Americans and 5 Million people worldwide are living with lupus.

1 in 3

lupus patients suffers from multiple autoimmune diseases.


of people with lupus have been incorrectly diagnosed, of those people over half have seen four or more healthcare providers before being accurately diagnosed.

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune conditions occur when the body’s immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders, like a bacteria or virus. The confused immune system springs into action, using antibodies to destroy the “invaders” in the tissues. [1]

The most common of these antibodies among people who have lupus is an antinuclear antibody (ANA). The ANA can enter your cells and attack their DNA, which results in damage, inflammation, and pain to the tissues and organs.

Who is affected?

Anyone can be diagnosed with lupus, but it is more common in women than men. The condition is generally diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 45. [1] Lupus is more common in Black, Latino, and Asian Americans, and people with lower socio-economic status. [2]

Researchers believe that lupus results from a combination of factors, but mostly your genetics and environment. Examples of environmental triggers include sunlight, infections, and medications. [1]

What happens in your body?

Not everybody has the same symptoms, and not all individuals with lupus have the same severity of the condition.

Common symptoms of lupus include [1]:

  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints and muscle
    • Common areas for muscle pain include the thighs, neck, shoulders, and upper arms.
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the face, across the nose and cheeks, or rashes elsewhere on the body
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches, confusion, and memory loss
  • Sun or light sensitivity that can cause skin lesions, such as rashes
  • Mouth sores

How do I know if I have lupus?

In its early stages, lupus symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other conditions. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible to make sure that the condition does not worsen. The best way to do this is by visiting your doctor and, if possible, getting a referral to visit a rheumatologist, a doctor with specialized training in treating lupus.

No one test can diagnose lupus, but some ways that your doctor can assess whether you have the condition is through learning about your symptoms, and conducting a physical examination and lab tests (such as imaging tests or biopsies).