Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to fight itself. Symptoms can start suddenly or happen over time. Those with lupus have inflammation that affects their skin, joints, brain, kidneys, blood cells, and other parts of the body. It affects 20 to 150 per 100,000 people in the United States according to UpToDate.
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One of the hallmark signs of lupus is a butterfly shaped rash on the face. The rash covers both cheeks and nose, however, you don’t have to have had the rash to have lupus. The causes and triggers of lupus are different for each person. Some people have a strong family history, while others will be the first person in their family to be diagnosed. Check out our list of causes and triggers to help you identify if you are at risk or to learn what’s causing your lupus flares.
Researchers don’t know exactly what causes lupus. They believe it’s a combination of factors, one of which is genetics. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, “no single gene or group of genes has been proven to cause lupus. Lupus does, however, appear in certain families, and when one of two identical twins has lupus, there is an increased chance that the other twin will also develop the disease.”
If someone in your family has lupus talk to your doctor about the specific signs and symptoms that you should watch for. Avoid the triggers of lupus and take good care of your health. Genetics isn’t a modifiable risk factor, but you can do your best to stay healthy and avoid triggers.