How long do lupus flares last?

Life expectancy with lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune pathology characterized by connective tissue damage and the development of the inflammatory process. The life expectancy of patients with this diagnosis is individual and depends on the characteristics of the course of the pathological process.

Autoimmune diseases are a group of diseases that develop as a result of the production of antibodies and killer cells against their own healthy cells, which causes their damage and the development of the autoimmune inflammatory process.

With systemic lupus erythematosus, the main target cells are connective tissue cells and small blood vessels.

Causes of autoimmune diseases

The cause of the autoimmune process in the body is not fully understood. There are some theories of the emergence of stimulation of antigens against their healthy cells:

Infection with such an infectious agent (viruses, bacteria), which have a similar genetic structure with normal cells of the body. As a result, the antibodies produced by the antigen of the infectious agent damage their cells;
1. Pathological changes in the structure of some cells in the body or their basic proteins, resulting in the immune system recognizes them as foreign or damaged and triggers the mechanism of autoregression;
2. Changes in the tissue barrier normally separating some tissues from the circulatory system. Due to the defect of the barrier in the blood get antigens, which are perceived as foreign, and the immune system produces antibodies to destroy them;
3. Hyperactivity of the immune system due to violations of the hematopoietic organs, resulting in excessive production of antibodies and killer cells.

how long do lupus flares last

Virtually 63 percent of people reported that lupus flares last one week or even not. Of that Group, nearly 75% of individuals underwent flares lasting between 6 and two six days. Typical flares of two weeks were reported by over 1/4 of poll participants.

lupus life expectancy

In the development of systemic lupus erythematosus proved the role Of t-lymphocytes suppressors. T-lymphocytes suppressors suppress the immune response and prevent the body’s aggression against its tissues. The autoimmune mechanism of systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with a decrease in the level of t-lymphocytes of suppressors and hyperactivation of the immune system against its tissues.

Main clinical symptoms

The initial signs of the disease are insignificant and nonspecific. Patients complain of the rise in temperature of an unclear nature, the development of General fatigue, pain in muscles and joints.

For systemic lupus erythematosus there are some characteristic features and manifestations:

1. Dermatological lesions are observed in most patients in the form of rashes on the face in the form of a butterfly. There are rashes on the body like thick red spots on the skin, similar to scales. Characteristic is the development of ulcerative processes in the oral mucosa and nose. Sometimes patients have the phenomenon of alopecia or hair loss on the head.

2. Joint lesions are accompanied by arthralgias or polyarthritis. Small joints of the upper extremities are more often affected. With the development of the process, bone tissue is not destroyed, but due to damage to the connective tissue of the joints, their deformation occurs. Sometimes joint damage is irreversible.

3. Changes in blood in the form of anemia, thrombocytopenia, and leukopenia are detected in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. The correct diagnostic criterion is the appearance of LE cells or red lupus cells. LE-cells – are white blood cells containing fragments of the nuclei of other cells.

4. The cardiovascular system is damaged during the development of the autoimmune process and manifests itself in the form of inflammation of all layers of the connective and muscular tissue of the heart (pericardium, myocardium, endocardium). Sometimes damaged heart valves.

5. The change in the renal system is called lupus nephritis. Lupus nephritis is a lesion of the connective tissue of the kidneys, resulting in the formation of fibrin deposits in the glomerular layer of the kidneys and the difficulty of their main filtration function.

The main symptoms in such lesions are the presence of protein and red blood cells in the urine (proteinuria and hematuria). Severe disease can develop acute renal failure. Sometimes in the acute and subacute course of the disease, the inflammatory process can pass to all layers of the kidneys with the development of lupus nephritis. It affects the renal glomeruli, tubules and connective tissue. Clinically manifested as massive proteinuria in the urine. In patients, there is a sharp decrease in protein and increase in plasma lipids.

6. Mental and neurological disorders occur in the later stages of the disease and differ in the diversity of their clinical picture.

