Lupus is also called Systemic Lupus erythromatosis (SLE). It is inflammatory disease. It causes the immune system to attack various systems of the body including the skin, heart, lungs, joints, nervous system, blood vessels and kidneys. It’s called systemic because it can affect the whole body.
Lupus prevents antibodies from working properly. With lupus, the antibodies aren’t able to tell the difference between harmful foreign substances and the body’s own healthy cells and tissue. As a result, the immune system attacks its own body parts, causing varying degrees of inflammation and organ damage, including kidneys.
To date, the cause of lupus is unknown; however it has been linked to heredity and environmental factors.
Who are people at risk of developing lupus?
Lupus targets around 90 percent of women in their childbearing years. It also occurs more often in minorities, particularly African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans.
Lupus affects different organs in the body. That is why no two lupus patients will have identical symptoms. Common symptoms are:
Lupus nephritis is a term for kidney disease that occurs in lupus patients. With this disease, the tiny filters in the kidneys are damaged resulting in a loss of kidney function. This may lead to fluid accumulation (retention) and swelling of the body, called edema. Other signs of lupus nephritis include:
Lupus is treated with drugs that block your body's immune system. Patients are different and your doctor will make a treatment plan that is right for you. Usually treatment for lupus nephritis includes:
Learn more about Lupus Nephritis >
Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.