Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an auto-immune disorder that most often affects adolescent girls and can cause a range of symptoms including:
- Skin rashes – most commonly the “butterfly” rash on the face
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
What makes lupus unique as an auto-immune disorder is the fact that it, if uncontrolled, can attack the vital organs and cause serious damage. In the past, the damage caused to the vital organs by lupus made it an often fatal disease but new, powerful medications used by pediatric rheumatologists across the globe, including those in the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at Floating Hospital for Children allow doctors to control the disease and give your child to have a relatively normal, long-lasting life.
Often called the “big mimicker,” lupus can be hard to diagnose because it can present as a number of different diseases. At Floating Hospital, our pediatric rheumatologists use diagnostic tools including a thorough physical examination, blood tests, urine tests and imaging to determine if your child has this disease.
Once a diagnosis has been made, we get to work on developing a comprehensive treatment plan that focuses on protecting damage to your child’s vital organs. The major key of this treatment plan is our commitment to supporting your family. We help you keep your child on track with medications because the symptoms of lupus can come in waves. It is often easy to think that your child can stop medications when symptoms go away, even though a flare up might be right around the corner. We also provide guidance on sun protection, maintaining a healthy diet, conserving energy and support groups.
To make an appointment with our expert pediatric rheumatologists, please call 617-636-7285.