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Lupus: An Introduction

Fact Checked

man holding lupus signboard

Story at-a-glance -

  • Lupus is described by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) as a “chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints and/or organs inside the body)”
  • It can be a serious and potentially life-threatening disease if not treated right away

Lupus  is described as a "chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease" due to an anomaly in your immune system, creating various symptoms depending on what organ is affected.1

Your autoimmune system protects you from viruses, bacteria and other foreign matter that are deemed harmful. However, lupus triggers your autoimmune system to attack healthy tissue instead. Experts are not sure how lupus forms, but they believe that a combination of external and internal factors are responsible.

How Many Americans Are Affected With Lupus?

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 1.5 million U.S. citizens are affected with lupus today.2 Statistics show that 16,000 cases of lupus are reported annually, but the number can be higher than that. A majority of those affected with lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 44.3,4 Some notable celebrities with lupus include:

Seal — The Grammy Award-winning singer has suffered from discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) since the age of 23, causing his facial scars.5

Selena Gomez — The singer-actress was forced to take a break from performing in late 2013 to 2014 after she was diagnosed with the disease.6

Shannon Boxx — A former athlete who played for the women's soccer U.S. National Team, Boxx was diagnosed with lupus in 2007, and now works with the LFA to raise awareness of the disease.7

Nick Cannon — After being diagnosed in 2012, the actor-entertainer became inspired to generate awareness by serving as grand marshall for the LFA's event Walk to End Lupus Now.8

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Each case of lupus is unique, as you never know which part of your body will be attacked. Symptoms of lupus  can be difficult to detect because they may overlap with symptoms of other diseases, such as myositis.9 But the Mayo Clinic notes that most forms of lupus produce are rashes.10 To be diagnosed with lupus, you need to go through several laboratory tests , such as a blood count, a kidney and liver assessment, and an antinuclear antibody test.11

Learn All About Lupus

Lupus can be a serious and potentially life-threatening disease if not treated right away. In this guide, you'll find an in-depth look into lupus, along with its types , treatment  methods and the recommended diet for people diagnosed with this disease. Take your time reading so that you can take immediate action if you or a loved one is diagnosed  with this condition.

MORE ABOUT LUPUS

Lupus: Introduction

What Is Lupus?

Lupus Types

Lupus Symptoms

Lupus Causes

Lupus Treatment

Lupus Remedies

Lupus Prevention

Lupus Diet

Is Lupus Hereditary?

Lupus Diagnosis

Living with Lupus

Lupus FAQ

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What is Lupus?