What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes damaging inflammation in the body. The disease is thought to be caused by genetics, hormones, and various environmental factors and is mostly found in females between the ages 15 and 44, but can also be found in males, children, and older adults. African American, Hispanic, and Native American women are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus and it is estimated that at least 1.5 million Americans are living with lupus.

Signs, symptoms, and risk factors (not all inclusive)

• Recent seizures or convulsions
• Previous stroke or heart attack
• Unexplained high fever lasting for more than a few days
• Protein in the urine
• Anemia, low white cell count, or low platelet count
• Sores in your mouth or nose lasting for more than 5 days
• Unexplained weight loss
• Abdominal pain or tenderness to touch in the stomach area
• Prolonged extreme fatigue and weakness for no apparent reason
• Sores on the skin that won’t heal
• Redness or rash across the nose and cheeks resembling a butterfly
• Sudden, unexplained hair loss

If you have had or are currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about lupus. Lupus can be hard to diagnose but early detection and proper medical treatment can make managing lupus easier.

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