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Re: What is Lupus?
Feb 7, 2002
Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease. For unknown reasons, the autoimmune system becomes overactive and begins to attack the body's own cells. This causes inflammation, resulting in rashes, pain, and sometimes organ damage. It can target any of the following: skin, joints, eyes, kidneys, lungs, heart, and brain.

The symptoms of lupus can vary, making diagnosis difficult, and time-consuming. The following lists the most common symptoms.

- painful joints
- unexplained fever
- prolonged or extreme fatigue
- seizures
- low blood counts (anemia)
- unusual hair loss
- photosensitivity
- ulcers in the mouth, or nose
- Raynaud's phenomenon (fingers turning white and/or blue in the cold)
- skin rashes, typically in the distinctive "butterfly" shape on the nose and cheeks

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