Lupus is fatigue. Lupus is pain. Lupus is a host of symptoms. But, when you dive deeper, what is lupus?
Prefer to listen? Click here to hear information from the NIH
Lupus is… Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
- Though there are other types, SLE is typically referred to as simply: lupus
Lupus is… an autoimmune disease
- A properly functioning immune system identifies foreign substances and creates antibodies to fight off viruses, bacteria, and germs (like the flu).
- With lupus, the immune system can’t distinguish between foreign invaders and the body’s healthy tissues — so the immune system creates autoantibodies. These autoantibodies attack the body’s healthy cells and tissues, breaking them down and causing inflammation
Lupus is… a chronic condition
- The symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks.
- The condition is not preventable with vaccines or curable with medications or treatments
Lupus is… cyclical
- During flares, symptoms are more severe
- During remission, symptoms improve and may seem to disappear
Lupus is… non-communicable
- It is not contagious; you can’t “catch” lupus from someone