- First Signs
- Risk Factors
- Related Resources
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue. It affects joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels, leading to inflammation and tissue damage of the affected organs.
What are the four types of lupus?
The four types of lupus are:
- Lupus dermatitis: Lupus affecting the skin in the form of a rash.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): This type of lupus affects the internal organs and is the most serious type.
- Drug-induced lupus: This type of lupus occurs as a result of an overreaction to certain medications such as Apresoline (hydralazine) or quinidine and Pronestyl (procainamide). It is similar to SLE.
- Neonatal lupus: Lupus affecting an infant as a result of passively acquiring antibodies from a mother with SLE.
How does a person get lupus?
The exact cause of SLE is unknown, however, risk factors that increase your chances of getting Lupus Genetic and hormonal factors
- Exposure to UV rays
- Microbial response
- Certain medications
- Silica dust
- Cigarette smoking
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight)
Other risk factors
- Family history of SLE
- Female sex
- Chronic infections
- Use of estrogen in women undergoing menopause
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding have shown to decrease the risk of SLE.
- Women of childbearing ages (15-44 years)
- High-risk ethnic backgrounds such as African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Caucasians.
Early-life risk factors
- Low birth weight (<2,500 g)
- Preterm birth (birth that occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy)
- Exposure to pesticides during childhood
What is usually the first sign of lupus?
Fatigue, fever, joint pain and weight changes are usually the first signs of lupus. Some adults may have a period of SLE symptoms known as flares, which may occur frequently, sometimes even years apart and resolve at other times—called remission. Other symptoms include:
- Sun sensitivity
- Oral ulcers
- Blood cell and immunological abnormalities
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Facial rash (butterfly rash)
- Chest pain caused due to inflammation of the lining that surrounds the lung (pleuritis) and the heart (pericarditis)
- Raynaud’s phenomenon (poor circulation to the fingers and toes with cold exposure)
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
What are the complications of Lupus?
The complications that accompany SLE are as follows:
How is lupus treated?
There is no cure for SLE. Management of SLE depends on disease severity and disease manifestations.
Hydroxychloroquine is effective in the long-term treatment of SLE. Immunosuppressive medicines help to inhibit the activity of the immune system, which can also be useful in treating SLE.
Can a person die from lupus?
Lupus along with other medical conditions can be a contributing cause of death. Mainly, secondary conditions such as kidney diseases, heart diseases can be contributing factors.
Latest Health News
- Healthy Living Boosts Life Span, Even for Former Smokers
- AHA News: For This Race Car Driver, Curing a Racing Heart Was Key to Crossing the Finish Line
- Money, Good Info Can't Undo Resistance to COVID Vaccine: Study
- U.S. Suicide Rates Rose in 2021, Reversing 2 Years of Decline
- After Ian's Destruction: How to Safely Enter, Clean Flood-Damaged Homes
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
Top What Are the Four Types of Lupus Related Articles
Can You Have Oral Sex With Lupus?Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that happens when your immune system attacks your skin, joints, and internal organs like your heart or kidneys. Lupus is not contagious, and you cannot give or get lupus from oral sex.
efgartigimod alfa-fcab (Vyvgart)Vyvgart efgartigimod alfa-fcab injection is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of the autoimmune neuromuscular disease Myasthenia gravis (gMG) in adults who test positive for the antiacetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibody. Serious side effects of Vyvgart include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face/lips/tongue/throat, severe dizziness, fever, and sore throat.
How Do You Get Lupus?Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system targets and attacks its own tissues and organs. The specific reason for getting lupus is unknown. Researchers understand, however, lupus involves some interaction among various factors including one’s genes, ethnicity, immune system, hormones, and the environment. Lupus is a lifelong disease that can directly or indirectly affect any part of the body.
Is Lupus Contagious?Systemic lupus erythematosus in an inflammatory disease. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, fever, and rash. Though lupus is incurable, early medical intervention can help to reduce inflammation and protect the affected individual's organs.
Lupkynis (voclosporin)Lupkynis (voclosporin) is a prescription medicine used with other medicines to treat adults with active lupus nephritis, an autoimmune disease of the kidneys. Learn about the dosage, side effects and pregnancy safety for this immunosuppressant medication.
Lupus SlideshowWhat is Lupus? Learn about lupus symptoms like butterfly rash, joint pain and fatigue. Find causes, diagnosis, and treatments for lupus, a disease most commonly found in women.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Lupus: Differences and SimilaritiesRheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus are two varieties of autoimmune diseases that cause flare-ups. While RA attacks the immune system on the joints, lupus involves many other parts of the body besides the joints. Common RA symptoms involve warm, swollen, and painful joints; morning stiffness in the joints or stiffness after inactivity, joint deformity, fever, fatigue, etc. Lupus symptoms include Malar rash (butterfly-shaped rash involving the cheeks and bridge of the nose), fever, joint pain in the absence of joint deformity, etc.
Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE)Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease. Lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Lupus Pictures 1A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. See a picture of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and learn more about the health topic.
Lupus QuizThis Lupus Quiz covers causes, signs, symptoms, facts, and treatments for this inflammatory autoimmune disease.
What Are the 12 Symptoms of Lupus?Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body attacks healthy tissue. It affects joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels, leading to inflammation and tissue damage of the affected organs. More than 90% of cases occur in females. Fatigue, weakness, joint pain and rash are some of the most common of the symptoms of lupus.
What Is Usually the First Sign of Lupus?Fatigue, fever, joint pain and weight changes are usually the first signs of lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body attacks its healthy tissue. It affects joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels, leading to inflammation and tissue damage of the affected organs.