Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This leads to long-term (chronic) inflammation involving the skin and internal organs. Discoid lupus erythematous on the other hand is limited to the skin with no internal organ inflammation.
The causes of these chronic conditions are not fully known, but it is believed that heredity and viruses play a major role in them.
On Monday, September 16, Dr. Thomas F. Ignaczak, a board-certified rheumatologist and vice president of medical affairs at Bronson Battle Creek will talk about what people can do to improve their lifestyle if they have lupus. His one-hour talk at Burnham Brook Center, which is free to the public, is sponsored through Senior Health Partners in coordination with Bronson Battle Creek. A light lunch will be provided beginning at 11:30 a.m. followed by Dr. Ignaczak’s presentation at noon. Seating is limited. For reservations call toll free (800) 451-6310.
The purpose of Dr. Ignaczak’s presentation is to help educate the community about late-onset lupus, when to seek medical attention, what treatment options are available, and how to live a healthy and normal life with the disease.
SLE is much more common in women than men and can occur at any age, but it is now recognized that 25% of the cases affect individuals over the age of 50. This so-called ‘late-onset’ SLE presents itself more subtlety than the usual adult lupus cases.
Skin rashes are the typical trait of SLE in younger patients of childbearing age. Joint pains, fever, and signs of internal organ abnormalities can accompany the initial rash for this group. For the late-onset sufferers, symptoms are less visible including fatigue, weight loss, aches and pains, memory problems, abnormal blood counts, and inflammation of the chest (pleurisy).
Dr. Ignaczak will give more details about lupus during his presentation leaving time to answer questions from attendees.
Senior Health Partners, a community partnership of Bronson Battle Creek, CentraCare, Region 3B Area Agency on Aging, and Summit Pointe, works to expand wellness and educational offerings to senior citizens in Calhoun and surrounding counties.