Lupus is one of many disorders of the immune system known as autoimmune
diseases. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is
designed to protect. This leads to inflammation and damage to various body tissues. Lupus
can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs,
blood vessels, and brain. Although people with the disease may have many different
symptoms, some of the most common ones include extreme fatigue, painful or swollen joints
(arthritis), unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems.
At present, there is no cure for lupus.
However, lupus can be effectively treated with drugs, and most people with the disease can lead active, healthy lives. Lupus is characterized by periods of illness, called flares, and periods of wellness, or remission. Understanding how to prevent flares and how to treat them when they do occur helps people with lupus maintain better health. Intense research is underway, and scientists funded by the NIH are continuing to make great strides in understanding the disease, which may ultimately lead to a cure.
Focus on research for a Cure for Lupus
Two of the major questions researchers are studying are who gets lupus and why. We know that many more women than men have lupus. Lupus is three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women and is also more common in women of Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. In addition, lupus can run in families, but the risk that a child or a brother or sister of a patient will also have lupus is still quite low. It is difficult to estimate how many people in the United States have the disease because its symptoms vary widely and its onset is often hard to pinpoint.
Butterfly Rash Picture
Lupus Skin Picture
This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.
Arthritis-Symptom.com is an informational out reach of the Consumer Health Information Network. It is our goal to provide up to date information about arthritis and other inflammatory and bone conditions in a easy to understand format.