Scleroderma is characterized by the toughening of the affected area, most commonly in the skin or in the organs which could lead to limitation of the organ’s function. This is quite rare as it only affects 14 out of every 1 million people worldwide. Scleroderma affects women more than it affects men and could develop somewhere between the ages of 30 to 50. It is also inherent in the Native American Choctaw tribe and in African-American women. Scleroderma is rarely found in children.

While cases of scleroderma that would only affect the skin would most likely not be fatal but could cripple the patient, the severe form of it which is called systemic scleroderma or is characterized by having scleroderma affect various parts of the body can be lethal and has been proven so in many cases. After the skin which is the most common case which would account for 95% to 100% of all cases, it is followed by gastro-intestinal involvement in scleroderma which would account for 70% to 90%

How Is The Digestive System Involved In Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease. Being that, it mainly interferes with the immune system and having them attack the body instead of protecting it. Scleroderma can affect all organs of the digestive system, either just one organ or the entire system at the same time. It start with the esophagus; if scleroderma is present in the esophagus, then peristalsis is more difficult as the food track is tighter making it less able to push food down.

Gastro-intestinal involvement in scleroderma usually starts off with the esophagus and gradually makes its way down lower into the large intestine. If it makes its way past the stomach, then the patient will start having problems with digesting food. This is because the stomach now lacks blood vessels because it has been limited by scleroderma. Worst case scenario of this is that everything from the esophagus to the rectum would be affected. Unfortunately, this is very possible.

How Is This Treated?

As of today, there is no known cause for scleroderma and because of that, diagnosis is mainly based on symptoms. Doctors can start off by giving a patient medication to help ease him or her of the symptoms. These medications are given in attempt to lessen acid production but if that does not do anything, then procedures that are specific to the affected area are done to relieve a patient of discomforting symptoms.

Medications however are only given to relieve a patient from the effects brought about by scleroderma and not to entirely remove scleroderma from a patient. The cause of scleroderma is unknown and with that, there is no known medicine. Treatment for scleroderma is patient-specific even when it comes to gastro-intestinal involvement. This however can be managed effectively with the help of medical procedures.

How Is This Diagnosed?

If medications do not work or if a patient would develop side effects, then that is where one should have medical procedures. If the esophagus is affected, some medical procedures that can help would be endoscopy, barium swallow and esophageal manometry.

If the stomach is affected, then the patient could also have barium swallow which is similar the one referring to esophageal involvement and a gastric emptying study of which a person eats small amounts of material followed by taking x-rays of their stomach.

17 thoughts on “Lupus Disease Is Lupus Contagious

  1. xoxo_peridot05_xoxo

    Can my dog get lupus disease if he was near a dog who had it? …is it contagious?
    i was walking my dog (spaniel) and we saw this dog coming towards us who had lupus…i didnt want to be rude to the owner so i let them sniff each other…will my dog get affected???
    PLS!!! help
    FYI to ppl who said how can i detect if the dog had lupus….

    THE owner told me and you can see his face was hairless….

    1. Yogi and Me

      i think that’s genetic not a contagious disease. You can’t get Lupus from someone who have them either.
      here’s the definition from Mayo clinic
      Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart and lungs.

      Lupus occurs more frequently in women than it does in men, though it isn’t clear why. Four types of lupus exist — systemic lupus erythematosus, discoid lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus erythematosus and neonatal lupus. Of these, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common and serious form of lupus.

      The outlook for people with lupus was once grim, but diagnosis and treatment of lupus has improved considerably. With treatment, most people with lupus can lead active lives.

    1. Chiquita Loquita

      lupus is not contagious. It cannot be passed from one person to another. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, the cause of which is still unknown. An autoimmune disease is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system – one in which the immune system cannot distinguish between the body’s own cells and tissues and that of foreign matter, like viruses.

  2. aheartforart

    Men – Would you ever date a woman with Lupus?
    One of my friends has a moderate case of Lupus and she is worried that no guys would be interested in dating someone with a chronic auto-immune disease. She doesn’t think anyone would care to be with someone that gets sick and sometimes has to be hospitalized. Here is a little more info on Lupus.

    In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system and it cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues so it creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation and pain in various parts of the body.

    * Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.

    * Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.

    * Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.

