Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. How in the HEALTH does that happen?
The immune system fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. Normally our immune systems produce proteins called “antibodies” which protect the body from these invaders. In Lupus, the immune system is compromised, creating what is known as an autoimmunity.
“Autoimmunity” means your immune system cannot distinguish the difference between foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues. As a result, it creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.
These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Complications can be fatal. There is still much mystery surrounding Lupus, which makes it difficult to treat the disease.
Who is at risk?
Women of childbearing age are most likely to develop lupus. In fact, lupus occurs 10 times more often in women than in men.
Women of color are also more likely to develop lupus.
What causes Lupus?
Lupus is not contagious. The causes of lupus are not fully understood; scientists believe there are several factors that may cause a person to develop lupus. These include:
Genetics.Several genes have been identified as possibly causing lupus. It has also been established that if there is a family history of lupus, this may predispose a person to developing the disease.
Environment.Scientists are looking at the link between lupus and certain environmental factors, such as UV exposure, stress, viruses, and toxins.
Hormones.Because lupus affects a greater number of women than men, it is thought that hormones, particularly estrogen, might play a role in triggering the disease.