11-07-2003, 07:35 PM
Hi everyone :D ,
I heard from my doctor that there are 6 classes of SLE. I am not too sure what all the classes are, but she said I am on class 2 which is suppose to be not that serious.
However, I am curious about the other classes. What are they and how is each class different from the other?
11-10-2003, 10:59 AM
Jukebox: Lupus is unpredictable and varies greatly from one patient to the next. Severity also appears to differ greatly from individuals to ethnic groups and to countries. Here is what I found out about the stages of LUPUS:
1) MILD: 20%-30% of Lupus cases are mild. The only symptoms may be the skin rashes of dicoid lupus or subacute cutaneous lupus (SCLE) with or without joint aches
2) WIDESPREAD: This is the most common. SLE is a chronic, life-long disease althernating between periods of symptom-relapse, or flares and remission. The disease may begin in any of the various systems of the body and progress unpredictably to others. The degree or severity of the symptoms depends upon different factors (such as organ involvement, frequency of flare episodes and severity of inflammatory response). All of the following can occur with Widespread SLE
A) ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID SYNDROME: 34% - 42% of SLE patients have this syndrome (a specific set of conditions related to the presence of autoantibodies called "Lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin". These react against fat molecules called phospholipids and their actions have complex effects that include narrowing and abnormalities of blood vessels (blood clots, thrombocytopenia, netropenia, Raynaud's Syndrome, etc.)
B) Heart and Circulation Complications - SLE: The immune response in SLE can cause inflammation and other damaging effects that can cause significant injury to arteries and tissues associated with the circulation of the heart. Some SLE treatments (especially corticosteroids) affects cholesterol, weight and other factors which can also affect the heart.
C) Lung Complications - SLE: About 60% of Lupus have lung complications (pleurisy - pleural effusions (fluid in lungs) - lupus pneumonitis- pulmonary hypertension).
D) Kidney Complications - SLE: The kidneys are a crucial battleground in SLE because it is here that the debris left over from the immune attacks is most likely to be depositied. About 50% of SLE patients have kidney inflammation (called lupus nephritis). Serious complications occur eventually in about 30% of patients. If kidney injury develops, it almost always occurs within 10 years of the onset of SLE, rarely after that.
E) Central Nervous System Complications - SLE: Most of these symptoms are minor and some, such as headache, may be related to depression rather than the disease itself. Symptoms vary widely and may be indistinguishable from psychiatric or neurologic disorders or from the side effects of some medications used for SLE. They can include: irritability, anxiety, depression, loss of concentration, loss of memory, migraines, tension headaches are very common, reflex systems, sensation, vision, hearing, motor control. The most serious symptom is inflammation of the blood vessels of the brain which can result in seizures, psychosis and even coma.
F) Infections: common complication and a major cause of death in all stages of SLE. Lupus patients are prone to streptococcal and staphylococcal infections and are also susceptable to fungal and parasitic infections. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressants used for SLE also increase the risk of infections.
G) Gastrointestinal Complications: 45% of SLE patients suffer nausea, wheight loss, abdominal pain, diarrhea, severe inflammation of the intestinal tract (cramping, vomiting, intestinal perforation), flud retention, swelling.
H) Joint, Muscle and Bone Complications: Arthritis (that almost never leads to destruction or deformity). Inflammation that causes muscle damage and loss of bone mass density.
I) Eye Complications: inflammed blood vessels in the eye can reduce blood supply to the retina resulting in degeneration of nerve cells and a risk of hemorrage in the retina.
I do not exactly know what your doctor means by "six stages" unless he is talking about the extent of your complications!!!
I hope that this has been helpful to you!!
Peace and Blessings