systemic%20lupus%20erythematosus
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic, multisystem, inflammatory, autoimmune disorder characterized by formation of autoantibodies directed against self-antigens and immune-complex formation.
It can be diagnosed with a single organ involvement such as lupus nephritis.
It is predominantly diagnosed in females of childbearing age.
Clinical presentation varies in different patients and the disease activity varies over time in a single patient. Majority of patients have arthralgia of the hand.

Systemic%20lupus%20erythematosus Patient Education

Patient Education

  • Patients should be provided with information, counseling and support
  • Involve all the family members in counseling regarding the disease
    • Family must have a thorough understanding of the disease, its potential severity and complications of the disease and treatment
  • Patient must learn to cope and monitor the disease when he or she is at the right age
    • He or she should be able to distinguish signs and symptoms that may precede a disease flare and consult with the physician immediately
    • Educate all patients regarding possible complications from unplanned pregnancy, poor compliance,recreational drug use and infection
    • For married patients, contraception is important during the active phase of the disease
  • Advise patients to join other SLE patients in support groups
  • Patients must be advised to wear clothing with long sleeves, use umbrella or sunscreen lotion and refrain from sunbathing to prevent exacerbation of dermatologic symptoms
    • Use sunscreen with at least a sun-protection factor (SPF) of 15-30 to prevent dermal or systemic disease flares upon exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Patients must have appropriate diet to prevent obesity, osteoporosis and dyslipidemia
  • Patients on corticosteroids should have a no-added-salt, low-fat and calcium-sufficient diet
  • Advise patients to seek medical help when they have fever
    • Exposure to immunosuppressive drugs used in SLE may predispose patients to infection
  • Encourage patients to maintain a normal lifestyle
    • Regular exercise to maintain appropriate weight and bone density
    • Advise patients that fatigue and stress are associated with disease flare
    • Smoking cessation is recommended
  • Patient’s blood pressure and glucose and lipid levels should be assessed and managed appropriately 
  • Immunization should be updated for all patients
    • Patients should have appropriate immunizations (ie influenza, pneumococcal)
    • Patients with SLE are often complement deficient and are at risk for encapsulated organisms
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis for all dental, genitourinary and other invasive procedures for patients at high risk of infections (eg patients with valvular abnormalities, on immunosuppressive therapy)
  • Patients should routinely undergo gynecologic assessments, dental care and ophthalmologic exam especially for patients taking corticosteroids
  • Psychological support may also be necessary
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