What Increases Your Risk
The chances of developing
higher in people who:
Are female. Are
black. Are between the ages of 15 and 45. Have a family
history of lupus. Take medicines that are associated with
drug-induced systemic lupus.
can trigger lupus attacks. These may include:
Exposure to ultraviolet light, usually from
sunlight. Smoking. Smoking also may make getting lupus more likely, and make it more severe. Some
medicines. Some infections. Some people
cytomegalovirus (CMV), parvovirus (such as
fifth disease), and
hepatitis C infections eventually get lupus. The
Epstein-Barr virus has been linked to lupus in
children. Chemical exposure.
Suspected chemical toxins include trichloroethylene in well water and silica
dust. Hair dyes and straighteners, linked to lupus in the past, are no longer
thought to trigger lupus. What about hormones?
Hormones, including those used for hormone replacement therapy or
birth control, don't cause lupus. But they may have some effect on it. Most women don't have symptom flares during pregnancy, but a few women do when their estrogen levels are high. Although most women who get lupus are ages 15 to 45, when estrogen levels are higher, a number of women get lupus after menopause, when estrogen levels are low. The hormones in birth control pills have not proved to be harmful in women who have stable, moderate lupus. Women with lupus that isn't well controlled may choose to use nonhormonal 1 birth control methods. These include a copper intrauterine device (IUD), a condom, or a diaphragm. To learn more, see the topic Birth Control.
Talk with your doctor about whether you should use hormonal birth control or hormone replacement.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 10, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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