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Can lupus affect the digestive system?

By Anonymous October 5, 2011 - 1:20pm
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Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect almost any part of the body, most often the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood, or brain. Lupus can also affect the gastrointestinal system (digestive system).
When lupus causes inflammation in the esophagus, stomach acid can move back up into your esophagus. Almost everyone experiences this backward flow of acid, called reflux, from time to time, as either gas or the burning sensation of heartburn. However, reflux that keeps occurring is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Digestive problems are common in lupus. The symptoms you may experience include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Often these symptoms are caused by drugs you take for lupus, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corti-costeroids.
inflammation caused by lupus can also cause a build-up of fluids in the abdominal cavity called ascites
Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) can be caused by lupus, but also can be caused by vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) or by certain medications you may be taking for lupus, including corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and diuretics.
When lupus causes inflammation in the liver, a condition called hepatic vasculitis can occur.
Thanks for your question,

October 5, 2011 - 3:24pm
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