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Lupus (Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) is an autoimmune disease that can affect a variety of the body systems. Basicaly the body is allergic to itself. It attacks its own proteins particularly those of the nucleus. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressants seem to keep people with Lupus alive but there is no cure.

This biscuit has lupus. You can't tell.

People can present with anything ending with -itis whether its rheumatoid arthritis, endocarditis or hepatitis.

A decent way to diagnose someone is if they have four or more of the following:

  • Serositis (Pleuritis or pericarditis)
  • Oral ulcers
  • Arthritis: nonerosive arthritis of two or more peripheral joints, with tenderness, swelling, or effusion
  • Photosensitivity
  • Blood—hematologic disorder
  • Renal disorder
  • Antinuclear antibody test positive
  • Immunologic disorder
  • Neurologic disorder: Seizures or psychosis
  • Malar rash (rash on cheeks)
  • Discoid lupus (red, scaly patches on skin that cause scarring)

A useful(ish) mnemonic is: SOAP BRAIN MD