The answer to this question is not simple. I could give you the “proper” medical definition, and I will. But first, I would like to share my own definition of this foul disease….
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an insidious and unrelenting beast that attacks every single part of your body without any warning. It will attack your skin, organs, joints, sleep, muscles, brain, and even your psyche. It causes extreme fatigue, chronic pain, memory loss, medication side effects, skin lesions on the outer skin and even in the mouth, and many more symptoms.
Lupus fights every single day to make your life miserable. Lupus isolates you, badgers you, hurts you, and never ever lets up. It takes every ounce of strength you have to fight this wretched beast.
You literally have to force yourself to function and try to live a life, because lupus does not give a shit. Lupus does not care about your plans, it will attack. Lupus does not care if you’re a mom, it will attack. Lupus does not care. At all. All lupus wants to do is destroy you from the inside out. That’s what I KNOW lupus is. I know this because I battle the asshole every single day of my life.
What is Lupus?
Even though my definition is quite accurate, it is important to include the medical one and a few fact about what lupus is and what lupus is not.
Simplified Medical Definition of Lupus:
This is a great way to share what it means with others.
Lupus is a lifelong (chronic) autoimmune disease, that causes the body’s immune system to attack itself, rather than protect itself. In a normal body, the immune system protects itself against, viruses, bacteria, etc. However, in a body where lupus lives, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between good and bad. Resulting in the body creating antibodies directed against itself.
Think about your body basically being allergic to itself.
Medical definition of lupus:
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because its signs and symptoms often mimic those of other ailments. The most distinctive sign of lupus — a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks — occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.
Some people are born with a tendency toward developing lupus, which may be triggered by infections, certain drugs or even sunlight. While there’s no cure for lupus, treatments can help control symptoms.”
What is Lupus?
Below are a few other things worth mentioning about lupus.
Lupus is not contagious. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone, and you cannot give it to them either.
Lupus is not like or related to HIV or AIDS. HIV and AIDS have immune systems that are underactive. Lupus has an immune system that is overactive.
Lupus is not cancer. However, some treatments for lupus include immunosuppressant drugs that are also used in chemotherapy.
Lupus is dangerous, and can be lie threatening. It is important to be under a doctor’s care. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
No two lupus conditions are the same. My lupus is different from yours. This is why it is so hard to treat, and incurable. Every person with lupus has different symptoms, types, and reactions.
I hope this helps you understand lupus better! Click here to read my story.