Systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, your immune system attacks itself. Lupus causes the immune system to mistake healthy tissues for germs, viruses, and other invaders. The system then creates autoantibodies that attack your body’s own organs.
This attack can affect many parts of your body and often causes symptoms. Lupus can affect your joints, organs, eyes, and skin. It can cause pain, inflammation, fatigue, and rashes. The condition goes through times when it’s more active, which are called flares or flare-ups. You may have more symptoms during these periods. Lupus also goes through times of remission. These are times of decreased activity when you may have fewer flare-ups.