Is Lupus Still A Threat?

An older woman walking in a park( — Lupus erythmatosus is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the connective tissue of the body, in which inflammation occurs in various systems and organs including the skin, blood cells, joints, heart, lungs and kidneys.

In autoimmune diseases, the immune system loses its ability to recognize the body’s own tissues and cells as belonging to the body. Thus, the immune system, which normally protects the body from outside invaders like bacteria or viruses, begins to attack the body’s own tissues and organs as if they were foreign substances in need of destruction.

Although there are several forms of lupus, the most common form is known as Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus (SLE). SLE effects women nine times more often than men, and usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 50, and is more common in women of non-European heritage.

There is no known cure for lupus, although immune-suppressants and other drugs can be used to control its symptoms and decrease the frequency and severity of “flares”, wherein symptoms are periodically exacerbated. Individuals living with lupus can also periodically have symptom-free periods of remission.

Lupus may be caused by inherited genetic traits, but may also be caused by environmental factors. The use of certain medications can also cause drug-induced lupus.