Lupus, being an autoimmune disease, occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy tissue in your body. Lupus is believed to be the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
People who have a family history of autoimmune disorders or those with an inherited predisposition may develop lupus when they are exposed to environmental triggers. However, in most cases, the exact cause or trigger for lupus can not be identified.  
Some potential triggers and risk factors for lupus include:
- The incidence of this condition is higher in women than in men.
- While lupus can affect people of all ages, it is usually diagnosed at the age of 15 to 40 years.
- Lupus is more common in Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans.
- Exposure to the sun can trigger the development of typical lesions on the skin by stimulating an abnormal immune response in susceptible patients.
- Some infective conditions can initiate lupus as well as cause a relapse of this condition.
- Lupus may be triggered due to the side effects of some medications including antihypertensive and anti-seizure drugs, and antibiotics. Patients who develop drug-induced lupus usually have a better prognosis as the symptoms are like to resolve once they stop using those medications. However, in rare cases, the symptoms may persist even after the medication is stopped.
What are the complications of lupus?
- Widespread inflammation caused due to lupus can affect kidney functions putting patients at risk of renal failure. Renal failure is also one of the leading complications responsible for a high risk of mortality in patients with lupus.
- The inflammation in the brain caused due to lupus can impair cognitive functions. As a result, patients may experience frequent headaches, dizziness, behavioral changes, problems in vision, and even seizures and strokes.
Some patients with lupus also experience a decline in memory and have difficulty in expressing their emotions and thoughts.
- Chronic inflammation in the cardiac muscles, arteries, or the membrane of the heart can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, significantly.
- Inflammation in the bone marrow and blood vessels can reduce the red blood cell count leading to anemia, an increased risk of bleeding, and abnormal blood clotting.
- Lupus can contribute to inflammatory damage to the lungs and the mucosal lining of the chest cavity, making breathing painful. Pneumonia and bleeding into the lungs are also common complications in lupus patients.
Lupus can manifest in several different ways by affecting multiple organs and systems of the body. Lupus can make it difficult for you to perform your routine activities and create difficulties in focusing on the priorities in your life related to your career, academics, and personal life.
Moreover, lupus, if not managed properly, can also progress and cause serious damage to vital organs leading to life-threatening complications.
Patients with lupus are usually treated with steroidal medications and drugs that suppress the immune responses. The immunosuppressant drugs work by inhibiting the activities of the immune cells. However, this effect of immunosuppressant drugs can make the immune system weaker and less effective at fighting infectious pathogens.
Similarly, steroidal drugs can cause serious side effects when used for a longer duration. The regular use of steroidal drugs can make patients vulnerable to developing obesity, immunological dysfunctions, impairment of renal functions, and so on.