MLupus, or lupus erythematosus, is a group of autoimmune diseases where the immune system attacks the body’s healthy tissues. While there are several forms of lupus, the commonest and severest form is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
The signs of lupus vary for each individual. Experts believe that multiple genes cause and influence the disease (a characteristic known as gene polymorphism). Approximately thirty genes have now been associated with lupus. How much each gene influences the disease is still unknown.
One type of gene associated with lupus is the genes in the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) family, which help the immune system to function properly. In rare instances, a single gene deficiency can cause lupus (usually the genes C1, C2, or C4). While X chromosomes and environmental factors may also be contributing factors, they usually contribute by compromising the immune system.
Symptom #1: Arthralgia and Joint Stiffness
Arthralgia is the medical term for joint pain. Many patients with lupus experience joint pain and stiffness right after they wake up. Taking warm showers can help relieve the symptoms. Patients can also take prescription medications that can reduce the pain and inflammation.
Over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can also help.