Systemic lupus erythematosus, referred to as SLE or lupus, is a chronic (long-term) disease that most commonly causes rashes, arthritis, inflammation, swelling, and fatigue. It is sometimes called the “great imitator,” because people often confuse lupus with other health problems due to its wide range of symptoms.Lupus can affect many parts of the body including the kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain. It can vary from mild to severe and usually alternates between periods of activity, reduced activity, and even remission.
While an early diagnosis improves quality of life and patient outcomes, receiving a lupus diagnosis can be a difficult and timely process. Therefore, it is important to know the signs, establish good communication with healthcare professionals, and develop a self-care plan upon receiving a lupus diagnosis. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the disease is now more manageable than in years past, allowing people affected by lupus people to live full, productive lives.