Lupus: Chronic, Autoimmune Disease

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What is Lupus? It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus. More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. When someone has lupus something goes wrong with their immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. Normally our immune system would produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. When someone has an autoimmune disease it means their immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and their body’s healthy tissues. This creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies …show more content…

Lupus is generally more common in women than in men. More than 90 percent of people that are diagnosed with lupus are women. Although lupus does affect people of all ages, it is more often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40. As for race, lupus is more common in African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Family history is a small risk factor. Relatives of people with lupus have an approximately 5-13 percent chance of developing lupus as well. However, only about 5 percent of children will develop lupus if their mother has …show more content…

It practically effects every organ in your body. Lupus raises your chances of heart disease and stroke. This is because of the long-term inflammation that comes with lupus. Lupus medications have steroids in it and that increases your risk as well. Lupus also inflames the outside lining of your lungs. Sometimes, the lungs can develop scarring from the inflammation and cause shortness of breath. A patient with lupus may also become sensitive to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight, which can cause many skin changes. The most common skin problem they might develop is a butterfly-shaped rash on your nose and cheeks. Red, scaly bumps or patches can develop on their body. Also, coin-like patches called discoid lesions can appear on their body or scalp. Other important skin symptoms is mouth and nose sores, hair loss, and white or blue fingers and toes in response to the cold. Lupus also affects the kidneys, brain and central nervous system, and the joints and the

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