Being diagnosed with lupus can be debilitating and terrifying. Many patients will try to figure out exactly how they contracted the disease. Unfortunately, there are many different factors of lupus to consider that can affect each individual differently, largely due to the fact that doctors still don’t know precisely what causes it. This article outlines some of the potential reasons why a person might develop lupus.
The main factor that many doctors have agreed upon as a cause of lupus is genetics. If you have a family member that has developed lupus, then there is a much greater chance that you will develop lupus as well. Having a relative with lupus does not, however, guarantee that you will develop the disease. Rather, it is an indicator that more frequent health evaluations should be scheduled.
Some doctors believe that there are environmental factors that can trigger the development of lupus. These factors include:
- An increased exposure to UV light emitted by the sun or technical devices
- Stress, although this factor is ordinarily in conjunction with other factors
- Exposure to harmful chemicals, such as trichloroethylene, in water from a well
When a woman becomes pregnant, she experiences intense hormonal changes. These changes are another reason why lupus might develop. Any odd metabolism of the hormone estrogen should be treated with suspicion and frequent checks for the development of lupus.
Cytomegalovirus, parvovirus, and hepatitis C are all viruses that have been shown to possibly cause lupus to develop in a person’s body. The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which develops primarily in children, has shown a strong link to patients eventually being diagnosed with lupus. EBV does not have any main symptoms, but it usually results in a person contracting mononucleosis.
When certain medications are used regularly for an extended period of time, they could lead to the development of a specific type of lupus known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The symptoms of SLE are often reduced when a person stops taking the offending medication, but SLE will never completely go away.
Combinations of Factors
Any combination of the factors outlined above can significantly increase your risk for developing lupus. If one or more of these issues seem to crop up, then it is important for a person to regularly be tested. The effects of lupus can be minimized when the disease is caught early.
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