What is Lupus?

The name Lupus was given to this condition in the Middle Ages for its characteristic red rash on the face of the patient, which they thought looked like a wolf’s face. Also the degenerative lesions it causes brought to mind the bites of wolves. The first mention of the disease in the English language is from the 10th Century, in the biography of St. Martin. Curiously, for me as a Lupus sufferer, the way this disease acts can be likened to wolf attacks: you never know when they are coming or from where, and when the attack is on, it can be savage and deadly.

In the Mayo Clinic webpage: “Lupus is a chronic inflammatory 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.”