  3. Beewally

    match these questions please…?
    bone marrow
    communicable disease
    red blood cells
    white blood cells
    inherited disease
    acquired disease
    immune system
    llymph nodes
    down syndrome
    natural killer cells
    dendritic cells
    acquired immunity
    passibe immunity
    immunodeficiency disorder
    autoimmune disorder
    lymphoma and leukemia
    acute stress
    chronic stress

    1: Principle upon which childhood vaccination is based.
    2: Researchers think that these cells are responsible for transmitting HIV to T-cells in order to activate an immune system
    3: Filters antigens out of the blood; acts as the immune system’s cleaning agent.
    4: Small, bean-shaped clusters that also helps filter the body’s infection fighting system
    5: The result of a sudden or uncontrollable thing such as a natural disaster, or surgical procedure.
    6: Main function is the production of antibodies in response to antigens such as bacteria, viruses, and tumor cells.
    7: Carries oxygen throughout the body.
    8: White blood cells.
    9: Produces T-cells which are responsible for immunity and disease resistance.
    10: Means that all or part of the immune system is unable to properly respond to the presence of an antigen.
    11: A white or yellowish fluid that forms from a collection of dead tissue, dead bacteria, and live and dead phagocytes.
    12: A condition caused by an abnormal chromosome.
    13: A disease that is passed through the genes froom parent to child.
    14: Caused by an inherited abnormal gene.
    15: An acquired disease that is contagious.
    16: The interuption or disorder to normal body functions.
    17: When the immune system cannot distinguish between normal body tissue and antigens and launches an attack against the normal tissue.
    18: Types of Autoimmune Disorders.
    19: Involves antibodies that are produced in someone’s body otherthan your own. Protection is temporary.
    20: A process by which leukocytes known as phagocytes consume microorganisms and dead or dying cells.
    21: Caused by infection, human behaviors, or environmental conditions that affect health.
    22: Performs much like T-cells, only they directly kill tumor cells.
    23: Infection fighting cells.
    24: The body’s defense system against disease.
    25: A birth defect that results in a lack of both T- and B- lymphocytes and you are unable to fight infection. Also known as the “Bubble Boy Disease.”
    26: Produes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
    27: A disease causing organism.
    28: It’s daily and on-going – such as lack of sleep, long-term physical pain, and day-to-day hassles such as traffic.
    29: General types of cancer hat can happen to the immune system.
    30: Cells which help the blood to clot.

  4. zitdr_02

    Normallly, I’d say that it doesn’t sound like scabies. But, a biopsy is fairly conclusive, if they actually saw the mite on the specimen. So, I guess we’ll have to believe the pathologist! As a rule, scabies does itch; but there is a variant of scabies (seen mostly in immunoincompetent people) which doesn’t itch. I’d love to see some sharp pix of the rash; I feel badly for you that you’ve spent so much money and are still having problems.

  5. J R

    Does it bother you that the “newest HIV vaccine” officially only gives you a 33.3% protection rate?
    According to our local news I thought I had heard it wrong until I heard it on three different networks, more or less saying “But you still have to use protection because it only protects from about a third of strains, 2 out of 3 participants in the Thailand experiment still contracted HIV”

    My Polio vaccine doesn’t have a 67% failure rate I don’t think. Neither did my Measles Mumps Rubella vaccine. In fact I don’t think the smallpox vaccine had that rate of failure.

    So swine flu can be done in a couple months… but HIV vaccine takes 30 years and counting with a 67% failure rate?

    As someone who worked in microbiology with someone in vaccine research, this boggles my mind.

    Vaccines need specific RNA, right? First I hear the mutation theory “It mutates so fast the strains keep changing” But if that were the case, why do the symptoms stay the same for 30 years? Isn’t mutation what makes one virus cause a runny nose, and another cause vomiting, and another make your skin turn a certain color, or another mutation make it only affect birds etc? So with all the mutations, 30 years later it still affects the same primary groups, drug users, homosexual males, and Africans AND happens to have the exact same symptoms. How can an STD remain in the same subgroups so consistently for 30 years? Why are female prostitutes not one of these subgroups? (They are for every other STD)?

    In evolutionary science, doesn’t this whole thing defy logic? Will there ever be a useful vaccine, or in 30 or 60 more years will we still be at the same point we are today? Did anyone bother to ask, is this even a virus? Who ruled AIDS out of being an autoimmune disease like lupus, or related to toxicities preventing the formation of certain integral cells, or a result of exposure to higher amounts of certain environmental chemicals or substances? In either case, you’d never be able to make a real vaccine, Just wondering……..Because even my grandmother (who is NOT a skeptic!, and not a scientist) heard the news and said basically “What do they think we are, stupid?”

    Also what about the people with “Idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia” also known as “HIV negative AIDS” The Center for Disease Control counts them to. If they are HIV negative, and everyone agrees that they have no virus in their system, how do we prevent “HIV negative AIDS” (since no virus = no vaccine) And since no virus is involved, is THAT type of AIDS contagious too? What causes AIDS then?

    * If we could eliminate all the HIV positive AIDS cases with a perfect vaccine someday, we would still have all the HIV negative AIDS cases, with those people still existing, how could we ever fully eradicate “AIDS”? (since “Idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia” is NOT viral?)

