Mid adult woman sitting on the bed and suffering from a headache



Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic disease that can have a serious and widespread effect on the body including the skin, joints, muscles, and other organs. However, in many cases, lupus is a mild disease that can be successfully controlled with regular medical care. About 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and about 90 percent of people with lupus are women, according to the Lupus Foundation of America (Source: LFA).

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Normally, your immune system can tell the difference between your own tissues and foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses. The immune system p