Lupus: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes and more

When your body’s immune system attacks your tissues and organs, it develops the disease called Lupus (autoimmune disease). Your joints, skin, kidneys, brain, blood cells, heart, and lungs are just a few of the body systems that become inflamed.

It can be challenging to diagnose because of how frequently its signs and symptoms resemble other illnesses. In some cases, the most recognisable lupus symptom—a face rash that looks like butterfly wings expanding across both cheeks—occurs.

Lupus can be brought on by infections, certain medications, or even sunshine, but some people are predisposed to it from birth. Lupus has no known cure. However, medicines can help manage symptoms.


Lupus varies widely from one another. The appearance of signs and symptoms might be abrupt or gradual, moderate or severe, transient or permanent. Most people living with it have mild disease characterised by episodes, or flares, where symptoms worsen for a while, then improve or even go away entirely for a period.

Depending on which the illness impacts physiological systems, you may experience different lupus signs and symptoms. 

The most typical signs and symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  • A butterfly-shaped rash on the face that includes the cheeks and bridge of the nose, or rashes on the human body
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure
  • Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches, confusion and memory loss


Lupus is an autoimmune illness which develops when your immune system attacks your body’s healthy tissue. A mix of your genetics and environment likely led to the development of Lupus.

Individuals with a hereditary propensity for Lupus may develop the condition when they encounter an environmental trigger. In the majority of instances, the cause of Lupus is unknown. 

Here are a few possible triggers:

  • Sunlight: In those who are sensitive, exposure to the sun may cause internal reactions or skin lesions associated with Lupus.
  • Infections: Some people can develop Lupus or experience a relapse after contracting a disease.
  • Medications: Certain blood pressure drugs, anti-seizure medications, and antibiotics can cause Lupus. When a person with drug-induced Lupus stops taking medicine, they typically recover better. Symptoms may sporadically continue even after the treatment is stopped.

Risk factors

The following elements may raise your risk of developing Lupus:

  • Your sexual orientation. In women, Lupus is more prevalent.
  • Age. Even though Lupus can afflict persons of any age, it is typically discovered between the ages of 15 and 45.
  • Race. African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are more likely to develop Lupus.


Lupus-related inflammation can impact a variety of body parts, including:

  • Kidneys: Kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death for lupus patients and can result in substantial kidney damage.
  • Central Nerve System and Brain: You may encounter headaches, vertigo, behavioural changes, vision issues, strokes, or seizures if Lupus impacts your brain. Many lupus patients have memory issues and may struggle to verbalise their thoughts.
  • Vascular Blood and Blood: Anemia (low levels of healthy red blood cells) and an elevated risk of bleeding or blood clotting are two blood issues that Lupus may cause. Blood vessel irritation may also result from it.
  • Lungs: Having Lupus raises your risk of developing a chest cavity lining irritation, which can make breathing difficult. Also possible are pneumonia and bleeding into the lungs.
  • Heart: Your heart muscle, arteries, or heart membrane may become inflamed due to Lupus. Additionally, there is a significant rise in the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular illness.