What Is Lupus
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What is Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. Normally the human body's immune system produces antibodies that are designed to protect the body from viruses, bacteria, and germs. In an autoimmune disorder, those same antibodies are produced to attack and destroy healthy, functioning tissues.
Lupus occurs when the body's autoimmune system attacks its own tissues and organs, resulting in chronic inflammation. The effects can impact many differeing body systems, such as blood cells, internal organs like the heart, lungs, and brain, joints and even the skin.
These inflammatory symptoms (by the definition of 'chronic') last longer than six weeks, and for many Lupus suffers, years. Characteristically, there are periods of flares and remissions -- the symptoms worsen and pain increases; the symptoms improve and pain decreases.
Lupus cannot be transferred from human to human--it is not contagious. Nor is Lupus related to or similar to cancer. It is also similiar to AIDS, although they are both autoimmune disorders. In AIDS, the immune system is deficient, or underactive. Lupus is the opposite--it is overactive.
Research estimates that the number of Lupus sufferers in America is approximately 1.5 million, and that throughout the world, 5 million people have some form of Lupus.
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