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Lupus Research Paper

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The chronic illness focused on in this psychosocial assessment is Lupus. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease in which the patient’s own immune system causes dysfunction in the body’s tissues and organs. Lupus can cause inflammation affecting one or more different areas of the body such as the joints, kidneys, skin, brain, lungs heart and blood cells. Some individuals are born predisposed to the development of lupus which can be triggered by infections, certain pharmaceuticals and in some cases sunlight. Risk factors for lupus include gender, ninety percent or more people with lupus are female; race: lupus occurs more within African American, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations than in the white population; …show more content…
Some individuals experience the onset of symptoms suddenly, while others tend to develop symptoms slowly over time; symptoms can be mild, severe, temporary or permanent. As discussed by Brett (2017), most cases of lupus are mild and are characterized by episodic “Flares” in which signs and symptoms present themselves in increased severity for a time period than either improve or disappear completely until the next flare which is never predictable. The most common symptoms are fatigue, fever, swelling and stiffness in the joints (pain), a facial rash covering cheeks and bridge of the nose or elsewhere on the body, skin lesions which worsen when exposed to sunlight (photosensitivity), fingers and toes turn white/blue in cold temperatures or when under a lot of stress (Raynaud’s phenomenon), shortness of breath, chest pain, dry eyes and headaches, confusion and/or memory loss.

As discussed by the Mayo Clinic Staff (2017), the initial diagnosis of Lupus is often difficult due to other illnesses sharing similar symptoms. A distinctive symptomatic feature of Lupus which is common but not always present is a facial rash occurring on both cheeks. A Lupus diagnosis cannot be determined by a single test. Typically, Lupus is diagnosed by the investigation of signs and symptoms through physical examination combined with several different blood tests, urinalysis, imaging tests and biopsies depending on the suspected type of

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