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Lupus is a long-term disease that can cause inflammation, pain, and tissue damage in your body. It is an autoimmune disease. This means the immune system attacks its own tissues. Lupus may cause problems with your skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, nerves, or blood cells.
This information is about systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is the most common and most serious type of lupus. But there are other types of lupus, such as discoid or cutaneous lupus, drug-induced systemic lupus, and neonatal lupus.
When you have lupus symptoms, you are having flares or relapses. When your symptoms get better, you are in remission. Lupus may get worse very quickly. There is no way to tell when a flare will happen or how bad it will be. When you have a lupus flare, you may have new symptoms as well as symptoms you have had in the past.
Learn your body's signs of a flare, such as joint pain, a rash, a fever, or being more tired. When you see any of these signs, take steps to control your symptoms.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
After you call 911, the operator may tell you to chew 1 adult-strength or 2 to 4 low-dose aspirin. Wait for an ambulance. Do not try to drive yourself.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 1, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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