BETTER UNDERSTAND LUPUS AND ITS ISSUES

I have lupus. I also have symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome or antiphospholipid syndrome. Do I really have several diseases?

Yes, several autoimmune diseases can be associated with systemic lupus. A common genetic terrain is probably the cause of these associations.

Nevertheless, if Sjögren's syndrome, which is expressed mainly by dry mouth and / or eyes, can be associated with lupus in about 20% of cases, it is often less severe and less disabling than isolated Sjögren's syndrome (also called primitive). Similarly, the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies is a common sign of lupus itself. When these antibodies cause the formation of blood clots (thrombosis), it is referred to as antiphospholipid syndrome but it is a specific clinical expression of the disease. As for Raynaud's phenomenon, it is one of the signs frequently observed during systemic lupus.

More rarely, systemic lupus can be associated with another autoimmune disease with clinical expression such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or inflammatory myopathy. This is called overlap syndrome (Systemic Lupus + another connective tissue disease).

Takeaways

Systemic lupus can be associated with other autoimmune diseases, but lupus is usually the main diagnosis. If there is an associated Sjögren's syndrome, dry eyes and mouth are simply treated. If there are antiphospholipid antibodies causing thrombosis, anticoagulants are given. If there is thyroiditis with hypothyroidism, thyroid hormones are simply given to the patient.

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