Lupus: What You Need to Know
Lupus, an autoimmune disorder, can cause inflammation throughout your body, including in your joints, tendons and skin, as well as your blood vessels and organs.
The cause is unknown but it’s thought to be triggered by a combination of genetics, hormones and environmental factors.
It most often affects women, but 10 percent of patients are men.
Lupus doesn’t have a cure, but the organ inflammation can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes.
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders occur when a person’s immune system accidentally attacks their own healthy organs. This attack can cause inflammation throughout your body, including in your joints, skin, blood vessels and organs, such as the kidneys. Lupus most often affects your skin, joints and kidneys — which can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure. More than 16,000 new cases are reported each year in the United States.
There is no cure for lupus, but there are medications and lifestyle changes that can control your inflammation and minimize organ damage.
Types of Lupus
Types of lupus include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), lupus limited to the skin (chronic cutaneous lupus), drug-induced lupus and neonatal lupus. SLE is the most common.
Understand the different types of lupus.
Lupus Risk Factors
Lupus is typically seen in women, but 10 percent of patients are men. It is more frequent in African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos and American Indians than in Caucasian Americans.
Are you at risk of developing lupus?
Lupus can take time to diagnose. To make the right diagnosis, your doctor will do a complete physical exam and may ask for tests and biopsies (a procedure done to look at a sample of your skin and/or kidneys under a microscope).
Learn how lupus is diagnosed.
Medications and lifestyle changes can help control the inflammation in your organs that might otherwise lead to permanent organ damage.
Explore treatment options for lupus.