Millions of Americans suffer from lupus, which can cause debilitating symptoms and complications. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that happens after a person’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. Living with lupus can be very difficult, and many patients with this disease struggle to continue working during a flare-up.

More women are diagnosed with lupus than men, and Hispanic women have a higher risk of being diagnosed with lupus. The Office of Minority Health reports that Hispanic women are two or three times more likely to have lupus, and they are also more likely to suffer from symptoms at a younger age. 

With so many people suffering from lupus, what exactly causes the autoimmune disease? Unfortunately, physicians and scientists are unsure of the exact cause of lupus. However, they do believe that since more women suffer from lupus, hormones may play a role. They also believe that the risk of getting lupus may be linked to hereditary issues as well as environmental factors. 

Lupus can cause fatigue, joint pain and facial swelling as well as other symptoms. Patients with lupus can also suffer from heart disease and kidney damage as well as other serious complications. Lupus can be very difficult to manage, especially during flare-ups where a patient’s symptoms become worse.

During a lupus flare-up, it can be difficult for individuals to function as they normally would. This includes not being able to work. People with lupus who can no longer work should know that they can apply for Social Security Disability benefits. SSDI benefits can help individuals afford their monthly expenses when they otherwise may not be able to pay for living and medical expenses.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Selena Gomez’s Lupus News Shines Light On Disease Among Hispanics,” Hope Gillette, Dec. 31, 2013