Lupus And Heart Valve Disease
Lupus is associated with heart valve disease. The generalized inflammation associated with lupus can cause various products of inflammation to be deposited on the heart valves. These inflammatory products, which include components of blood clots, immune complexes, and inflammatory cells, can form “vegetations,” which are wart-like growths on the valves.
These vegetations often do not cause any obvious cardiac problems. However, in some people with lupus the vegetations can become large enough to produce mitral regurgitation, leading to heart failure they may become infected, leading to endocarditis or they may trigger blood clot formation, leading to stroke.
If vegetations become large enough to produce a heart murmur in a person with lupus , an echocardiogram can help to assess the size of the vegetations. If they are large enough, or if they show substantial growth over time, antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent endocarditis may be prescribed. In some cases, blood thinners may be recommended to reduce the risk of stroke.
What Are The Gi Symptoms Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
In general, gastrointestinal symptoms secondary to SLE are less common than adverse effects of medication or nonspecific complaints. Special consideration should be given to infectious causes , because of immunosuppression. Nausea and dyspepsia are common symptoms in patients with active SLE and are sometimes difficult to correlate with objective evidence of gastrointestinal involvement. Peptic ulcer disease is a common complication, especially in SLE patients treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and glucocorticoids.
Occasionally, abdominal pain in active SLE may be directly related to active lupus, including peritonitis, pancreatitis, mesenteric vasculitis, and bowel infarction. Rarely, lupus enteritis may be the initial manifestation of SLE. Abdominal ultrasound can be a reliable first-line diagnostic tool in lupus enteritis, aiding early diagnosis of potentially life-threatening complications. Jaundice due to autoimmune hepatobiliary disease may also occur.
Trouble Swallowing And Gerd
Scientists estimate that between 20 percent and 70 percent of people with lupus experience esophageal motility disorder. The esophagus is the muscle that connects the throat to the stomach and its action moves food through the first parts of the digestive tract. Motility refers to the action of the muscle that moves food through the tube of the esophagus. When lupus inflames the esophagus people may have trouble swallowing or stomach acids may creep up from the stomach causing gastroesophageal reflux disease . GERD is sometimes called acid reflux and causes heartburn or gas.1,3
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Who Is Affected By Lupus
Anyone can have lupus. It can happen to women, men, children and even newborns. Its much more commonly seen in women than men, with about 90% of diagnosed cases being women of reproductive age. Experts have a difficult time estimating how many people in the United States have lupus because it is difficult to diagnose. Lupus has a wide variety of symptoms that can also be signs of other medical conditions. Because of this, there may be people with lupus who go undiagnosed throughout their lives.
Lupus is also more prominent in certain ethnicities. African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are all more likely to develop the condition than Caucasian women.
Your risk of having lupus is also increased if you have a family member with lupus or another autoimmune disease.
What Does Lupus Do To The Body
Lupus can impact many different parts of your body. It can cause aches and pains, as well as serious complications to your major organs. Because lupus is an autoimmune disease, it causes your body to attack itself. This can lead to organ damage over time.
Parts of the body that can be impacted by lupus can include the skin, blood, joints, kidneys, brain, heart and lungs.
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Lupus Enteritis As An Initial Presentation Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
1Department of Medicine, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA
2Department of Rheumatology, Nassau University Medical Center, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554, USA
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder which can affect multiple organs and clinical presentation is often a myriad of symptoms therefore, the index of suspicion should rise when evaluating patients with multiorgan symptomatology. Lupus enteritis is a distinct subset of SLE, defined as either vasculitis or inflammation of the small bowel, with supportive image and/or biopsy findings. The clinical picture of lupus enteritis is often nonspecific, with mild to severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting being the cardinal manifestations. Although considered a form of visceral or serosal vasculitis, lupus enteritis is seldom confirmed on histology, making computerized tomography the gold standard for diagnosis. Lupus enteritis is generally steroid-responsive, and the route of administration is based on clinical status and organ involvement, with preference for intravenous route in flares with significant tissue edema. The following case describes a young woman presenting with lupus enteritis and lupus panniculitis as an initial manifestation of SLE, the utilization of abdominal CT in diagnosis, and current treatment protocols used for lupus enteritis.
