Acute lupus is a temporary, severe inflammatory reaction produced by the body. Lupus can affect various parts of the body, including the kidneys, skin and blood cells. The body's immune system begins to attack its own organs, which causes pain and inflammation. Acute lupus might suddenly flare up in an organ system and disappear as quickly as it arrived. Chronic lupus is lifelong pain, and acute lupus is usually fleeting.
Acute lupus falls under the category of acute lupus erythematosus. This is a general term for immune-related diseases. A physician can positively identify a bout of acute lupus using a checklist of symptoms.
Lupus is a disease of the human immune system. It occurs more often in women than in men. Symptoms of lupus vary with each individual, but common signs of lupus range from strange skin rashes to acute organ pain and tenderness. The causes of this condition might include environmental triggers, such as medication, sunlight, stress, hormones or even breast implants. Doctors believe that lupus might have a genetic component, because it seems to run in families.
There are several types of lupus. The most common type, discoid lupus, causes rashes to form on the skin. A common symptom of discoid lupus is a "butterfly rash" that forms across the cheeks and nose.
Systemic lupus is often a chronic disease that affects multiple organs in the body. Affected individuals with this type of severe lupus often experience pain and swelling in several different body parts. During periods of inflammation called "flares," these individuals are in pain, but the flare often ends suddenly. Someone with this type of systemic lupus will have flares throughout his or her life.
Drug-induced lupus is similar to acute lupus, because it is a direct reaction to a medication. It can cause systemic symptoms that affect several organ systems. Acute drug-induced lupus is a temporary reaction. Neonatal lupus is the fourth type, and it occurs only in babies whose mothers have systemic lupus. These infants might have severe physical issues such as heart problems or liver problems.
There is no cure for lupus, but there are medications that an individual can take to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Lupus treatments include opiates for pain, immunosuppressive drugs, corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs such as cyclophosphamide or hydroxychloroquine. Steroid drugs are considered the last option, because they can negatively affect internal organs, but they do relieve many lupus symptoms.