What is lupus?
Systemic lupus erythematosus (also called SLE or lupus) is an autoimmune condition. The normal role of your body’s immune system is to fight off infections and diseases to keep you healthy. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, your immune system starts attacking your own healthy tissues. For some people lupus may just affect the skin and/or joints. In other people the lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, brain or other parts of the body may also be affected.
What are the symptoms?
What causes it?
How is lupus diagnosed?
What will happen to me?
With close follow-up and the right treatment, most people with lupus can expect to live a full and active life. However it can cause serious and even life-threatening problems in some cases. Many people with lupus have ‘flares’, periods when their symptoms get worse. ‘Flares’ can happen with no obvious cause. There is no way of knowing their severity or how long they will last. They can occur more commonly during times of stress, or may be triggered by sun exposure, infections, and pregnancy. People with more severe forms of lupus can have serious problems with organs such as the kidneys, lungs and heart. If these organs are affected, you may need to see other specialists (for example, a kidney specialist if your kidneys are affected).
Is there a cure for lupus?
Currently there is no cure for lupus. However treatment for lupus has improved dramatically, with new medicines that are extremely helpful in controlling the condition. Be wary of any products or therapies that claim to cure lupus.