What is Lupus?
A commonly asked medical question is "what is lupus"?, the answer to which is something along the lines of:
Lupus is the acute onset, chronic, relapsing and remitting, often febrile illness characterised principally by injury to the skin, joints, kidney and serosal membranes. The fundamental defect that Lupus causes is the failure of the mechanisms that maintain self-tolerance causing the body to product antibodies which recognise cytoplasmic, nuclear and cell surface antigens
Of course that is a medical answer to the question of what is Lupus and probably doesn't help the average person in the street much! Below if a more descriptive outline oh what lupus is
So.... What is Lupus?
Lupus is a disease where our immune system (that stuff that should keep us healthy), goes wrong. It can become over-active and actually start to attack the human body instead of defending it from bugs and other nastys. This is called an auto-immune disease.
A person with Lupus can have a wide range of symptoms and they can range from mild to severe. The symptoms of lupus may also come and go over time.
Some of the most common symptoms of lupus are:
- Swollen or painful joints (like arthritis)
- Extreme Fatigue
- Skin rash across the nose, ears and shoulders (anywhere exposed to direct sunlight)
- Unusual hair loss
- Swollen glands
- Swelling in legs or around the eyes
Lupus is fairly common with an estimated 1 in 2500 getting Lupus. However it is now clear yet why Lupus develops. It is more common in women than in men and more in African American women than in Caucasian women. Lupus can run is families but the risks involved in passing it on to your children appear to be very very low.
The most common form of Lupus is ‘systemic lupus erthematosus" which what people are generally referring to when they ask "what is lupus"?.
The causes of lupus are unknown
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"Hello, I appreciate all the great content on lupus you have here. It is difficult to answer the what is lupus? question and I think the information you have here is both relevant and useful. Thanks again!"
"People who have lupus must keep a check and monitor for swollen limp glands which can be lymphomas which can be cancers"