What is Lupus?

lupus definition

While on the surface, this may seem a simple question to answer, the very nature of lupus makes it, in fact, a very complicated one. There are some facts the medical and scientific communities can offer for certain about lupus and we hope this blog gives you the accurate information you need to understand this very complex and debilitating disease,  as well as providing the tools to help share and spread awareness.

Definition of Lupus

Lupus  (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) is a widespread and chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that, for unknown reasons, causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissue and organs. Currently, there is no cure for lupus.

Systems Affected By LupusLupus causes a wide variety of devastating symptoms. For more information on this topic, please read our blog Lupus Symptoms and Signs. Lupus can affect nearly every organ and system (see graphic on left) in the body with no predictability, causing widespread infections and inflammation.

A healthy immune system protects the body against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign materials. With an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissue. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against “self” and begins attacking healthy tissue.

There are four types of lupus. They include:

Here are some quick lupus facts:

Lupus Information

Do we know what causes lupus?

First of all, it is important to know that lupus is not contagious. Secondly, it is a fact that even medical professionals and researchers cannot say for certain what causes lupus. Most of those in medical and research professions will agree that several factors might determine an individual’s likelihood to develop lupus.

In Conclusion

Because lupus can affect nearly every part of one’s anatomy, it is a difficult disease to diagnose, predict the progress of, and treat. Whether you or someone you care about have recently been diagnosed with lupus or have been living with lupus for many years, learning to understand and cope with such a potentially debilitating disease is not an easy task.

The ways in which this disease can physically and emotionally affect a person varies widely from patient to patient.

But one element that is consistent when coping with a chronic illness like lupus, is the undeniable toll that it takes on the mind and body. With the right tools, support and education, a person can ultimately lead a positive and productive life with lupus. Lupus continues to remain a mystery to doctors, researchers and the general public. With continued research and education, one day we will understand better what causes this autoimmune disease to occur and hopefully find a cure.

Although there is currently no cure for lupus, today’s modern medications and treatments can be very effective in helping people with lupus live longer, healthier lives. The prognosis (or the prediction of the outcome of the disease) does depend a lot on the severity of each individual’s lupus symptoms.  Those with milder disease activity, do tend to do extremely well and have a normal life expectancy, while those with severe internal organ involvement, such as lupus nephritis, can still potentially die from the disease, especially if they do not receive timely and appropriate treatment.

Please help spread awareness by sharing this blog on your social media platforms. We would also love to hear your comments and suggestions for better ways to serve you, our lupus community. Together we can make a difference.

You have just read this blog, What is Lupus?, you may now be interested in reading the following blogs as well:

Diagnosing Lupus and Lupus Tests

Lupus Medications

Lupus Disease: Life Expectancy

*All resources provided by Molly’s Fund are for informational purposes only and should be used as a guide or for supplemental information, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. The personal views do not necessarily encompass the views of the organization, but the information has been vetted as a relevant resource. We encourage you to be your strongest advocate and always contact your medical provider with any specific questions or concerns.

Hey, like this post? Why not share it with a buddy?

Article by : Karrie Sundbom

Karrie is the Digital Marketing Manager at Molly's Fund and responsible for innovating content for all of Molly's Funds online communications, creating memes and graphics, writing the MFFL Newsletter and main lupus blogs, as well as developing and managing the content for all of our social media platforms. Connect with Karrie on LinkedIn and Google+ .
comments powered by Disqus