2. Case Presentation
Lupus Small Bowel Ischemia
One lupus bowel problem that people with lupus are at risk of getting is mesenteric ischemia. This medical condition is caused by injury and/or inflammation which results from an inadequate blood supply. This reduction of blood flow can be caused by changes in circulation, constriction of blood vessels, or by a blood clot. Mesenteric ischemia progresses in three phases:
P.S.I know what you may feel and think – “I am lost! I don’t have any chance to get cured etc” – I have heard this numerous times and I must tell you this: I have seen many lupus sufferers get rid of their symptoms at my private clinic and online using my simple & natural method. I KNOW what I am talking about.Give yourself a chance and
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Lupus And Pericardial Disease
Pericardial effusions may be seen in as many as 50% of people who have lupus at some point during the course of their illness. Fortunately, these pericardial effusions typically do not produce symptoms, and they often are discovered incidentally, when performing an echocardiogram for some other reason. Specific treatment for these effusions is usually not necessary, and pericardial effusions that are not causing symptoms usually resolve on their own.
In addition to pericardial effusions, however, pericarditis can also be seen in people with lupus. When pericarditis is present, that is usually a good indication that the lupus is in an active phase, that is, it is also producing problems involving other organ systems. The pericarditis usually subsides as the generalized lupus flare is treated and brought under control. If specific treatment is needed, the pericarditis of lupus usually responds to treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
Does A Positive Antinuclear Antibody Test Mean I Have Lupus
Testing positive for antinuclear antibodies alone does not mean you have lupus. The ANA test is positive in most people with lupus, but its also positive in many people who do not have lupus. Because of this, a positive ANA alone isnt enough to diagnosis you with lupus. Your provider will typically look for at least three other clinical features before making a diagnosis of lupus.
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Nausea Vomiting Diarrhea And Constipation
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation can be side effects of some of the drugs commonly used to treat lupus symptoms, especially NSAIDs and steroids. People with lupus are also more susceptible to infections if they are taking immunosuppressants, and these symptoms are common side effects of GI infections.1,2
If lupus attacks the intestinal tissue itself, irritable bowel syndrome may result because the intestines stop moving food properly through the system. People with lupus rarely also develop celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten.1,2
Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease are different forms of inflammatory bowel disease. People with lupus sometimes develop ulcerative colitis but it is rare for someone with lupus to develop Crohns disease . Bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain are common with both, but these are 2 distinct conditions.1,2
Lupus And Digestive Problems
Digestive problems are not common with lupus, but some people may experience belly pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or inflammation of the liver or pancreas. This can be related to lupus itself or medications used to treat the disease. Some people tend to lose weight during lupus flare-ups.
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What Can I Do To Prevent Lupus Flare
While lupus itself cant be prevented, you can make changes to your daily life to help avoid flare-ups of your symptoms. A few things to try can include:
- Avoiding sun exposure: For many with lupus, sun exposure can be an issue. Try avoiding going outside during peak hours when the sun is out, wearing protective clothing and wearing sunscreen.
- Staying in motion: Joint pain can make you want to sit down and rest, but doing low-impact exercises can actually help.
- Maintaining healthy habits: A few habits to keep in mind include making healthy choices when it comes to your food, getting plenty of sleep and cutting back on the stress in your life. There is also a strong link between lupus and heart disease. Make sure you are working with your healthcare team to reduce your risk of heart issues.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
If you are experiencing the symptoms of lupus, reach out to your healthcare provider. Lupus can take a long time to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms and the way symptoms slowly build over time. Getting diagnosed is the first step to managing the condition and improving your quality of life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/19/2021.
What Are The Different Types Of Lupus
There are several different types of lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common. Other types of lupus include:
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus: This type of lupus affects the skin cutaneous is a term meaning skin. Individuals with cutaneous lupus erythematosus may experience skin issues like a sensitivity to the sun and rashes. Hair loss can also be a symptom of this condition.
- Drug-induced lupus: These cases of lupus are caused by certain medications. People with drug-induced lupus may have many of the same symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus, but its usually temporary. Often, this type of lupus goes away once you stop the medication thats causing it.
- Neonatal lupus: A rare type of lupus, neonatal lupus is a condition found in infants at birth. Children born with neonatal lupus have antibodies that were passed to them from their mother who either had lupus at the time of the pregnancy or may have the condition later in life. Not every baby born to a mother with lupus will have the disease.
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What Is Intestinal Pseudo
Intestinal pseudo-obstruction is a condition where the muscles in the walls of the intestines fail to contract properly. This slows down or even stops the movement of food through the digestive tract leading to symptoms that mimic an intestinal obstruction without the actual blockage. It causes abdominal distension, pain, vomiting, constipation and weight loss in people unfortunate enough to have it. Intestinal pseudo-obstruction has a variety of causes. Inactivity, use of narcotic medications and some neurological disorders are some of the most common causes.
