All my spoons are in all the right places, if you know what I'm talkin' about...
I’ve seen a lot of shocking misinformation floating around, not just on the internet, but on television and in the mouths of my peers in relation to Lupus and what causes it. I’ve heard a Doctor on a daily news program say that a person cannot develop Lupus. I’ve had lovers freak out because my genetics are too risky for breeding. I’ve had much less educated people confuse it with a type of HIV or sexually transmitted disease. These are pretty drastic cases of misleading facts, but it is true that the cause of Lupus is a varied and blurry subject. So, I thought it would be nice to do a run through on the truth of the matter, not just for you guys, but for my own reference points to my friends and family as well.
The most common belief I have personally encountered is that Lupus is entirely genetic. Meanwhile, although Lupus seems to *sometimes* run in families or appear in two identical twins, there has been no discovery of a gene or group of genes that is linked to Lupus. There are plenty of people with Lupus who have no history of it in their families before or after. There are also people with Lupus who have history of *other* autoimmune disorders in their families. Then there’s the interesting fact that Lupus affects a greater number of people from African and Asian decent. The theory for why this is so far is that whatever genetic make-up puts a person at risk for Lupus might also render the person more resistant to Malaria. Still, the genetic research for Lupus has a long way to go.
Lupus affects both men and women, but it is found FAR more often in females. There is also reason to believe that estrogen directly affects Lupus, as many women suffer an increase in symptoms during times where estrogen production is high (pregnancy, or the week before a period). Women also tend to experience Lupus symptoms for the first time around the onset of puberty. There is a lot to be said about the way estrogen affects our immune systems as well, for instance:
We know Estrogen greatly affects Lupus, and may be a contributing factor in autoimmune function, but we have yet to pinpoint it’s full role.
Yes, there is cause to believe that Lupus might be-at least in some cases-brought on by harsh, extreme environmental factors. Maybe these factors will only trigger Lupus in someone who is already genetically susceptible, or maybe Lupus is something that can manifest in a person due to these triggers. It’s not 100%. Some recorded triggers are:
There is little official information as to whether or not Lupus can be triggered by stress. I can’t imagine how that is debatable, as if you ask anyone living with Lupus they will tell you that symptoms and stress have a direct relationship. Maybe it just hasn’t been documented enough. I don’t know.
I have a whole ton of faith in the idea that once we pinpoint the cause (or causes) of Lupus, that will lead us directly to our cure (or at the very least a treatment that actually makes sense). But I also have a suspicion that drugs have a lot more to do with causing Lupus than certain people with lots of money would like us to find out. And if my totally extreme conspiracy theory is correct, then we won’t be finding the cause until we have more money than them! So like I say, donate. Ya dig?