Although there are several kinds
of Lupus, most of the time when people say that
they have it, they are referring to the form called systemic lupus
erythematosus (SLE). It can affect any part of the body, and the
symptoms can range from barely noticeable (such as a slight fever)
to extremely serious (such as psychoses). Lupus is a chronic disorder
that can cause kidneys, joints, blood vessel walls, connecting
tissues and mucous membranes to become inflamed. It is an autoimmune
disorder, meaning that the antibodies produced by the immune system
attack the very body parts that they are suppossed to protect
rather than attacking invasive foreign infectious agents.
Young women of childbearing age make up about
90% of the people that have lupus, and it is more common in Asians
and blacks. It is not known what causes lupus, and scientists
are working diligently for a cure. If the cause is genetic, then
it may be just a matter of time before the cause can be isolated
and a cure can be found. Doctors think that you can genetically
have a predisposition for lupus, but you won't inherit lupus itself.
Other possible causes are viruses, certain medications, and ultraviolet
People with the disease may go through long periods
with little or no symptoms, then they will have what are called
flares, in which the illness becomes more prominent and unpredictable.
In spite of this, people with Lupus can have a high quality of
life. The best thing for a person to do is to see a health care
provider regularly to monitor the disease. Only seeing a doctor
when lupus flares up is generally not helpful. A person with lupus
should learn to recognize the warning signs of a flare up so that
they can get attention before the symptoms
get too severe.
Since people with lupus run a higher risk of
illnesses such as heart disease, good diet and exercise are extremely
important. Learn more about how
lupus is diagnosed or the treatment