What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune condition involving multi-system inflammation.

Etiology ( cause or organ of disease) is unknown.  In Lupus, your immune system cannot differentiate between foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria and your body’s healthy tissue.  Consequently, it creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue and causes inflammation, pain and damage in various part of the body and cause damage to organs; Kidneys, heart, lungs and brain.

Lupus is more likely to affect women 9 in 10 cases are found in females and can be fatal.

Types of Lupus

There are four types of Lupus:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

 It is the most common type of Lupus; it affects the whole body from skin to organ to the joints.

Discoid Lupus

This only affects the skin.  Scarring can occur on the face, ear, and scalp.  The area of skin exposed to sunlight can develop rashes, sores, and inflammation.

Drug-Induced

This is caused by certain medications.  Once the specific drug is stopped, the symptoms usually stop as well, although symptoms may recur in the future.

Neonatal Lupus

An uncommon condition affecting infants of women with Lupus.

Symptoms of Lupus

The most common symptoms of Lupus (for both males and females) are:

  • Extreme fatigue (feeling tired all the time).
  • Pain and swelling in the joints.
  • Swelling in the hands, feet or around the eyes.
  • Headache
  • Low fever
  • Sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply.
  • A butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and nose.
  • Hair loss
  • Sore in the mouth or nose.

Causes of Lupus

The exact cause of Lupus remains uncertain.  However, this is believed to be a multi-factor disease, and the following factors play a role in Lupus.

  • Genetic factors
  • Immunologic factors
  • Endocrine factors
  • Environmental factors

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