Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system that normally protects our bodies from viruses, bacteria and other foreign materials, instead, attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation of various parts of the body. Lupus is not cancer, it is not contagious, and it is not rare. It is more prevalent than AIDS, sickle cell anemia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined. Lupus is the least known major disease of our day.
If you have or think you may have lupus or if you simply wish to learn more about lupus, the Lupus Alliance of Upstate New York highly recommends this video series, produced by The Lupus Initiative, a national program of the American College of Rheumatology.
Different Types of Lupus:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is the diagnosis most people are referring to when they say “lupus”.
- Discoid lupus erythematosus presents as a chronic red, raised rash on the face, scalp or elsewhere on the body that may last for days or years and may recur.
- Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus produces skin lesions that appear on parts of the body exposed to sun.
- Drug-induced lupus is caused by medications. This type of lupus typically goes away when the drug is stopped.
- Neonatal lupus is rare. It can occur in newborn babies of women who have SLE, Sjögren’s Syndrome or no disease. At birth, babies have a skin rash, liver problems and low blood counts, all symptoms gradually go away over several months.