Home   >   Autoimmune Diseases   >   Lupus

Lupus or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease. This autoimmune disease attacks the healthy systems in the body. The body fails to distinguish between healthy systems and disease, leading it to fight itself. It can affect any body system.


The causes for Lupus are unknown. However, there seem to be some predisposition factors that are common amongst those who are diagnosed with SLE.

  • Female (15x more likely than males)

  • Environmental factors (stress, penicillin based antibiotics, hormones, UV light, and chronic infections)

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Heritage – more common in Native American, African, and Asians yet the reason is still unclear.

  • Hormones (estrogen)

  • Signs and Symptoms

    As mentioned before, Lupus can attack any body system. These are a list of most common symptoms. There are several types of Lupus; your doctor will run several blood tests and possibly a biopsy to determine which type of the disease you have. It is important to note that this list in not all- inclusive, you may have only four symptoms when the disease is not flaring.

  • Butterfly rash occurs across the bridge of the nose splaying out across both cheeks.

  • Aching swollen joints

  • Skin rashes

  • Anemia

  • Arthritis

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Hair thinning and loss

  • Low grade fever

  • Pleurisy type pain (pain in chest upon deep breath)

  • Light sensitivity

  • Seizures or convulsions

  • Chronic mouth sores, or peeling of the roof of mouth

  • Altered muscle control or weakness

  • Anxiety and stress related depression

  • Treatment

    Your doctor will decide what treatment is best for you. They may refer you to an immunologist or rheumatologist to treat your condition. The disease symptoms are treated regularly by your physician, but Lupus is not a curable disease.

  • Avoidance of light or sun by using sunscreen and wearing a hat while outdoors will decrease the possibility of skin rashes.

  • Counseling and support groups for those with high stress, depression and difficulty dealing with chronic fatigue.

  • Diet and regular exercise to maintain good muscle control.

  • NSAIDS, anti-inflammatory medication

  • Lifestyle changes, stop smoking, no alcohol

  • Promote healthy lifestyle, keep scheduled doctor visits

  • Pain medication such as Tylenol

  • Steroid medication (which is used sparingly due to the adverse effects of blood work)

  • Antimalarial drugs

  • Blood thinner medication

  • Immunological medication

  • Flare-Ups

    A flare up of Lupus can happen for many reasons. When a person’s immune system is compromised, they are susceptible to many communicable diseases, which may seem harmless to a healthy person. Common colds, flu, and children’s illnesses such as EBV (Epstein Barr Virus-mono) can become life threatening to a person with Lupus.

    Other factors that may cause a flare up are an increase in stress internal or environmental can cause a flare up of the disease. Too much sun exposure, heat exhaustion, not keeping regular doctor visits to monitor the disease, and forgetting to take medication as directed.


    The prognosis is good for patients with Lupus. However, like most diseases if a patient does not follow the instructions of their physician it can become a fatal disease. If you are in good health without major organ damage, you can expect to live a normal life. Emotional health is as important as physical health, maintaining a positive upbeat attitude about your disease will far better enhance your life than focusing on doom and gloom.

    Newsletter Sign Up