Research has found that interstitial cystitis (IC) patients are 30 times more likely than the general population to have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
As with IC, the cause of lupus is not known. It is more common in women and prevalence is greater among African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women. Lupus is an immune system attack on healthy cells resulting in joint pain or swelling, muscle pain, fever with no known cause and the red “butterfly rash” on the face. It can damage joints, skin, blood vessels and organs.
There are several forms of lupus. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, which affects many parts of the body. Discoid lupus causes a rash that doesn't go away. Subacute cutaneous lupus causes sores after exposure to sunlight. Another type of lupus is caused by certain medicines.
There is no one test to diagnose lupus, and it may take months or years to make the diagnosis. There is no cure for lupus, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms.
For the latest information about lupus, please visit the Lupus Foundation website.
Revised January 12, 2011