What is Lupus and Who Gets It?

Dr. Stephen Katz joins Dr. Rodgers to tell listeners about lupus and the signs of lupus.

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DR. RODGERS: Today we are going to talk about Lupus, an autoimmune disease.

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, one of the directors at the NIH.

Lupus can affect people differently and can affect many parts of the body.

My colleague, Dr. Stephen Katz, director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases at NIH, explains:

DR. KATZ: Lupus is a disease that can occur when something goes wrong with your immune system. The immune system’s job is to fight germs and viruses. But when it’s out of control, it attacks healthy tissues and may result in lupus.

Lupus is more common in women than men, and can be hard to diagnose. Signs of lupus can vary from person to person and can include:

  • A red rash on the face – often in the shape of a butterfly
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Unexplained fever, or
  • Feeling tired all the time

If you have signs, talk to your doctor.

DR. RODGERS: For more information, follow us on Twitter @NIDDKgov.

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