Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune condition. There are lots of different types of autoimmune conditions, which all affect the body in different ways.
Your immune system usually helps to protect the body from infection and illness by making cells that are known as antibodies. The antibodies attack bacteria and viruses, which help prevent you from becoming ill.
An autoimmune condition causes your immune system to react abnormally. Instead of attacking foreign cells, such as bacteria, the antibodies start attacking your body’s own healthy cells and tissue. This is what causes the symptoms of SLE.
What causes autoimmune conditions?
The exact cause of autoimmune conditions such as SLE is unknown. It is thought that they may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental trigger factors.
However, even though your genetics may affect your chances of developing SLE, it does not necessarily mean that you will inherit the condition itself. For example, people with SLE often do not have parents or children with the condition.
Instead, the genetic information you receive from your parents may make you more predisposed to developing autoimmune conditions, such as SLE. If you have a predisposition to SLE and you come into contact with a trigger factor in your environment (see below), you may go on to develop the condition.
The possible trigger factors of SLE include:
- Prolonged use of some medicines.
- Exposure to sunlight.
- Hormonal changes.
LUPUS IS NEITHER CONTAGIOUS OR INFECTIOUS