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Health Protocols

Lupus: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

Types of Lupus

The term "lupus" commonly refers to systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, but there are other types of lupus as well, each with distinct signs and symptoms.10

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

This is the disease often simply referred to as “lupus.” The word "systemic" refers to the fact that connective tissues throughout the body are affected; "erythematosus" is a clinical state in which red, raised patches develop on the skin. When referring to lupus elsewhere in this protocol, we are referring to this form of the disease.

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus

This form of lupus is distinct from SLE in that the symptoms are only skin related; discoid lupus erythematosus causes a red rash ("erythematosus"), often developing on the face and/or scalp. People with discoid lupus often also have SLE, or develop SLE in the future.

Drug-Induced Lupus

Certain medications can potentially cause lupus, but the condition generally goes away after stopping the triggering drug. The medications that can possibly cause drug-induced lupus include some oral birth control drugs, certain blood pressure-lowering drugs, and antibiotics and antifungal medications.

Specific drugs most frequently associated with drug-induced lupus include:

  • Procainamide—antiarrhythmic drug
  • Hydralazine—blood pressure lowering drug
  • Quinidine—antiarrhythmic drug

Neonatal Lupus

As the name indicates, this form of lupus develops in newborn infants. This form of lupus is quite rare, and is caused by autoantibodies being transmitted from a mother with lupus to the baby.11 Although most of the babies born of women with lupus are healthy,6 more than half of infants with neonatal lupus have problems with their skin, heart, and/or gallbladder.12,13 Neonatal lupus may spontaneously resolve over the first few months of life, but can sometimes cause serious complications. Death occurs in approximately 10% of neonatal lupus cases, the major causes of which are typically pneumonia or heart complications.13