Lupus: A Detailed Examination of its Causes and Symptoms

Lupus: A Detailed Examination of its Causes and Symptoms

Lupus is a complex and multifaceted disease that affects people around the globe, manifesting differently in each individual. The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a world-leading medical facility, is at the forefront of research and treatment for this condition. In this blog post, we shall delve into the intricacies of Lupus, understanding its causes, symptoms, and the incredible work done by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system, instead of fighting off viruses, bacteria, and other harmful invaders, mistakenly attacks your own body tissues. It can affect various parts of the body including the skin, joints, and organs. Lupus is not a single disease but rather a collection of diseases, with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) being the most common and severe type.

The Causes of Lupus

The exact cause of Lupus remains largely unknown. It is, however, believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and possibly hormonal factors that trigger the disease.

Genetic Factors

There’s a genetic predisposition to Lupus. It has been found to be more common in certain ethnic groups, such as people of African, Hispanic, and Asian descent. Additionally, Lupus can run in families, but the risk is relatively low. If you have a sibling with Lupus, your chances of developing the disease are only marginally higher than someone without a family history.

Environmental Triggers

Certain environmental factors can trigger Lupus or cause a flare-up in those already diagnosed. These include exposure to ultraviolet light, typically from sunlight, infections, and certain types of medication. Extreme stress or emotional trauma can also instigate a flare-up.

Hormonal Factors

Lupus is more common in women than men, and symptoms often start during the childbearing years. It’s thought that hormones, particularly oestrogen, may play a role, although the precise link is not clear.

Symptoms of Lupus

Lupus is known as “the great imitator” because its symptoms often mimic those of other illnesses, making it challenging to diagnose. Symptoms may also come and go and vary in severity, adding to the complexity.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain and swelling, skin rashes, particularly a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, fever, and kidney problems.

Less Common Symptoms

Less common but severe symptoms can include chest pain, hair loss, anaemia, mouth ulcers, and problems with the nervous system such as seizures and psychosis.

Symptoms Can Vary

Not all patients experience all the symptoms, and the nature of the symptoms can change over time. This underlines the importance of individualised care and treatment plans.

The Role of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in Lupus Care

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an extension of the US-based Cleveland Clinic, is renowned globally for its state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and advanced patient care. Their Rheumatology Department provides world-class care for patients with autoimmune disorders, including Lupus.

The Clinic uses a multidisciplinary approach, involving a team of rheumatologists, nephrologists, dermatologists, and other specialists as needed, to deliver personalised treatment plans for patients. Their dedication to research allows them to stay at the forefront of Lupus treatment, improving the prognosis and quality of life for those affected by this unpredictable disease.

The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s commitment to educating the public and promoting awareness of Lupus is commendable. They routinely organise seminars and awareness campaigns to inform the public about the disease, its symptoms, and the latest in treatment options.


While Lupus is a complex and sometimes debilitating disease, advancements in medical science have dramatically improved the prognosis for patients. Continued research, much like the work carried out by the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, offers hope for even better treatment strategies and, ultimately, a cure for Lupus.

Early detection and treatment can significantly improve the quality of life for those living with Lupus, underlining the importance of awareness of this often misunderstood disease.

Jerome B. Shore

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