Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s organs, including the skin, joints, and brain. Over 90 percent of people with lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 44 and is predominately in African American women. Lupus is not a terminal disease and there is no cure for lupus, but you can possibly face major obstacles caused by lupus that could affect you in a life-threatening way. Thus, 80-90 percent of lupus patients, can expect to live a normal lifespan with non-life-threatening complications.
There is no single test that can diagnose lupus. Multiple tests and imaging are used to confirm lupus. The most common tests that are taken to diagnose lupus:
- Complete blood count (CBC)– checks the count of platelets and red blood cells.
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) – blood test where the time taken for RBC to settle at the bottom of test tube is faster in lupus than normal.
- Urine analysis – the high protein and red blood cells might indicate kidney damage due to lupus.
- Antibody test – presence of Antinuclear antibody might indicate lupus, where the Anti dsDNA antibodies are examined.
- Skin biopsy – skin tissue is taken for further analysis to confirm the condition from affected sites.
- Kidney biopsy – lupus can affect kidneys; biopsy helps to know the stage disease and treatment options.
The quality of life will be mainly determined by the lupus patient personal determination to defeat the disease.