Patients who have lupus may complain of inflammation, swelling, pain and tissue damage. The condition may lead to more serious conditions later on, such as kidney, lung, heart and nervous system problems. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks its own tissue and its cause is not fully understood.
As the cause of lupus is not fully understood, scientists and doctors have not determined any way to prevent lupus. Many believe that some people are born with genes that affect how their immune system performs. They believe that this may leave some people more susceptible to lupus than others.
Smoking is thought to increase one's risk of developing lupus. Certain infections such as hepatitis C, cytomegalovirus and parvovirus may lead to lupus as well. The Epstein-Barr virus is thought to lead to lupus in children.
Ultraviolet light from the sun is thought to trigger lupus flare ups, as are certain medications. Talk to your doctor before taking medications to determine if they may trigger lupus flares. Exposure to certain chemicals such as trichloroethylene may also trigger lupus.
Patients are encouraged to speak with a physician for more information about lupus, reducing their risk of lupus and preventing lupus flares.