Doctors don’t know exactly what causes lupus. They think genetics, hormones, and your environment may be involved. Your body’s immune system protects you from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders that can make you sick. But if you have lupus causes, your immune system also mistakenly attacks and damages your body’s own tissues, too. Diseases that do this are called autoimmune diseases.
You could be born with a gene that makes you more likely to get lupus. Then you might be exposed to something in your environment, and that triggers the disease. But even if both of these things come together, that still doesn’t mean you’ll get lupus things. That’s why it’s so hard for doctors to figure out what lupus causes it. What researchers do know is there are certain things that make you more likely to get it, including your heredity, gender, race, and even previous illnesses.
Most researchers believe that just having genes that make you more likely to get lupus causes isn’t enough. You also have to come in contact with something in the environment, such as a virus, to get the disease.
These triggers may include:
Sunlight. Ultraviolet, or UV, light from the sun damages your cells. That’s why you get a sunburn. But in some people, the immune system attacks the sunburned or damaged, cells. And UV light not only seems to trigger lupus causes, but it also appears to make symptoms worse. When people with lupus are exposed to UV rays, they tend to get joint pain and feel fatigued.
Infections. Usually, when you get sick, your immune system fights off the virus and then stops. But in people with lupus causes, the immune system keeps attacking. Doctors don’t know why.
Viruses that have been linked to lupus causes include:
- Epstein-Barr virus, which causes mononucleosis
- Herpes zoster virus, which causes shingles
Medications. Certain medicines can make your immune system overreact and lupus cause what’s called DIL. It usually doesn’t last long. Nearly 50 different medicines have been linked to lupus, including medicines to treat heart disease, thyroid disease, infections, and high blood pressure.
- It’s not contagious, relax. You can’t ‘catch’ lupus-like a virus. So yes, you can still hug me. And you can still share my water bottle you might catch my cold but you won’t catch my lupus causes. No one is quite sure how you get lupus, but scientists think it’s a combination of hormones, genetics, and environmental lupus causes.
- I might be on the same medications as people with cancer or malaria…but I don’t have cancer or malaria. Yeah, it’s confusing. But some of the medicines that work well for other illnesses help with lupus causes too. Some medications used in chemotherapy for cancer patients also help control the immune system in people with lupus. Medications used to treat malaria can also treat skin rashes, joint pain, and sun sensitivity from lupus.
- Yes, it affects my immune system. But it’s not like HIV/AIDS. Actually, it’s kind of the opposite. People with HIV/AIDS have low immune activity so they’re unable to fight off infections, but people with lupus causes have a highly active immune system that attacks the body. And while HIV/AIDS is sexually transmitted, lupus isn’t.
- It’s more common than you think. You might think lupus things is a super rare disease, but about 1.5 million people in the US have it. Selena Gomez has lupus. So does Nick Cannon. The seal has it too. It’s tricky to diagnose so there may be a lot more people with lupus who haven’t been diagnosed yet.
- Guys can get it too. Lupus causes is definitely most common in young and middle-aged women (90% of people diagnosed with the disease are women ages 15-44), but anyone of any age can have lupus things guys included.
- No, I’m not lazy. You’ll probably notice me napping more than the average person. It’s not that I just really like to snooze I need to. Chronic fatigue is a big part of lupus. If I don’t sit down or take a nap when I get tired, I could have a flare and start feeling really sick. It’s important for me to recharge so I have the energy to do more later.
- I’m glad to hear I look fine, but that doesn’t mean I feel fine. It’s flattering that you don’t think I “look sick”…to a point. But trust me, when I say I don’t feel well, I mean it. Sometimes it may be more obvious that my lupus causes is acting up, like if I have a rash on my skin. But even if I look like myself, I might be experiencing joint pain, fatigue, or other problems you can’t see. Lupus is invisible that way, but it’s very real.
- I’m not avoiding you, seriously. I’m sorry I missed your party last week. But I promise I’m not being flakey. When I say it’s because I’m not feeling well, that really is the reason.
- I really, really need to stay out of the sun. In fact, I need to wear sunscreen all the time. Even when it’s not sunny. And even when I’m not outside. I know it sounds like I’m overreacting, but my lupus causes make me sensitive to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight and even indoor lighting. It can give me a rash and make me feel fatigued. So I’ll stick with my floppy sunhat and SPF 100, thank you very much.
- “No cure” doesn’t mean I can’t still live a normal life. Lupus causes sucks. It’s a serious disease, and it can be deadly. But luckily there are a lot of medications to treat its symptoms and prevent flares. I need to work with my doctors to keep my health under control and listen to my body when I don’t feel well. But I can still concentrate on my goals and have fun like everyone else. Lupus is just one part of my life.