Lupus is not caused by a single gene or a combination of genes. Lupus does, however, run in families, and when one of two identical twins develops the condition, the other twin is more likely to follow suit. This means that something inside each person may be responsible for developing lupus; this "something" can only be described as a personality trait or traits.
The way in which lupus runs in families is called "autoimmune disease". People who have autoimmune diseases seem to have abnormal responses to their immune systems. Their bodies attack healthy tissue instead of harmful bacteria and viruses. The body's own tissues become damaged.
People with autoimmune diseases tend to have similar genetic markers. This means that if one family member has diabetes, another might develop rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. The study of these genetic markers has helped scientists learn a lot about how the body's immune system works. It is now known that there are several different types of genetic markers for many different forms of autoimmune disease.
In addition to having these genetic markers, people who develop multiple sclerosis, for example, also show a higher-than-expected rate of certain human leukocyte antigens (HLA). HLA markers are used in clinical trials to find treatments that are safe for most patients.
Furthermore, family members of a lupus patient, particularly children and siblings, are more likely to get lupus than someone who does not have an afflicted family member. This is due to the fact that we pass on our genes to our offspring and have genes that are comparable to those of our siblings. Therefore, if one sibling has lupus, there is a greater chance that the other will too.
Lupus is more common in women. If you are a female, you are about nine times more likely than not to develop lupus. Age also plays a role - it is most common between 15 and 44 years old. However, anyone can get this disease at any age.
In terms of race, studies show that African-Americans are 1.5 to 2 times more likely than whites to get lupus. However, there are fewer data available for Asians and Latinos so it is difficult to say with certainty if these groups are at increased risk as well.
Family history is important when it comes to developing lupus. If one parent has lupus, there is a greater chance that the other will too. This is because they share many of the same genetic markers. If one sibling has lupus, there is a greater chance that the other will too.
Lupus is most likely caused by a mix of your genetics and your environment. People who have a hereditary proclivity for lupus may get the illness if they come into touch with something in the environment that might induce lupus. In most cases, the etiology of lupus is unknown. However, certain factors may increase your chances of getting it.
The good news is that lupus doesn't just affect women; men can get it too. However, about 10 times more men will be diagnosed with systemic lupus than women because doctors only check male patients for the disease. Women with lupus are 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer from depression than people without the disease. Also, people with lupus are at increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
In terms of genetics, there are several genes that may put someone at risk for developing lupus. These include the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene, protein kinase C gene, and nuclear factor-kappa B gene. The HLA-DRB1 gene is particularly important because it helps control how your body responds to infections and injuries. People who have one copy of this gene or two copies of another gene called DRB1*0103 are more likely to develop lupus. However, not all people who carry these genes will get the disease.
Relatives of lupus patients have a 5–13 percent probability of acquiring the disease. However, if their mother has lupus, only approximately 5% of their offspring will have it. This indicates that there is some protection against the disease for people who have it themselves or whose relatives have it.
Women are about nine times more likely than men to get lupus. Black people and white people appear to be affected by the disease equally. Age is also a factor: adults tend to get it more often than children do.
People with certain other health conditions are at increased risk of getting lupus. These include but are not limited to: asthma, bronchitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, heart disease, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, and tuberculosis. The presence of these other diseases may mean that you are treated with medications that can cause lupus symptoms or make your disease worse.
Lupus is more common in women of child-bearing age. This is because during pregnancy hormones change the way the body reacts to infections and drugs. This can lead to problems for the fetus if the mother has lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune illness caused by your immune system attacking healthy tissue in your body. There are four main types of lupus: cutaneous, renal, neuropsychiatric, and pulmonary.
Many people with lupus do not know they have it because there are no single clear-cut symptoms of lupus. Instead, you may have periods of time when you are feeling fine or having problems, followed by times when you are too ill to work or school. These periods often come and go without any warning signs.
The best way to find out if you have lupus is through tests performed by doctors who specialize in immunology and internal medicine. They will be able to make a diagnosis based on how you respond to questions during the exam as well as any results from laboratory studies done so far.
Currently, there is no cure for lupus but many different medications can control it effectively. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and discomfort, prevent damage to major organs, and keep patients as active as possible while still adhering to their medication regimen.
Infections and infection-related problems are more common in people with lupus. This is because both the sickness and the drugs used to treat it impair their immune systems. Infections of the respiratory tract, skin, and urinary system are the most prevalent in patients with lupus. The risk of developing cancer is not higher but can be lower too. Cancer has been reported in people with lupus, but rarely.
Lupus lowers the body's ability to fight off infections and causes harm to its major organs, especially the heart, lungs, and kidneys. The disease can be fatal if it does not get treated or detected early.
People with lupus have a greater risk of developing cancers such as: breast cancer, lung cancer, blood cancers (such as leukemia), gastrointestinal cancers (such as colon cancer), genitourinary cancers (such as kidney cancer), nervous system cancers (such as brain tumor), oral cavity cancers (such as mouth cancer). There is some evidence that individuals with lupus may also have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.
Women with lupus are two to three times more likely than other women their age to develop breast cancer. This risk increases if they have symptoms of breast cancer when they first begin treatment for lupus or if they have a family history of breast cancer.