7 Interesting Facts to Know About Lupus

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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Lupus can be a tricky disease because of its complexity. Its symptoms can be confusing because the disease impacts every patient differently.

To help you learn more about lupus, here’s are seven important things to know:

1. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases are serious conditions that occur when your own immune system attacks your healthy cells. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is chronic, meaning that it is a long-lasting disease with conditions that can last months, years, or even for life.

2. There is still no cure for lupus.
Lupus is a complex disease with no current cure, but there are plenty of treatment options. Doctors treat lupus according to the symptoms that patients show in order to cure or lessen symptoms occurring at that moment.

MORE: Five treatment options for lupus

3. There is still no known cause of lupus.
One of the reasons lupus is so mysterious and complex is that there is no known cause for what triggers the symptoms. Even though relatives of lupus patients may have a higher risk of developing the disease, it is not a hereditary illness.

4. It affects more women than men.
Women are more at risk for developing lupus than men. Girls and female teenagers are also at risk. However, Caucasian women are less at risk for lupus than women of all other races.

5. There’s an estimated five million people living with lupus worldwide.
It’s estimated that five million people worldwide live with lupus — and many of them are not aware that they have the disease. Celebrities Seal, Paula Abdul, Toni Braxton, and Selena Gomez live with lupus and are advocates for raising awareness and the need to cure the disease.

MORE: Do you know what can trigger a lupus flare?

6. Lupus can be difficult to diagnose due to its many symptoms.
There are at least 13 common symptoms and signs of lupus in patients. Because it is a very individualized disease, patients may have different symptoms. Patients need at least four symptoms present to be diagnosed with lupus. Sometimes it takes a long time for doctors to provide a lupus diagnosis because the disease can affect any part of a patient’s body and there is no one specific test to achieve the diagnosis.

7. There are four types of lupus:

  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is the most common form of lupus and is considered more serious than the other forms. It affects many parts of a person’s body including kidneys, lungs, blood, skin, and others.
  • Lupus Discoid is a form of lupus that only affects the skin and causes rashes. These rashes may be anywhere but are usually found on the face, neck, and scalp. It does not affect any of the internal body organs although one in 10 people living with discoid lupus will develop systemic lupus.
  • Drug-induced Lupus occurs after a person takes certain types of medication. The symptoms are similar to systemic lupus but they usually disappear when the course of medication is finished.
  • Neonatal Lupus is rare, but it can happen that a newborn of a mother with lupus may have neonatal lupus.

MORE: Did you know these six celebrities lived with lupus?

Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.