Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system, the body’s defence system, produces antibodies which attack your body’s own tissues, causing inflammation.
There are two main types of lupus:
- Discoid lupus which just affects the skin.
- Systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects skin and joints and can involve internal organs.
Lupus occurs when your immune system attacks your body’s own tissues and can cause inflammation in different parts of your body, although most people will only have a few of the possible symptoms. Symptoms can include: Joint pain, skin rash, extreme tiredness (fatigue), fever, weight loss, headaches, mouth ulcers, hair loss, swelling of lymph glands, fingers or toes changing colour in cold conditions.
If you have symptoms suggestive of lupus, these should be investigated promptly to minimise the risk of irreversible organ damage and associated diseases – the risk of heart disease in patients with lupus is 50 times that of the general population.
If you suspect you may have lupus, contact the Rheumatology Team at Baddow Hospital and make an appointment with one of our Private GPs.