Dr. Thaddeus Bell provides information on the autoimmune disease known as lupus. He discusses the symptoms of lupus as well as how it is diagnosed.
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Thaddeus Bell: Systemic lupus erythematosus that's the medical term for it. A very interesting disease and we have not learned a whole lot more about lupus in the past 25 years but lupus is an auto immune disease inflammatory disease in which the body attacks its own cell. We are still trying to understand the mechanism of that, it can happen virtually in any part of the body from the skin, the kidneys and etcetera. Most of the woman's have lupus and minorities are victimized by this disease. Mostly African Americans, Hispanics the Asian and need of a American woman of were the disease seems to half the most. We do not understand the cause of lupus. We have been doing a lot of research in that regard but we do not understand. What the cause of it is. I do not have any lupus patients in my practice. And I have talked to several other family doctors and they don't have any in their practice. And the reason for it is this. When there is a suspicion of that diagnosis of lupus is being entertained we usually refer those patients to a medical centers that have lupus clinics they have doctors who are mostly rheumatologist who specialize in treating this disease. These patients have inflammation of as I pointed out all of the major organs they can have fever, they can have fatigue they just generally don't feel good, they have weight loss they can be a very devastating disease and were assume that -- it can be a very mild or it can a very deadly disease. So, that is the reason that we refer these people of these patients to medical centers often times. The primary way that we make the diagnosis of lupus is through blood test. The blood test sometimes can be positive the DNA can be positive and sometimes it can be negative, the all the blood test they can be used to. The disease is treated with medications. Those medications can be often times very pleasances to the system and that is another reason quite specialized doctors like rheumatologist have to give these medicines at least I feel more comfortable with those doctors giving those medications. Years ago, we had medications that we would very much aware of that could cause a lupus like syndrome there was an drug that was called Hydralazine that if you took it made you look if you got sick from it made look like you had lupus it could even cause the blood test to be positive. There are other drugs that was a drug that's not uses much as it used to be used called Procaine Amide is that drug that used for heart condition it could also cause the lupus like syndrome. So if a patient has a condition that he thinks may be lupus he should definitely go to his health care provider tell the health care provider what you things and then the health care provider based on his experience and his level of expertise in dealing with this disease will make sure the person guess the right treatment.