What is lupus?
Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. This means that the body’s own natural defense (immune) system begins to work against healthy tissue rather than protecting the body from infections and precancerous cells. Lupus is a chronic disease that affects each person differently. However, one common sign of lupus is a hallmark butterfly-shaped rash that covers both cheeks and the bridge of the nose. The symptoms of this condition can vary dramatically from person to person because the inflammation caused by lupus has the capacity to affect many different bodily systems. These systems include:
- Internal organs (kidney, heart and lungs)
- Blood cells
Are there different kinds of lupus?
There are a few different kinds of lupus. When people talk about lupus, they’re generally referring to systemic lupus. However, it’s worth noting that there are a few distinct types of lupus that have been identified. These kinds are:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or simply systemic lupus.
- Cutaneous (Discoid) lupus is a type of lupus that limits itself to the skin.
- Drug-induced lupus involves lupus-like symptoms that are actually induced by prescription drugs.
- Neonatal lupus, which is an uncommon condition affecting the newborn children of women who have been diagnosed with lupus or Sjogren’s.