What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that typically affects the joints.  The disorder may affect virtually any organ system in the body, including muscles, skin, kidneys, nervous system, lungs and heart.  It tends to be episodic, with alternating periods of flares and remission.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s own defenses attack its tissues, resulting in pain, swelling and inflammation.  It is also a rheumatic disease, which means it causes aches, pains and stiffness in the muscles, joints and bones.


Lupus means wolf.  The disease’s name is derived from the characteristic butterfly rash over the nose and cheeks that resembles the bite of a wolf.


The cause of Lupus is unknown.  However, viral infection or dysfunction of the immune system has been suggested.  Adverse reaction to certain drugs also may cause a lupus like syndrome.  Scientists are also looking at sunlight and stress as possible triggers.


To learn more about Lupus, please contact the Lupus Foundation of America at 202-349-1155.  You can also visit them online at www.lupus.org.


Phone code: 1742

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