An autoimmune disease, Lupus is a condition in which the immune system becomes hyperactive, causing pain, inflammation and tissue damage. As a result, the immune system is unable to differentiate between healthy tissue and antigens and starts producing antibodies that attack the healthy body tissue and affect internal organs, skin and joints. Though the real cause of the disease is still not clear, many believe that a person's genetics may make them vulnerable to lupus. The condition affects more women than men and often flares up during pregnancy or menstruation cycle.
Symptoms and Causes
The most common symptoms include inflammation, fatigue, aching joints, damage to skin, kidneys, heart, and lungs, rashes and fever. Besides genetic causes, certain environmental factors are known to cause lupus symptoms, including:
- Exposure to ultraviolet light
- Extreme stress
- Exposure to chemicals, like trichloroethylene
- Infections, such as hepatitis C, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus
- Some medications and antibiotics, like sulfa and penicillin
If left untreated, lupus risks causing serious health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, pneumonia and anaemia. Research proves that vitamin D helps in tempering some of the destructive immune system responses, which are blamed for causing lupus. More studies are being conducted to find the efficacy of vitamin D in fighting lupus symptoms.