Lupus Foundation of New Jersey
Thanks: “Uncle” Floyd Vivino (Radio Show Saturdays 2-5PM EST)
Source: Lupus.org of New Jersey
Lupus is a chronic disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or internal organs). In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off “foreign invaders” like the flu, viruses, bacteria, and germs.
Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Antibodies that cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues are autoimmune, and they create autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue.
These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Lupus is a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). It is not contagious (not even through sexual contact), and is not related to cancer, HIV, or AIDS.
Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers can develop lupus, and women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than Caucasians
Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.