What is Lupus? Symptoms Cause Diagnosis Treatment

When your immune system attacks your cells and organs, you have lupus. Several physiological components, including bones, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brains, hearts, and lungs, might experience swelling due to lupus.

Lupus is difficult to diagnose since its symptoms usually match those of other disorders. The most recognizable sign of lupus, which is present in most cases but not all, is a facial rash resembling butterfly wings extending over both cheeks.

Numerous people are genetically prone to developing lupus, which can be brought on by diseases, certain medications, or even sunlight. Lupus does not have a cure, although drugs can help control symptoms.

Types of Lupus

Lupus is classified into numerous categories. The most significant prevalent is regional lupus erythematosus. Other kinds of lupus are −

  • Lupus erythematosus of the skin − This kind of lupus damages the flesh – the word cutaneous refers to the skin. People with the skin disease erythematosus could have skin problems such as sunlight allergy and infections. Baldness is another sign of this illness.

  • Drug-induced lupus − This kind of lupus is brought on by particular drugs. Drug-induced lupus can cause similar signs to regional lupus erythematosus; however, it is typically very transitory. Such kind of lupus usually fades completely after the causative medicine is stopped.

  • Neonatal lupus is an uncommon kind of lupus that affects newborns shortly after birth. Kids born with neonatal lupus possess antibodies handed down through their mothers, who probably experienced lupus during pregnancy or may develop the disorder in their lifetime. Not that all children delivered to a lupus parent will develop the condition.


Lupus-related swelling can damage numerous parts of the body, particularly your −

  • Kidneys − Renal loss is often one of the leading causes of death in lupus patients, as the disease can significantly impact the kidneys.

  • The core nervous systems and the brain − Headaches, confusion, behavioral modifications, vision problems, and even seizures or brain assaults can all be brought on by lupus. Most persons with lupus suffer from memory issues and might struggle to articulate themselves.

  • Blood and its vessels − Lupus can cause abnormalities such as anemia and a higher likelihood of bleeding or clot. It could also induce blood vessel irritation.

  • Lungs − Lupus raises your risk of possessing a swelling of the wall of the chest that may cause difficulty in breathing. Blood loss into the lungs and pneumonia are other possibilities.

  • Heart − Lupus can induce heart tissue, arteries, and membrane swelling. The incidence of cardiovascular illness and cardiac arrest also rises significantly.

Causes of Lupus

Physicians are still determining what triggers lupus. However, they believe something - or a mixture of factors - causes your immunity system to assault your body. As a result, most therapies try to suppress your immunity. The causes of this defective immune reaction are unknown; however, experts believe they involve −

Genes − There is no proof suggesting specific genes induce lupus, although several genes appear to increase your chance of developing the condition. Individuals of particular ethnicities, such as Hispanics, Native Americans, Africans, Asians, and Ocean Islanders, are more susceptible to developing lupus due to common DNA.

Still, it appears that genetics alone is insufficient to produce the illness. Even with similar twins, if one sibling develops lupus, the second twin is still around 30% more prone to share the disease than any other.

Hormones − Lupus affects women significantly more frequently than males. Furthermore, lupus signs worsen before menstrual cycles and throughout pregnancy when estrogen levels are more significant.

However, estrogen-containing drugs such as women's birth contraceptive tablets and hormone treatment treatments do not appear to increase the incidence of lupus. Researchers are attempting to determine whether or not there is a link between hormones and lupus and whether women seem particularly susceptible to the condition.

Environment − It might be challenging to determine which factors in your background contribute to lupus. However, several aspects raise serious concerns among experts. Following are some examples −

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Silica is a naturally occurring element in the earth's mantle that may be discovered in sand, rock, and cement.

  • Infections such as Epstein-Barr, herpes zoster, and cytomegalovirus 

  • UV radiation 

  • Anxiety

Medication − Prescribed drugs, including hydralazine and procainamide, have been linked to lupus. When you quit using the medicine, your problems should improve.

Additional potential dangers: Several factors that may increase your risk of developing lupus include −

Sex − Women account for 90% of those afflicted having the condition.

Age − Women aged 15 to 50 are the more commonly afflicted.

A family tree − Lupus can strike more than a single household person. However, approximately 11% of lupus patients had the nearest family with the condition.

Symptoms of Lupus

  • Muscular and joint discomfort − You may have pain, rigidity, and inflammation. Most lupus patients suffer from this. Muscle soreness and inflammation are most prevalent in the neck, hips, elbows, and forearms.

  • Fever − Most persons with lupus experience a temperature of more than 37 degrees Celsius. Fever is frequently induced by swelling or illness. Fever can be managed and prevented with lupus medication.

  • Extensive or intense weariness − If you receive adequate rest, you might seem sleepy or tired. Being tired may sometimes be an indicator of a lupus episode.

  • Anemia − Fatigue might indicate anemia, a disease in which your system lacks red blood cells to transport o2 around your system.

  • Memory issues − Some persons with lupus experience amnesia or bewilderment.

  • Clotting of the blood − You may be more prone to blood clots. This can result in thrombosis in the limbs or lungs, strokes, cardiac arrest, or miscarriages.

  • Diseases of the eyes − Dry eyes, ocular irritation, and eyelid rashes are all possibilities.


Lupus is hard to diagnose since indications and illnesses differ significantly from individual to person. Lupus characteristics can alter over time and coincide with numerous similar diseases.

Lupus cannot be diagnosed with a single test. The diagnostic is based on plasma and pee testing results, indications and complaints, and personal assessment results.

Blood and urine testing may include the following −

  • Exam for antinuclear antibodies − A successful result for the existence of such antibodies, which are generated by the immune response, suggests that your immunity is aroused. While most individuals with lupus get a good ANA test, most individuals with a positive ANA do not possess lupus. Your physician might recommend further antigen tests if you tested positive for ANA.

  • The frequency of erythrocyte sedimentation − This complete blood measures how quickly red blood cells drop down a vial in an hr. A higher rate than average may suggest a systemic condition like lupus. The deposition rate is not disease-specific. It could be increased if you suffer from lupus, an illness, another inflammatory disorder, or cancer.

  • Kidney and liver assessment − Blood testing can determine how effectively your kidneys and liver work. Several systems can be affected by lupus.

  • Test for autoantibodies − A successful result for the existence of such antigens, which are generated by immunity, suggests that your immune system is aroused. While most individuals with lupus get a high ANA test, most individuals who get a high ANA may develop lupus. Your physician might recommend further antibody tests if you tested negative for ANA.


Contact the medical practitioner when you have lupus signs. Lupus could be difficult to diagnose due to its wide variety of symptoms and how indications gradually accumulate over time. The first step toward treating the ailment and enhancing the standard of living is being identified.