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Lupus is an auto-immune disease that comes in various forms, each ranging in degrees of severity. There is systemic lupus erythematosus, which only affects certain parts of the body. There is another form of lupus that attacks the skin called discoid or cutaneous lupus. Finally, there is a much rarer form of lupus, which is drug-induced.

Systemic lupus is probably the most serious form of this disease. It attacks major parts of the body including lungs, heart and brain. If left untreated, the damage to the organs can be severe enough that death can occur.

Discoid lupus, or cutaneous lupus, may simply cause a red rash on the skin, scalp or other parts of the body.

Finally, drug-induced lupus, a very rare form of the disease, is brought about by certain medications such as dilantin or hydralazine. Usually, this form of the disease is only found among senior citizens.

Diagnosing this disease, as with many auto-immune diseases can be difficult. Sometimes simple signs of the disease can go unnoticed. Some signs to look for are:

-toes and fingers turning purple because of cold or stress
-fevers that occur when not obviously sick
-rashes on the skin
-loss of hair
-sensitivity to sunlight
-fatigue that never seems to go away

As you can see, these are simple signs that are easy to ignore. It is recommended you see your doctor if you begin to have more than one of these symptoms occurring together.

Diagnosis is not invasive, but can be time consuming. There is no specific test that can be given that can say with certainty that you have lupus. However, a doctor can examine your overall history and give some types of tests that may help indicate whether or not the disease is present.

There is no known cure for lupus, but there is treatment available. What is done for a person will vary dependant upon type and severity of the lupus. Anti-inflammatories, Analgesis, and other drugs may be prescribed. Once an effective treatment can be found, it is possible for people to live a full and happy life and even have families. So, there is no reason to give up on a future just because a person is diagnosed with lupus.