Lupus erythematosus prognosis


The diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus is based on the clinical picture of the disease and laboratory studies. Currently, some specific criteria have been developed to establish a timely diagnosis:

• The presence of skin manifestations on the face;
• Characteristic rash on the body;
• Increased sensitivity to light;
• The presence of ulcers in the oral and nasal cavity;
• Inflammation of two or more small joints;
• Inflammation of serous membranes of the lungs or heart;
• Inflammatory processes in the kidneys with the manifestation of proteinuria;
• Involvement of the nervous system with the development of psychosis;
• Anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia;
• Presence of LE-cells in the blood;
• Antinuclear factor in the blood is a group of antibodies to nuclear (nuclear) antigens.

If the patient has four or more signs, the diagnosis of “systemic lupus erythematosus” is not in doubt.


Systemic lupus erythematosus is an incurable disease, but in modern medicine, a successful supportive therapy is carried out, which can significantly increase the life expectancy of patients.

The main groups of drugs used for maintenance therapy:

1. Glucocorticosteroids or hormonal drugs reduce inflammation and are prescribed for a long time, and sometimes for life in moderate doses;
2. Immunosuppressants are prescribed to suppress the aggression of the immune system;
3. Drugs from the group of TNF inhibitors (tumor necrosis factor) are used to reduce the activity of autoantibodies;
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

With the development of acute renal failure is used to clean the blood from toxic substances (plasmapheresis, gametophores).

If the inflammatory processes pass into the stage of severity and are not stopped by conventional doses of anti-inflammatory drugs, but pulse therapy with high doses of hormones is carried out.


Even with the timely diagnosis and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, complications of the disease may occur:

• Kidney pathology with the development of renal failure, the most common complication of the disease. In most cases, in a severe course of the inflammatory process, renal failure in work becomes the cause of death of patients;
• Heart disease in the form of pericarditis, myocarditis, endocarditis with the development of heart failure;
• Pulmonary pathology occurs in a third of patients and is expressed by pleurisy and the addition of secondary infection with the development of pneumonia;
• Diseases of the blood system with the development of persistent hemolytic anemia, leukopenia, and thrombocytopenia, which can lead to internal bleeding.

Forecast for life with systemic lupus erythematosus

With timely diagnosis and early treatment, the course of the disease is well controlled, as a result of which the risk of complications is reduced. But we should not forget that systemic lupus erythematosus has a life course and requires constant medical supervision.

Unambiguously to answer, how many live people with systemic red lupus impossible. The use of new methods of treatment has significantly increased the life cycle of patients after diagnosis. Life expectancy of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus after diagnosis can be 25 or 30 years.

It is worth noting that the course of the disease is individual. Sometimes systemic lupus erythematosus takes an aggressive course with the appearance of sudden and serious exacerbations. The main clinical complications are the development of lupus nephritis with renal insufficiency, pronounced pleurisy, and pericarditis.

Sometimes the prognosis of systemic lupus erythematosus is put taking into account the severity of the inflammatory process and the nature of the disease.

Other Complications

The course of systemic lupus erythematosus is characterized by periods of absence of clinical manifestations (remission) and exacerbations of the disease (relapses).

Sometimes periods of remission can last for years, then patients lead an active lifestyle. Ability to work is reduced only during periods of exacerbations and the development of inflammatory processes. In the case of relapses, it is necessary to undergo treatment to prevent complications.

If the disease is detected in women of childbearing age, then with proper planning, a woman can give birth to a healthy child without fear for her health and her baby. Basically, the period of gestation and childbirth are successful. It is necessary to plan the conception at least six months after the last relapse.

Some drugs during pregnancy are canceled or adjusted their dosage. Throughout pregnancy, it is necessary to monitor renal function in order to exclude the development of acute renal failure. Children born to a mother with systemic lupus erythematosus have neither mental nor physical defects.

Basically, many people suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus, lead a normal lifestyle that is no different from the lifestyle of perfectly healthy people. The only negative point is that people are forced to take drugs for life and be observed by their doctor.