Lupus is thought to develop when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues rather than protecting them from outside invaders. Immune proteins called autoantibodies attack many different parts of the body, causing inflammation and tissue damage in many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidney, nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves), blood, heart, lungs, digestive system and eyes. The exact cause of lupus remains a mystery, although scientists are investigating many different possibilities and believe several factors may play a role in the development of the disease.Read more about the treatment and prognosis of lupus in this guide ›
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Lupus can be a tricky disease. It affects different people in different ways. Symptoms range from mild to serious. They can appear and then go away, and you can develop new symptoms you've never experienced before. See the signs to look for ›
How Much Do You Know About Lupus?
When you have lupus, you go through times when you feel sick and times when you feel better. That’s because lupus is a disease of flares where symptoms, such as painful or swollen joints, headaches, and fatigue, worsen and improve over and over again.
Fortunately, flares don’t always occur randomly. In fact, you may be able to identify certain triggers that cause flare-ups, such as stress or exhaustion, and warning signs that one is about to occur, such as dizziness, skin rashes, or fever. This will enable you to avoid certain triggers and work with your doctor to short-circuit flares early on, or at least make symptoms less severe. And when flares do happen, there are steps you can take to feel better again.Learn more about triggers and solutions for lupus flare-ups ›
Did You Know?View Source
Lupus occurs most frequently in women ages 15 - 40.