Lupus is an autoimmune disease that attacks the immune system. The immune system is what fights foreign substances in the body like germs and viruses. With Lupus the immune system causes inflammation and attacks itself, healthy tissue in the body and organs such as the skin, blood, heart, kidneys, brain and joints. The immune system is like an army with hundreds of soldiers that are protecting from the invaders imagine if the soldiers turn around and start attacking their own. That is what lupus does to the body during a flare it attacks its own healthy tissue and organs. There is no cure for lupus, it is not contagious but with the right treatment it can be controlled, help with the pain and lower the risk of organ and tissue damage. Lupus is very hard to diagnoses as it mimics many other diseases.
Common signs of Lupus:
Systemic Erythematosus (SLE) The most common and most serious. SLE affects the skin, blood, heart, kidneys, brain and joints.
Discoid (Cutaneous) 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.
Drug-Induced Lupus (DIL) Drug-induced Lupus (DIL) occurs after a person takes certain types of medication. The symptoms are similar to systemic lupus, but they usually disappear when the medicine is stopped.
Neonatal Lupus In rare cases, the newborn of a mom with lupus may have neonatal lupus. Symptoms usually go away after a few months and don’t cause permanent damage. Some babies with neonatal lupus can be born with a serious heart defect.
Living with lupus means knowing and listening to your body, avoiding stress, getting extra rest, asking and accepting help from others, listening to your doctor’s advice and taking your medications.
Living with Lupus and other chronic conditions is not always easy, but you don't have to be in this journey alone.