Lupus is an immune system disorder that is classified as an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. Your immune system will then make antibodies directed against "self" called "auto-antibodies." These "auto-antibodies" react with the "self" foreign substances to form immune complexes. These complexes build up in tissues, causing inflammation and injury to tissues that can result in great pain. (National Institute of Health; Lahita).
Lupus isn"t a rare disease. About 16,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. However, the disease is rare for certain classifications of people. Ninety percent of lupus patients are women and are mostly African Americans, Latinos, Asians, and Native Americans. Patient are usually diagnosed with lupus in between the ages of 15 and 45. Lupus affects people of all ages, races, and both sexes .
despite what most statistics say (Purcell; Cassell; National Institute of Health; Shugarts).
There are three different types of lupus: discoid, systematic, and drug-induced. Discoid lupus is just limited to the skin. Sufferers usually only have a rash on their face, neck, and scalp. Since discoid lupus just affects the skin, none of the body's internal organs are involved. .
Ten percent of patients with discoid lupus eventually acquire what is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Systemic lupus erythematosus is the form of the disease that most people are referring to when they mention "lupus." The word "systemic" means that this disease can affect any organ or system of the body. Some people will only experience problems with their skin and joints, but others may have more serious problems. Joints, lungs, kidneys, blood, and other organs may be affected in others.
The third type of lupus is drug-induced lupus. This occurs after the use of certain drugs are prescribed.