A row of four women with black t-shirts and different hairstyles

If you have lupus, you probably have many questions. Lupus isn’t a
simple disease with an easy answer. You can’t take a pill and make it go away.
The people you live with and work with may have trouble understanding that
you’re sick. Lupus doesn’t have a clear set of signs that people can see. You
may know that something’s wrong, even though it may take a while to be

Lupus has many shades. It can affect people of different races,
ethnicities, and ages, both men and women. It can look like different diseases.
It’s different for every person who has it.

The good news is that you can get help and fight lupus. Learning
about it is the first step. Ask questions. Talk to your doctor, family, and
friends. People who look for answers are more likely to find them. This section
can help you get started.

  • What Is Lupus?
  • What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lupus?
  • What Is a Flare?
  • What Causes Lupus?
  • Who Gets Lupus?
  • What Will the Doctor Do?
  • Will I Get Medicine?
  • How Can I Cope With Lupus?
  • Hope Through Research
  • Where Can People Find More Information About Lupus?
  • Acknowledgments

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune (AW-toe-ih-MYOON) disease. Your body’s
immune system is like an army with hundreds of soldiers. The immune system’s job
is to fight foreign substances in the body, like germs and viruses. But in
autoimmune diseases, the immune system is out of control. It attacks healthy
tissues, not germs.

You can’t catch lupus from another person. It isn’t cancer, and it
isn’t related to AIDS.