Pittsburg State University researchers have discovered a link to understanding the cause of lupus. Researchers have found a link between the hormone, estrogen and the development of the disease.
PSU professor and researcher, Dr. Virginia Rider, is hoping this new-found information will lead to a cure for what professionals call systemic lupus.
Systemic lupus is a disease where your body loses its ability to recognize itself.
"It is a systemic auto immune disease, that loss of recognition can occur in any organ," says Dr. Rider.
It occurs 10 times more often in women than it does in men and the disease primarily affects women who are in their reproductive years.
"Nobody knows exactly why. It's a very complex disease. We know that there's a genetic component, but it's more complicated than that."
Her research indicates that the hormone, estrogen plays a role.
"We've more or less opened the door for the possibility that hormones may be one of the factors that actually participate in the on-set and the development of lupus. And i feel really pleased that we've done that."
Dr. Rider says that lupus is very difficult to diagnose and there are a lot of different symptoms. But generally they include inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, blood, and other parts of the body. It's common to think that lupus only affects women, but it's also a problem for men, too.