It came as a shock to Selena Gomez’s fans when she revealed Thursday that she received a kidney transplant from her long time friend. In 2015, Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks a person’s organs.
Dr. Mahta Mortezavi of Rochester Regional Health says lupus is the master of the autoimmune world.
“It’s a disease that can attack any organ,” Dr. Mortezavi said. “So common symptoms really are fatigue, joint pain, rashes frequently in the sun. Some patients complain that their fingers and toes are turning white or blue.”
It also affects the central nervous system which in some cases can cause a person to have a seizure. The disease is common among young women, particularly those of African-American and Latin American descents.
“We really don’t know why people get lupus,” Dr. Mortezavi. “There’s a lot of theories about could it be a viral infection that starts the process and then the immune system continues to make a mistake and attack your own tissues.”
The disease is very unique to a person’s body, making it complicated to treat at times.
While there is no cure for lupus, early diagnosis and treatment can help in managing the symptoms and lessening the chance of permanent damage to organs or tissues.
Visit the Lupus Research Alliance’s website for more information on the disease.