One of the most serious issues with lupus is the damage that can be done to a persons organs. How extreme the damage is will be dependent on a couple of factors. The first one will deal with how fast the illness is diagnosed. The quicker someone recognizes that the health issues they are dealing with is more than a flu that will not go away, an early onset of arthritis or the lasting pain of a minor injury the faster their health care providers will be able to put them on medication to slow down the diseases ravishing and stop the damage being done.
The other consideration is how strong the disease is. Lupus will affect each individual differently. It can be mild, and so not very difficult to deal with. It can be severe and so require aggressive medical intervention to bring it under control or it can be anywhere in between the two extremes.
If organ damage is done there are usually certain systems that are affected more than others. Kidney damage is one of the biggest concerns. It can be a very dangerous aspect of lupus. The kidneys can become inflamed and swollen because of elevated levels of protein in their urine.
If the kidneys are unable to properly filter these proteins out because they have become badly damaged then it is possible that renal disease may develop. This can be very serious and can mean that only dialysis or a transplant will save the patient.
Pleurisy is a big concern for those suffering from lupus. This is caused by inflammation and swelling around the sac that contains the lungs. If this gets bad enough the lungs themselves could swell and there could be bleeding. Lupus can also adversely after the intestines. There can be swelling, bleeding or even sepsis which is a poisoning of the bloodstream by toxic bacteria.
The central nervous system can be affected by lupus. If the patient has neuropsychiatric lupus they could find that their cognitive abilities becoming diminished, they may suffer memory lapses and headaches. It is possible for the blood to be affected as well. The patient can have anemia, a low platelet count, their white cells can also show a low count or their blood may have difficulty clotting. This can be dangerous as it may mean more of a chance of the patient hemorrhaging.
There are studies that are showing conclusive proof that those who have lupus have an increased chance of heart disease. They are more likely to have heart attacks or strokes than people of a similar age who do not have lupus. It can also be responsible for a hastening of a persons arteries becoming clogged.
One other concern for lupus sufferers is conjunctivitis. This is caused by the swelling of the eyelids. It is not an uncommon problem but in people with lupus it can get bad enough that the retina can also be affected and loss of sight can occur. All of these potential problems require close monitoring by a physician.