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SLE may also be misdiagnosed if only a blood test is used for diagnosis.Because diagnosis can be challenging, it is important to see a doctor specializing in rheumatology for a final diagnosis.Hydroxychloroquine and corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone) are often used to treat SLE.
Women with lupus can safely get pregnant and most will have normal pregnancies and healthy babies.
However all women with lupus who get pregnant are considered to have a “high risk pregnancy.” Learn more about pregnancy and lupus.
Rheumatologists sometimes use specific criteria Most people with SLE do not have family members with the disease; however, some people with SLE do have a family history of the disease.
Men and women with an immediate family member with SLE have only a slightly higher risk for the disease.
Poor access to care, late diagnosis, less effective treatments, and poor adherence to therapeutic regimens may increase the damaging effects of SLE, causing more complications and an increased risk of death.
SLE can limit a person’s physical, mental, and social functioning.It can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels.There is no cure for lupus, but medical interventions and lifestyle changes can help control it.SLE also may occur with other autoimmune conditions that require additional treatments, like Sjogren’s syndrome, antiphospholipid syndrome, thyroiditis, hemolytic anemia, and idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura.Incidence and prevalence are terms commonly used to describe how many people have a disease or condition.SLE is diagnosed by a health care provider using symptom assessments, physical examination, X-rays, and lab tests.SLE may be difficult to diagnose because its early signs and symptoms are not specific and can look like signs and symptoms of other diseases.However, other adults may experience SLE flares more frequently throughout their life.Other symptoms can include sun sensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, lung problems, heart problems, kidney problems, seizures, psychosis, and blood cell and immunological abnormalities. Learn more about lupus triggers and how to control your symptoms on the Managing Lupus page.Adherence to treatment regimens is often a problem, especially among young women of childbearing age (15 to 44 years).Because SLE treatment may require the use of strong immunosuppressive medications that can have serious side effects, female patients must stop taking the medication before and during pregnancy to protect unborn children from harm.