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Gastrointestinal problems


About 45% of SLE patients suffer gastrointestinal problems, including nausea, weight loss, mild abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

Severe inflammation of the intestinal tract occurs in less than 5% of patients and causes acute cramping, vomiting, diarrhoea, and, rarely, intestinal perforation, which can be life-threatening.

Fluid retention and swelling can cause intestinal obstruction, which is much less serious but causes the same type of severe pain.

Inflammation of the pancreas can be caused by the disease and by corticosteroid therapy.




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