Re: What Causes Lupus?
Good morning. I've read that lupus isn't considered "genetic", but risk does increase *slightly* depending on the relationship. e.g., risk elevation is highest in identical twins, less in fraternal twins, and roughly 10% for first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children). Also, once there's lupus in a family, the risk is somewhat higher that others will have SOME autoimmune, but not necessarily lupus. Dr. Wallace gives examples of other possibilitites: autoimmune thyroiditis, RA, and scleroderma.
MONO: I've seen news reports about EBV being studied as a possible cause for lupus. Apparently many lupus patents have very high EBV loads, but I *think* the experts have NOT inferred causality. Why? First of all, EVERYONE has been exposed to mono & developed the antibody, so we all tend to test positive, which simply proves we were EXPOSED.
As for why levels may remain so high in those with lupus: It's possible that there are things in the genetic/chemical makeup of people with lupus that simply allow the EBV results to remain high.
The last EBV/lupus article I remember was some years back, so I'm going on memory here---plus, I'm only a patient! FYI, before I was Dx'ed, my own EBV level was very high, so I've been curious about this also. Also, I never had mono.
LUPUS SYMPTOMS: I think the "sticky post" (permanent info post) containing diagnostic criteria, found at the top of the thread list, covers symptoms also. Fatigue & pain are probably at the very top of the long list.
Yes, I can feel good one day & tired the next. Even in the course of a day, my pain can shift from one area to another. Lupus is known for its "protean" (ever-changing) manifestations, its huge array of possible problems, and flares. That said, proper diagnosis, treatment and follow-up can bring meaningful improvement.
JUST CURIOUS: Is your friend's doctor a RHEUMATOLOGIST? They're the specialists most conversant with lupus.
Hope this helps a little. Best wishes, Vee
Last edited by VeeJ; 11-27-2008 at 03:16 AM.