What Causes Lupus?

Despite the amount of research experts have conducted and several thousand new cases per year, there is still disagreement on the precise factors that cause lupus. However, many experts agree that the following are contributing factors to the condition:

  • Hormones are the messengers of the body, carrying various signals from one place to another. Because lupus prevents your body from distinguishing between "good" and "bad" tissues it is likely that hormonal problems contribute to an onset of lupus.


  • While genetic research into lupus is still somewhat nebulous, many experts have identified over fifty gene types they believe may contribute to lupus. They base this assertion on the fact that many of these genes are found in much greater numbers of people suffering from lupus than in those without. It is as yet unclear whether these genes are part of the cause of lupus, however.


  • If genetics plays a role in the onset of lupus, so too does your environment. Again, it has been difficult for medical researchers to pinpoint environmental factors that relate to lupus. However, many researchers believe UV light and exposure to certain viruses can at least trigger the condition.


Types of Lupus

Lupus comes in many forms, each with some distinguishing characteristics and features. 

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

When people refer to lupus, they are usually talking about this lupus. Also known as SLE, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is the most common form of the disease. It is systemic because it affects a variety of the body's systems simultaneously, and is characterized by chronic inflammation, often of the kidneys, skin, and joints. There is a high possibility that lupus will target the nervous system as well.

Cutaneous Lupus

Chronic cutaneous lupus Erythematous is a form of the disease that limits its effects to the surface of the skin. There are three sub-forms of skin lupus and each one has distinctive lesions and patterns. A person without SLE can get this type of lupus, though if they do, there is an increased risk of developing SLE later.

Lupus From Drugs

Some blood pressure and heart medications can cause lupus-like symptoms in patients that take them. However, these effects are usually temporary, given that the individual does not have full-blown SLE.

Neonatal Lupus

A particular form of lupus may affect the babies of women who possess anti-Ro, anti-RNP, or anti-La antibodies. Even women who do not have lupus themselves could have a child that develops neonatal lupus, should the mother have any of these antibodies. In almost all cases, this form of lupus only affects the baby's skin, and clears up naturally without treatment.

Is Lupus Contagious?

Because of the severity of the disease, many people are curious if lupus is contagious or not. In short, lupus is not contagious. There is no way to spread lupus to another person or get lupus from someone else through any form of contact.

Is Lupus Fatal?

Barring other factors, lupus on its own is not fatal. Most people who receive a diagnosis lupus can expect to live a normal lifespan. This is particularly true if they take steps to mitigate the effects the disease has on their bodies. Someone with lupus should follow simple guidelines to improve their overall prognosis.

  • Get enough rest.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages, as they can interact with some medications you might take for lupus.
  • Avoid smoking, as it can worsen circulatory problems.
  • Use proper protection when in the sun, as someone with lupus is more likely to get rashes or other skin flare-ups.
  • Since the body's immune system is affected, it is vital to take care of infections as soon as they occur.

Natural Herbal Remedies For Lupus

Besides some lifestyle changes and medical help, there are herbs and other natural remedies that can help reduce or control the effects of lupus. Drinking various herbal teas such as angelica root or boneset or taking their equivalent extracts may help. Angelica root relieves stomach pain, colds, and fevers, all of which persons with lupus are likely to experience. Similarly, boneset should bring down a fever and relieve those symptoms of lupus that present like the flu.

Is There a Cure For Lupus?

There is not a known cure for any of the types of lupus that affect people today. However, following recommendations for exercise, eating and sleeping well, and maintaining other healthy habits can improve the overall quality of life and happiness levels for those living with lupus.

Sources and Further Reading
Johns Hopkins.
The Mayo Clinic.


{{/products.length}} {{#products}} {{/products}} {{#products.length}}


{{/articles.length}} {{#articles}} {{/articles}} {{#products.length}}