    Does this disturb anyone? Or is it just progress, and I am simply pessimistic?
    Pessimistic I’ll take :), but ignorant?, sigh “essentiallysolo” Polio Vaccine took only 14 years not 60, It was completed in 1950, and started with mid to late 1930’s technology. We now have Electron Microscopes and have the ability to individualy analyse the human genome, as well as complete and specific RNA particles

    You mention mutations, but still forget to explain how this rapidly mutating virus stays the same, while a bird flu just needs one simple mutation to affect swine, and a another quick one to affect humans. I don’t think its so ignorant to ask why a small combination of RNA particles can mutate so often for decades and retain ANY viral resemblance, or similar effect. Feel free to elaborate your mutation theory, so I can better understand. You may lean another way on this, but nonetheless, I believe my question is still scientifically valid, tho controversial.

  6. Peggy G

    What causes someone to develop Lupus…?
    and how likely is it that two people, who have worked side by side for a decade, were diagnosed with this disease within a week of each other? Should I be worried working in the same environment? I’m fairly sure it isn’t contagious, but can something in the environment you work in daily cause it over a long periods of time?

    1. Linda R

      Lupus is definitely NOT contagious.

      Researchers believe that some people have a genetic predisposition to develop lupus. It is not exactly hereditary, just that there is a slightly higher chance that you will develop it if you have very close relatives with autoimmune disorders.

      First a person has some genetic make up that means they COULD develop lupus.

      Then there has to be a trigger. The most common triggers are certain viruses, high and prolonged levels of stress or trauma, sunlight, certain drugs (birth control pills and some blood pressure meds). Two people could be in indentical circumstances but only the one who is genetically predisposed would develop lupus.

      There have been investigations into environmental factors. Nothing has been proven as far as I know. If you are exposed to a lot of chemicals, that could be problematic.

      It is likely that your coworkers had lupus for a long time. Most lupus patients go years before they get a correct diagnosis. The difference now is that more doctors are becoming informed about the symptoms of lupus, how to diagnose and treat it.

      Did you know that more than three times as many people have lupus than have multiple sclerosis, sickle cell, and cystic fibrosis COMBINED?

      You can be a good friend to your coworkers by not letting lupus get in the way of your relationship. They will be frightened and isolated enough without you seeming to avoid them. Learn about lupus at the link below. Encourage them to learn about it to.

      Write your senators and representative in Congress asking them to support the Lupus REACH amendments. The funding requested in that bill is equal to 8 minutes of the war in Iraq. There are 1.5 or more Americans with a form of lupus. There is a link on the website where you can write.

    1. formerly_bob

      It could be possible that exposure to some type of viral infection could be a factor that causes someone to develop lupus, but no particular viral mechanism has been identified and lupus itself is not contagious.

  7. 4 due in Sept 2011

    Scabies???? 3 month old baby?
    Scabies???? 3 month old baby?
    im confused
    I came down with a rash out of no where that didnt really itch and dr thought it was alergic reaction, meds didnt work thought it was staph, meds didnt work then they ddint know what it was. sent me to dermatologist. they took skinbiopsy and blood checking for lupus and other auto immune diseases and came back clean then they said it was scabies.

    but i was not itching at all and
    i had had it for over a month and my 3 month old baby got nothing.
    they gave me meds but the rash had already started going away with the 3rd dose of steroids they gave i dont know is scabies meds actually worked or not cause it was going away before the meds for scabies

    but i still have all the spots that look like tiny spots of blood coming to the surface
    i have them on my ankles and calfs mostly and some onmy stomach and breast.

    now today i just noticed that my 3 1/2 month old baby is starting to get the same tiny marks only on her left foot and lower leg

    could this be scabies.
    or something else
    I had sores and a rash but those are gone just these now

    it doesnt itch at all.

    we thought it wasnt anything contagious since my daughter and husband didnt get it for that month or longer time frame now it has been almost 2 months

    i care for one child in my house and this came about the same time i started caring for two others that were brother and sister that had a rash that i thought was from them always peeing on them self while sleeping on there belly but who knows.

    i have spent over $300 in co payments fo rthis issue that no one knows what it is and cant afford any more money since i dont have to money to spend
    please tell me what you think

    i thought scabies was highly contagious and itched really bad.
    oh and these are not raised the skin is flat
    i dont see how it could be fleas. we live in a new house for the last year, we are the first to live here, we dont have pets other than fish, no one comes over our house that has pets either. and we dont go any where
    i called the dr and they said if i dont have the money and it isnt itching and doesnt seam to itch my baby i can just wait to have her seen on her 4 month apt in 2 weeks
    they will not see me with out paying co payment. i have asked. i would take her if i had the money in my checking account but i litterally have 2.41 in my checking account right now.

    1. keshequa87

      I thought of flea bites too or maybe chiggers? I understand your financial situation but babies are involved so I hope you’re working on a solution to that problem. I suggest that you call your pediatrician and explain and ask for some help. Most people are reasonable (even doctors) if you give them a chance. Best wishes.

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