Lupus Terms

 

May is Lupus Awareness Month! How Will You Spread Awareness?
I used to get more confused and upset by the words surrounding this disease then Lupus itself. Hopefully the following list of terms will help you. These terms that are generally associated with the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of lupus, along with their definitions.






































































Albumin Albumin
is a protein that circulates in the blood. By testing levels of Albumin,
your doctor can determine whether your kidneys and liver are functioning
properly.
Alternate-day
Treatment
Treatment where
the medication is given every other day, with no medication on alternate
days. Some doctors like to give prednisone in this fashion.
Analgesic A drug that relieves pain.
Anemia When your body doesn’t have the
normal amount of red blood cells, you have anemia. It can be caused by
very many things, including lupus.
Antibodies Specific proteins made by your
body’s white blood cells. They are for defense of the body against foreign
enemies. In certain diseases such as lupus, they attack the patients body.
Anticardiolipin
antibody
A type of antibody in the
antiphospholipid antibody family.
Anti-DNA
(also Anti-dsDNA)
Antibodies to DNA. Between one-half
and 75 percent of the patients with SLE have or will have this antibody.
It can indicate activity of the disease. Although there is no "one
test" that confirms lupus, the diagnosis is nearly certain if such
antibodies are present.
Antigen The substance that triggers the
formation of antibodies. In lupus it may be a foreign substance or a
product of the persons own body.
Anti-inflammatory An agent designed to counteract or
suppress inflammation. Nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs usually refer to
"aspirin-like" drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Antimalarials Drugs, such as Chloroquine or
Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), originally developed to treat Malaria that
have beneficial effects in the treatment of Lupus.

Antinuclear
antibodies (ANA)


Proteins in the blood that react
with the cell nuclei.  Nearly all SLE
patients have this antibody.
However, it can be found in healthy
people and in most people with autoimmune disease.

Antiphospholipid
antibody
Antibodies directed against
substance in cell membranes.  In
the presence of a co-factor, can alter clotting and lead to strokes, blood
clots, miscarriages and low platelet counts

Anti-RNP
Antibody to ribonucleoprotein. Seen
in SLE and patients with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.

Anti-Sm
This antibody is found only in
lupus. The "Sm" stands for Smith– the patient  whose blood
was used to identify this antibody.

Anti-SSA
(or Anti-Ro)
This antibody is associated with
Sjogren’s Syndrome, sun-sensitivity, neonatal lupus and congenital heart
block.

Anti-SSB
(or Anti-La)


This antibody is related to and
almost always seen with Anti-Ro.

Arthralgia


Pain in a joint or joints.

 


Arthritis


Inflammation of a joint or joints.

 


Autoantibody


An antibody to one’s own tissues or cells.

 


Autoimmunity


The reactivity of one’s own immune system
to one’s own tissues.

 


B
Cell


A B cell is a type of white blood cell (a
lymphocyte) that makes antibodies.


Butterfly
rash


Red facial rash over the cheeks and
the bridge of the nose. Also known as  the malar rash.

CBC

(Complete Blood Count)


A blood test that measures the
amount of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the body.

CNS


Central Nervous System.


Collagen


Collagen is a protein found in cartilage,
bone and skin.


Collagen
vascular
disease (Connective tissue disease)
An old term that incorporates those
rheumatic diseases that are characterized by dysfunction of the immune
system.

Connective
tissue

The “glue” that holds the body
together.

 


Complement


A group of proteins found in the
body that regulate inflammation. A low or falling levels suggest
inflammation (lupus activity).

Corticosteroid
A natural anti-inflammatory hormone
made by the adrenal glands. it is now made synthetically. A common type
used in lupus is prednisone.

Cortisone
Synthetic or man-made
corticosteroid.

Creatinine


A blood test that measures kidney
function

Creatinine
Clearance
A 24-hour urine collection test to
determine kidney function.

Cutaneous
lesions
Visible changes in the skin:
rashes, scarring and/or sores

Discoid

lupus


A type of skin disease seen in SLE;
it can also exist by itself.

