Lupus is an inflammatory disease that can damage the skin, joints, kidneys and/or other organs. It’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning that it occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells.

Overview and Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of lupus are extreme fatigue, headaches, painful or swollen joints, fever, and a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose. It is a chronic disease with no known cause or cure. Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening, though with good medical care, most people with lupus lead a full life.

Typically, a diagnosis is made based on a thorough review of symptoms, complete physical examination, blood and urine tests and, in some cases a biopsy of the kidney, skin or other organ.


Lupus is treated with medications that reduce inflammation and/or alter the immune system. Which medicine your doctor prescribes depends on your symptoms.

Learn More

The Lupus Center of Excellence at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is committed to providing comprehensive, high quality, state of the art, prompt care to patients with lupus.

Visit the Lupus Center