Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect different parts of the body including the heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, skin, and joints. In people unaffected by the disease, the body produces antibodies to fight against antigens on the surface of pathogens; however, in a person with Lupus, the immune system cannot differentiate between these antigens and tissues in the body. Therefore, they produce antibodies against their own tissues which cause inflammation and damage to different parts of the body.
As Lupus has a number of different and vague symptoms, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued a list of eleven symptoms to differentiate Lupus from other diseases. If a person has four or more of them, even if they are not simultaneous, they should be tested further for Lupus. These eleven symptoms are malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, arthritis, serositis, renal disorder, neurological disorder, haematological disorder, immunological disorder and presence of anti-nuclear antibodies. The Epiomic™ database sub-divides the patient population by these symptoms and by the varying types of auto-antibodies, including antiphospholipid antibodies which can cause narrowing of blood vessels leading to stroke, heart attack or miscarriage, that are tested for in diagnosis to give a deep insight into a disease which is commonly difficult to treat.
Haematological abnormalities are common in lupus sufferers and the major haematological manifestations of lupus are anaemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and vascular thrombosis. The Epiomic™ database includes accurate information about all of these haematological conditions, along with data about the co-morbid conditions such as arthritis and many other diseases linked to lupus, including fibromyalgia and retinopathy, creating a greater understanding of the treatment required.