Estrogen


Female hormones produced by the ovaries.


Fibrositis

(Fibromyalgia)


A condition that is characterized
by muscular pain, weakness, sleep disorders, fatigue, and tender points on
the body. Often mistaken for lupus although 20% of SLE patients have
fibromyalgia

Flare


Symptoms of the disease reappear or
increase, an exacerbation.

FANA
Another term for ANA; stands for
fluorescent ANA.

Glomerulonephritis


Inflammation of the glomerulus of
the kidneys; seen in some SLE patients.

Hemolytic

Anemia


Anemia caused by the destruction of
red  blood cells by the body’s
own antibodies. Also called Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia.

Immune
Complex


An antibody and an antigen that are bound
together.

 


Immunofluorescence


A method that uses a fluorescent
stain to detect autoantibodies.

Immunosuppressive


A medication such as Cytoxan or
Imuran, that treats lupus by suppressing the immune system.

Inflammation
A characteristic reaction of
tissues to injury or disease resulting in swelling, redness, heat and
pain.

LE
Cell


A specific cell found in the blood
specimens of most lupus patients. This test served as a diagnostic test
for lupus in the past but is no longer performed since the introduction of
better blood tests.

Mixed
Connective

Tissue Disease
( MCTD)
MCTD refers to an overlap of
several conditions, including lupus, scleroderma, an polymyositis. Most
patients have antibodies to RNP.

Nephritis
Inflammation of the kidneys.

Nonsteroidal
Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID)
A group of drugs, such as aspirin,
ibuprofen and naproxen, used to reduce inflammation that causes pain,
redness, heat and swelling.

Pericardial
Effusion


Fluid around the sac (pericardium) of the
heart.

 


Pericarditis


Inflammation of the sac (pericardium)
around the heart.

 


Photosensitivity


Sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet
light (sun, fluorescent lighting, plant lighting).

 


Plasmapheresis


Filtration of blood plasma through
a machine to remove proteins that may aggravate lupus.

Platelet

Cells of the blood that are responsible for
forming blood clots.


Pleural
Effusion


Fluid collects in the sac lining (pleura)
the lungs.


Pleuritis
(Pleurisy)
Inflammation of the Pleura.

Prednisone


Synthetic steroid.

Proteinuria
Excessive protein levels found in
the urine, also called albuminuria. This is often the result of
glomerulonephritis.

Raynaud’s

Phenomenon)


Discoloration (red, white and blue)
and sometimes pain or numbness in the hands and/or feet usually induced by
cold temperature or stress.

Rheumatic
Disease
Any one of the 150 disorders that
affects the immune or musculoskeletal systems. 

Sedimentation
Rate (Sed-rate)
A non-specific test that correlates
with degrees of inflammation.

Sjogren’s
syndrome
A disease characterized by dryness:
dry eyes and dry mouth; the condition can occur by itself or accompany
another rheumatic disease, especially rheumatoid arthiritis.

Steroid
Steroid generally refers to
corticosteroids. They are not to be confused with anabolic steroids.

STS
Serologic Test
for Syphillis;
false positive tests can occur in people with lupus.

Systemic
Affecting the whole body.

Thrombocytopenia
A low platelet count.

Titer
An expression of antibody levels. A
high titer of antinuclear antibodies may be seen in lupus.

Undifferentiated

Connective Tissue
Disease (UCTD)
Signs and symptoms of autoimmunity
in a person who does not meet established criteria for lupus, rheumatoid
arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome or any other autoimmune disease.
Vasculitis Inflammation of
blood vessels.

Information obtained from LupusLIQueens.org

*If you have any other lupus terms for us to add, please comment below. Thank you!

©2019butyoudontlooksick.com
  • Cheryl Youmans-Rusaw

    Thanks for posting these terms. It really helped explain a lot, since my rheumatologist doesn’t explain anything to me. I finally got a nurse at my family doctors to give me a copy of the last blood work I had. I am have to get more lab work this week, and I’m going to make sure I get a copy of these too. Finally I can see for myself what my rheumatologist doesn’t see the need to tell me.

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