Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease in which the immune system turns against the body parts that it is required to protect. Lupus has no definitive cure and the line of treatment in this condition is basically designed to manage this illness and its associated problems effectively. However this line of treatment may also be designed after determining what causes lupus.
It is important to understand that in lupus the immune system of the body produces antibodies and these antibodies work against the healthy cells along with the tissues in the body. Such antibodies include antinuclear antibodies and these results in tissue damage and inflammation.
There are no definitive factors that can determine what causes lupus. In some cases this condition seems to be running within the families and this is an indication that this condition might be hereditary. However genes are not the sole factors that cause this problem. Symptoms of lupus may be triggered by some aspects like stress, sunlight, some medicines and environment.
More women seem to be suffering from lupus as compared to the men. Among women this condition is observed in the age group of 15 to 44. One of the contributing factors to what causes lupus may be the hormones in women. However this might not be the definitive aspect as older people and men also get lupus. Lupus is also more commonly observed among women of African American origin as well as women belonging to Asian, American Indian and Hispanic or Latin communities.
In Hispanics and Latinos or African Americans this lupus is seen to be developing at a young age. These individuals also tend to experience severe forms of lupus as compared to white people. It is not really understood what causes lupus in these individuals and why their condition is severe as compared to others.
While genes may be one of the possible causes for the development of this condition research indicates that different genes might be responsible for determining the likelihood of an individual developing this illness.
While diagnosing a patient along with the tests the doctor will also take the family history of the individual. A person with a family history of lupus is susceptible to developing this condition. While there is no complete clarity regarding what causes lupus some other contributing factors may include smoking or exposure to it, exposure of a person to ultraviolet light, stress and exposure to some toxins like silica dust and trichloroethylene present in well water.
Some bacteria and viruses may also eventually result in development of lupus but this has not been completely proven. Among children Epstein Barr virus may lead to development of childhood lupus. In some cases medications can trigger lupus but once these medicines are stopped the symptoms decline.
Finally it can be said that most medical professionals believe that no single factor is entirely responsible for what causes lupus. In fact a combination of factors results in development of this condition. So a person with family history exposed to some environmental factors or some medications may have greater possibility of experiencing this condition.