Lupus, an autoimmune disease, happens when the immune system attacks its tissues, causing inflammation, swelling, pain, and damage. Lupus symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, fever, and a lupus rash. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The first symptoms of lupus usually occur somewhere between the teen years and the 30s and may be mild, severe, sporadic, or continual. Common general symptoms include fatigue, fever, and hair loss.
In some people, lupus will flare, become inactive (quiescent), and go into remission—this course of the disease may or may not occur regularly throughout their life. In other people, lupus will remain in a chronic (long-lasting) state of activity. Some people will have frequent flares of illness.
Lupus isn’t contagious. You can’t catch it from another person — even through very close contact or sex. Experts think this autoimmune disease starts due to a combination of genes and the environment.