This site is intended for healthcare professionals as a useful source of information on the diagnosis, treatment and support of patients with lupus and related connective tissue diseases.
LUPUS is an autoimmune disease, a type of self-allergy, whereby the patient's immune system creates antibodies which, instead of protecting the body from bacteria, viruses and other foreign matter, attack the person's own body tissues. This causes symptoms of extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, anaemia, general malaise, and can result in the destruction of vital organs. It is a disease with many manifestations, and each person's profile or list of symptoms may be different. Lupus can mimic other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose.

Physicians are often cautious with their diagnosis as they do not want to label anyone until they are certain of lupus. Moreover, a careful review of the patient's entire medical history is necessary, coupled with analysis of results obtained from tests relating to their immune status to provide accurate diagnosis.

The good news about lupus is that the modern day outlook has changed out of all recognition. Provided the disease is diagnosed in good time, in most patients the symptoms can be brought under control and, in increasing numbers, the medication can, ultimately, be stopped.

The last three decades have seen huge progress in research into the causes and treatment of lupus.

I thank LUPUS UK for producing this guide and hope that it will be of assistance to GPs in diagnosing and treating lupus and will help them and other Associated Health Professionals to offer the medical care and support which patients need.

Prof Graham R V Hughes MD FRCP
The London Lupus Centre
London Bridge Hospital
27-29 Tooley Street
London SE1 2PR
Hon. Life President
LUPUS UK