9 Important Facts About Lupus You May Not Know

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Lupus is a chronic disease that many people have heard of but actually, know very little about (except maybe that Selena Gomez has it). We’ve compiled a list of nine important facts to know about lupus, with help from prevention.com.

It’s an autoimmune disease. 
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million people in the U.S. The immune system works to protect our bodies from infections and viruses. However, in lupus patients, the immune system actually attacks them instead of protecting them.

There are five types of lupus. 
There are five different forms of the disease. The most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which makes up 70 percent of cases. The symptoms of lupus are wide-ranging as the disease can affect any part of the body, including the major organs.

Women are more likely to get lupus. 
Lupus is primarily a woman’s disease, as females account for approximately 90 percent of sufferers. It usually strikes young women, particularly those in their childbearing ages.

Monique shares how lupus has affected her life.

But when men get lupus, they suffer more severe symptoms. 
While only a small percentage of lupus patients are male, they tend to experience more severe symptoms and are more likely to suffer kidney complications, neurological diseases and inflammation of organs such as the heart and liver.

Women of color are more likely to get lupus. 
Lupus tends to strike women of color more than Caucasian women. African-American, Native American, Asian and Latinas are more than three times more likely to develop the disease.

It’s difficult to diagnose. 
Because lupus has such a wide range of symptoms, many of which mimic other diseases, it is an incredibly difficult disease to diagnose. It takes around six years for the average lupus patient to receive their diagnosis.

Rheumatologist explains why it’s so difficult to diagnose lupus

There is no known cause. 
Although scientists are unable to determine the exact cause of lupus, it’s commonly understood to be a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. Exposure to ultraviolet light and silica have been linked to the disease as well as having Epstein-Barr virus.

No two patients are the same.
Because lupus can attack any part of the body, each lupus patient will experience the disease in a different way. This means that there is no one correct way to treat the disease, every patient will need their own personalized approach to treatment.

Research is ongoing.
Research into treating and preventing lupus is ongoing. Right now, researchers are studying new medications, new ways to prevent the disease from developing and attempting to identify biomarkers to aid faster diagnosis.

Neovacs to give update on potential new lupus vaccine.

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.