What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In a normal, healthy immune system the body recognises and destroys foreign objects like bacteria and viruses. With autoimmune diseases, however, the immune system starts to attack objects that are not foreign. Hence the term “auto” (self) “immune.”
With lupus, the immune system produces an excess of proteins called antibodies that attach themselves to various structures in the body. The accumulation of these antibodies in the tissues can cause inflammation, damage and pain.
What causes lupus
Despite many years of research, the cause of lupus is still not known. Scientists believe there are several things that may trigger the formation of the antibodies, including genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. Some of the possible triggers include:
- Hormones (females between the age of 15 and 45 are most commonly affected)
- Certain medications
- Dietary factors
- Viruses and bacteria
- Exposure to UV light