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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:
Less common symptoms include:
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.
Content last updated: May 18, 2010.