Systemic lupus erythematosus, often abbreviated as SLE or lupus, is a systemic autoimmune disease (or autoimmune connective tissue disease) that can affect any part of the body. SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. The disease occurs nine times more often in women than in men, especially in women in child-bearing years ages 15 to 35, and is also more common in those of non-European descent.
SLE is one of several diseases known as “the great imitators” because it often mimics or is mistaken for other illnesses. SLE is a classical item in differential diagnosis, because SLE symptoms vary widely and come and go unpredictably. Diagnosis can thus be elusive, with some people suffering unexplained symptoms of untreated SLE for years.
Common initial and chronic complaints include fever, malaise, joint pains, myalgias, fatigue, and temporary loss of cognitive abilities. Because they are so often seen with other diseases, these signs and symptoms are not part of the diagnostic criteria for SLE. When occurring in conjunction with other signs and symptoms, however, they are considered suggestive.
While SLE can occur in both males and females, the symptoms associated with each sex are different. Females tend to have greater relapses, leukopenia, more arthritis, Raynaud phenomenon, and psychiatric symptoms. On the other hand, males tend to have more skin problems, seizures, renal disease serositis, and peripheral neuropathy
There is no one specific cause of SLE. There are, however, a number of environmental triggers and a number of genetic susceptibilities.
The first mechanism may arise genetically. Research indicates SLE may have a genetic link. SLE does run in families, but no single causal gene has been identified. Instead, multiple genes appear to influence a person’s chance of developing lupus when triggered by environmental factors. HLA class I, class II, and class III genes are associated with SLE, but only classes I and II contribute independently to increased risk of SLE. Other genes which contain risk variants for SLE are IRF5, PTPN22, STAT4, CDKN1A, ITGAM, BLK, TNFSF4 and BANK1. Some of the susceptibility genes may be population specific.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus is a (generally) reversible condition that usually occurs in people being treated for a long-term illness. Drug-induced lupus mimics SLE. However, symptoms of drug-induced lupus generally disappear once the medication that triggered the episode is stopped. More than 38 medications can cause this condition, the most common of which are procainamide, isoniazid, hydralazine, quinidine, and phenytoin.
Non-systemic forms of lupus
Discoid (cutaneous) lupus is limited to skin symptoms and is diagnosed by biopsy of rash on the face, neck, scalp or arms. Approximately 5% of patients with DLE progress to SLE.
SLE cannot be prevented, but the consequences can be prevented.
As longevity of people with SLE increases, the likelihood of complications also increases in four areas: cardiovascular disease, infections, osteoporosis, and cancer. Standard preventive measures, screening for related diseases may be necessary to deal with the increased risks due to the side effects of medications. Extra vigilance is considered warranted in particular for cancers affecting the immune system.
About SLE Treatment at ReLife
ReLife International Medical Center provides stem cell treatment for SLE patients, together with Chinese medicine.
SLE is extremely difficult to treat, but with the development of stem cell treatment, more and more people begin to recognize its application in treating lupus. It has become one of the most commonly used methods to treat lupus, and is currently one of the best methods with therapeutic effect.
Since the pathogenesis of lupus is unclear, main pathological changes are cellular degeneration, necrosis, apoptosis, etc. Stem cells can differentiate into different kinds of cells to replace and repair dead and damaged cells, to activate dormant cells and inhibited cells, to promote the body ‘s own repair mechanisms, to inhibit abnormal inflammatory response, to avoid secondary damage.
Stem cell therapy for lupus at ReLife
What is stem cell therapy? As the most basic building blocks of the human body, stem cells are characterized by their ability to differentiate and mature into other types of cells with specialized functions. They are also known for their ability to self-generate, a phenomenon where they divide and produce more stem cells. During early childhood, stem cells may develop into a variety of different cell types. They are also capable of replenishing other cells, acting as the body’s own automatic repair system. This ability makes them an ideal treatment for many diseases; this treatment is called stem cell therapy.
The MSCs we used at ReLife are obtained from the umbilical cord tissue it is not only easily obtained but also sufficient. It is easier access to allogeneic sources because of low immunogenicity.
The time of treatment varies according to the differentiation of patient’s condition, usually about 3-4 weeks. Through this therapy the symptoms will be relieved, activity capacity will be increased and the patient’s condition will take a favorable turn. The treatment effect relates to the age and disease duration. There is almost no series side effect during the treatment course except slight headache and low degree fever, so it is safe.
Advantages of Msenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Therapy:
Autologous stem cells have the characteristics of multi-directional differentiation potential, the autologous stem cells being injected into body can locate into the impaired parts and repair the damaged tissues and gradually restore the original function. It has the following advantages,
- Safe, non -toxic and no immune rejection reaction:
- Remarkable efficacy
- Small risk
- Easy application
Traditional Chinese Medicine:
TCM approach will be used as supportive therapy to regulate the body’s overall function, and adjust the internal environment; The most common forms of TCM performed are acupuncture, cupping, massage (Tui na), herbal medicine, exercise (qigong) and dietary therapy.
- TCM may regulate patient’s inner body environment to enhance the effectiveness of MSC Therapy;
- TCM may focus on recovering the balance of Yin and YANG of the whole body, increasing patient’s ability to fight with the disease
Stem cell therapy with TCM as supportive treatment is a perfect combination of traditional Chinese medicine with advanced technology, which is a medical breakthrough in treating lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and heralds a new era for the treatment of immune system diseases.
Due to the patients’ different conditions, and other regional, seasonal factors, etc. We make a customized treatment program for each patient according to his/her specific condition.