From Nausea And Flatulence To Diarrhea And Abdominal Pains Gastrointestinal Issues Are Often Under
The gastrointestinal tract is in charge of processing food to extract nutrients and dispose of waste. The digestive process works like this:
The gastrointestinal tract begins with your mouth where food is masticated . After food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus. This is the only part of the digestive process that is directly under control. The rest of the process is involuntary.
When the esophageal sphincter relaxes, food enters the stomach. The stomach secretes digestive enzymes and gastric acid to help digest the food. From there, the partially digested food, known as chyme, passes through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine. The small intestine then takes over, mixing food with digestive juices from the liver, pancreas, and intestine while also absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream.
Digestive muscles continue to work and they push waste into the large intestine. Waste can include undigested parts of food, fluids, and older cells that line the GI tract. The large intestine absorbs the remaining nutrients and water then changes the remaining material into stool. The rectum, located at the lower end of the large intestine, stores the stool until it is excreted during a bowel movement.
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What Causes Intestinal Pseudo
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage every organ system in the body. It can also attack blood vessels and cause them to become inflamed, including the blood vessels in the intestines. When this happens, proteinaceous deposits containing a âstiffâ compound called fibrin forms on the smooth muscle of the intestines. This slows down the ability of the intestines to move food through the digestive tract leading to a âfunctionalâ obstruction without an actual blockage.
When a patient has symptoms like this, itâs always important to rule out an obstruction before assuming the symptoms are due to pseudo-obstruction since an actual obstruction will require surgery.
Finding Lupus Stomach Pain Relief
- Milk: When I initially feel the burn, I often drink a glass of milk to put out the fire. Milk is rich in calcium, which has shown to be effective and is often an ingredient in antacids. Although milk can temporarily buffer stomach acid, the fat content can actually stimulate the production of it, so sticking to low-fat or non-fat varieties is generally best.
- Aloe: If you have ever used aloe on a sunburn then you know it has burn easing properties. The same is true for heartburn! Aloe vera juice can reduce inflammation in the esophagus and stomach but be careful, some varieties also contain laxative properties and you might find yourself trading one problem for another. Look for a brand that has the laxative component removed if this is a worry for you.
- Ginger: An age-old remedy for all kinds of tummy troubles, ginger is an anti-inflammatory. Steep in hot water to make tea or use it as an ingredient when cooking. If all else fails, you can even chew on a bit of ginger root to get in your daily dose. But be careful, too much ginger can actually cause heartburn. Limit your daily intake to about 3 grams.
If you know acid reflux is a problem for you, try to avoid common triggers such as caffeinated drinks , acidic foods , spicy foods , high-fat greasy foods , alcohol , chocolate, and peppermint.
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Lupus And Heart Problems
The most common heart problem linked to lupus is an inflammation of the sac around the heart. This may cause severe pain in the left side of the chest. People with lupus are also more likely to develop plaques that narrow or clog the arteries. This can lead to coronary artery disease. Other complications include heart valve disease and inflammation of the heart muscle. Call 911 immediately for chest pain, rather than trying figure out the cause yourself.
How Lupus Affects The Gastrointestinal System
Lupus is a condition affecting the bodys immune system, but it can affect nearly all of the other systems in the body. Specifically, lupus can affect the gastrointestinal system.
The immune system protects the body from foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Lupus causes the immune system to attack healthy body tissue instead. Lupus usually affects the joints and skin, but it can also cause health issues in the kidneys, heart, lungs, blood, or even the brain. Lupus can also affect the GI tract in the digestive system.
In many cases, lupus causes inflammation that disrupts how body cells, tissues, and organs function. The condition can also damage cells, joints, and organs to cause health problems.
There are several types of lupus and lupus-like conditions. Systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common form of lupus it can affect many body systems. Another form of lupus, cutaneous lupus affects only the skin. Drug-induced lupus and neonatal lupus are lupus-like conditions.
Lupus can affect any organ of the GI tract, including the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The effects of lupus may be a direct result of damage done by the immune system on healthy body tissues, or they may be the indirect result of the medications a person takes for lupus.
How Lupus Affects Various Organs in the Digestive System
Esophageal disorders in lupus
Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease
Peritonitis and ascites
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Dental Considerations And Other Oral Lesions
Although SLE itself has major adverse effects on normal immune functioning , its immunosuppressive treatment undoubtedly facilitates intra-oral infections, particularly candida and herpes simplex virus.
Particular vigilance is necessary for patients with associated Sjögren’s syndrome as lack of salivary secretion leads to a greater predisposition to tooth decay and to intra-oral infections such as oral candidiasis .
Features of SLE common to other organ systems may present with oral manifestations. For example, Raynaud’s phenomenon may rarely affect the tongue and mastication may be affected due to temporomandibular joint involvement .