Lupus (SLE)

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Lupus is a disease in which the body treats some of its tissues as if they belonged to somebody else.


  • A sun sensitive skin rash
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth and nasal ulceration
  • Cold sensitivity of the hands and feet
  • Dryness of the eyes and mouth
  • Joint inflammation
  • Inflammation of the covering of the heart or lungs
  • Neurological involvement (seizure, nerve damage)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Lowering of the blood counts (red cells, white cells or platelets)
  • Inflammation of the kidneys (causing decreased kidney function, protein or blood in the urine)

Many people with lupus will only have skin involvement and no internal organ disease. The cause of lupus is still unknown, although we do know that patients may inherit a susceptibility to this disease.

Screening and diagnosis
Careful blood and urine monitoring will help in recognise disease activity.

A screening test for lupus is the ANA (Antinuclear Antibody). Most people who have a positive ANA do not prove to have lupus after a thorough evaluation. There are a series of diseases in which the ANA is positive including:

  • Lupus
  • Scleroderma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome
  • Mixed connective tissue disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome and
  • Having a family member with an ANA associated disease

Treatments have improved over the years and may include Prednisone, Plaquenil, anti-inflammatory medication, Methotrexate and Cytoxan. It is important to get adequate rest, avoid sun exposure (for sun sensitive individuals), avoid lupus inducing medications (Quinidine), and to treat infection rapidly and effectively.

Arrange a Consultant appointment today

Private appointments: 01892 741 127 or email (self referral or via GP or another clinician)

NHS appointments via your GP and NHS hospital central booking system only