A disease of the immune system that affects many more women more than men (9:1) and at a relatively young age (15-50)

Enquiries & Appointments

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Lupus is a disease of the immune system where a wide variety of antibodies are produced, leading to inflammation in the joints and skin. Lupus may begin aggressively as an acute illness or might be undiagnosed for years. It can also appear as a transient disease. Earlier diagnosis and advancements in treatment mean that the majority of patients have a normal lifespan and lifestyle.

Need to know

Symptoms of lupus vary greatly depending on the type you have, but may include:

  • virtually any type of skin rash
  • hair loss
  • aches and pains
  • inflammation in your tendons
  • inflammation of your veins
  • sharp pain in the lower part of your chest when breathing in deeply (pleurisy)
  • depression and/ or psychosis
  • kidney disease

Your consultant will speak to you about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. To make a diagnosis, your consultant will normally expect at least four of the internationally recognised list of 11 accepted conditions to be present. These are:

1. malar rash (red rash over your cheeks)

2. discmoid rash (red patches of skin on your body)

3. photosensitivity

4. mouth or nose ulcers

5. serositis (inflammation of the tissue covering your internal organs)

6. arthritis

7. renal disorders

8.neurological disorder (including seizures and balance problems)

9. haematological disorder

10. immunologic disorder

11. a positive anti-nuclear antibody test (ANA)

Treatment options include:

  • medications (including aspirin and other non-steroids, anti-malaria drugs, steroids and immunosuppressive drugs)
  • oral contraceptives
  • sun cream to block out UV-rays on photosensitive skin
  • lifestyle and food choices as directed by your consultant
  • kidney dialysis or transplant, if you have severe kidney disease
  • plasma exchange (separating and removing plasma from your blood)

Our Lupus locations

The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
The Princess Grace Hospital

The Princess Grace Hospital

42-52 Nottingham Place W1U 5NY London
The Lister Hospital

The Lister Hospital

Chelsea Bridge Road, SW1W 8RH London
The Shard Outpatients

The Shard Outpatients

The Shard, 32 St Thomas Street SE1 9BS London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London

Patient stories

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.