azathioprine and cyclophosphamide, and Rituximab (Rituxan).

EHC approach:

Most autoimmune diseases are triggered by environmental, dietary, and hormonal factors. When indicated, treat food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, nutritional deficiencies like magnesium deficiency and zinc deficiency.  Yeast overgrowth may be another factor and needs to be treated with anti-fungal medications.

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