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Learn more about lupus on http://www.CouldIHaveLupus.gov.
Lupus (LOO-puhss) is a disease in which the body attacks its own healthy tissues and organs. It can damage the joints, skin, kidneys, and other parts of the body. No one knows for sure what causes lupus. Many factors might play a role in getting lupus. We do know that minority women — including Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women — are at higher risk of lupus. Experts think that genes play a role in how lupus affects certain minority groups.
The signs of lupus differ from person to person. Some people have just a few signs, while others have more. Common symptoms include:
- Joint pain and stiffness, with or without swelling
- Muscle aches and pains
- Fever with no known cause
- Feeling very tired
- Skin rashes
- Anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh)
- Trouble thinking, memory problems, confusion
- Kidney problems with no known cause
- Chest pain when taking a deep breath
- Butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks
- Sun or light sensitivity
- Hair loss
Less common symptoms include:
- Blood clots
- Purple or pale fingers or toes from cold or stress
- Sores in the mouth or nose (usually painless)
- Severe headache
- Dizzy spells
- "Seeing things," not able to judge reality
- Feeling sad
Having lupus can cause serious health problems. So it's important to have lupus symptoms checked by a doctor. Lupus has no cure. But treatment can ease symptoms and prevent or reduce damage caused by lupus.
Read more from womenshealth.gov
Lupus Fact Sheet — This fact sheet provides information on lupus, a disease that affects your immune system. It explains who is at risk for lupus, the different types of lupus, its signs and symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated. It also provides information on how to cope with the pain and stress of having lupus and whom to contact for more information.
Explore other publications and websites
African-American Women and Lupus (Copyright © African American Community Health Advisory Committee) — This is a brief fact sheet for African-American women about lupus, including information about common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
Could I Have Lupus? — This interactive website provides information about lupus, including risk factors, symptoms, and treatment. It features diaries from women who have shared their stories on how they have dealt with the disease. You can also express your opinions or ask questions on the community forum.
Diagnosing Lupus (Copyright © Lupus Foundation of America) — Many symptoms of lupus are similar to those of other illnesses therefore, lupus can be a difficult disease to diagnose. This fact sheet explains which signs and symptoms to watch out for and how to talk to your doctor about lupus.
Easing Joint and Muscle Pain (Copyright © S.L.E. Lupus Foundation) — This brochure discusses muscle pain, joint pain, and stiffness associated with lupus. It includes information on how to treat the pain and tips to help prevent it. Links to resources that offer more information on current research are also provided.
Lupus — This collection of website links addresses lupus — what it is, who gets it, and how it affects the body. You can also find information on different types of lupus, read the latest news on lupus, and connect to different organizations to read more about it.
Lupus Guide — These patient information sheets are excerpts from Lupus: A Patient Guide for Nurses and Other Health Professionals. The patient information sheets in this chapter cover a range of topics about lupus and lupus medications and can help with this aspect of patient care. It includes a total of 20 patient information sheets.
Lupus/Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) (Copyright © Arthritis Foundation) — This online publication provides information on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other types of lupus. It includes symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and additional resources.
Lupus: Basics for Better Living (Copyright © Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.) — Although lupus has no cure, you can make lifestyle changes that help fight the disease and give you an improved sense of well-being. Learn more about how you can live better with lupus.
Lupus: Pregnancy and Family Planning (Copyright © S.L.E. Lupus Foundation) — Because complications can arise during pregnancy, women living with lupus need to plan early if they are thinking of having children. This publication provides questions and answers for women who have lupus and are considering pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Lupus (Copyright © Lupus Foundation of America) — This fact sheet answers many questions for women with lupus who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant. Topics include undergoing treatment while pregnant, health concerns with breastfeeding, and other lupus-related issues with pregnancy.
What is Lupus (Copyright © Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.) — Lupus is a chronic (long-lasting) autoimmune disease where the immune system, for unknown reasons, becomes hyperactive and attacks normal tissue. This attack results in inflammation and brings about symptoms. This brochure discusses cause, symptoms, diagnosis, testing and treatment of lupus.
Connect with other organizations
Alliance for Lupus Research
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
Lupus Family Registry and Repository, NIAMS, NIH
Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH, HHS
S.L.E. Lupus Foundation
Content last updated May 18, 2010.
Resources last updated May 18, 2010.
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