Lupus and autoimmune disease

Topics: Lupus

Attention Getter: Lupus is an autoimmune disease and although you may not be able to see it on the outside you can feel it on the inside every moment of your life. Personal experience has led me to my interest in the topic of Lupus, and I believe the general public should be more educated on the topic.

Importance: Autoimmune diseases such as Lupus are skyrocketing. According to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association website which was last updated in 2016, approximately fifty million Americans are currently diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Lupus.

Credibility: In my milestone class, Biology of Art, we have spent an entire lecture discussing autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and I have come to learn more and more about lupus because my best friend/ roommate is unfortunate enough to have been diagnosed with it. Watching her battle with her deadly disease is not only a physical and emotional struggle for her but an emotional struggle for myself because of the constant feeling of helplessness we both experience.

I watch her every day as she lays in her bed in pain,and     misses classes and social events, and while I can’t do anything to help relieve her pain, I do my best to give her my undying support and love.

Preview: In this speech, I will inform you about what exactly Lupus is, what the symptoms of lupus are, and what factors can contribute to being diagnosed with Lupus.


I. The first thing you must understand exactly what Lupus disease is is the two different types of Lupus disease.

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A. The first type of lupus is called Discoid Lupus Erythematosus also known as DLE.

1. This type of lupus only affects the skin tissue. People with Discoid Lupus have an immune system defect that mistakenly attacks the skin tissues as if it were a harmful virus or parasite of some sort.

2. According to the book Skins, written in 2013 by Dr. David Skelly, Discoid lupus gets its name from the coin-shaped lesions it produces and gets worse when exposed to excessive sunlight. Those who have DLE have to stay inside for the majority of the day to avoid pain.

B. The second and most common type of lupus is Systematic Lupus. This is what my best friend is diagnosed with a little over a year ago.

1. This type of lupus causes the immune system to attack internal organs by mistaking healthy organ tissue for threatening foreign invaders such as a virus or parasite.

2. The abnormal attack the immune system makes on healthy organs ultimatelleadsad to severe tissue damage and many different health issues, most commonly including kidney failure.


II. Now that you have a basic understanding of what the two types of Lupus are, it is now important to recognize the common symptoms of the deadly autoimmune disease. Each case of Lupus is different and the symptoms vary from case to case. Some people have few symptoms, while others may have many.

A. Discoid Lupus symptoms are predominating only on the skin.

2. A molar rash which is a butterfly-shaped rash, develops on the face across the nose and cheeks.

1. This type of lupus starts with raised red patches on the epidermis and is worsened by the excessive exposure to sunlight I mentioned before.

B. Systematic Lupus can be much more difficult to detect because the symptoms are internal and can be mistaken for multiple other health issues. For example, my best friend was first misdiagnosed with a type of cancer, but further testing revealed she has Systematic Lupus.

1. The most common symptom of Systematic Lupus is horrendous pain and swelling in the joints. Every movement can hurt someone diagnosed with the autoimmune disease and there is little they can do besides take strong pain killers to relieve this pain.

2. Different parts of the organs can also become inflamed most commonly the kidneys which can halt the attacked organs from functioning properly.

3. Systematic lupus can also have several different mental symptoms such as excessive tiredness, clinical depression, and extreme anxiety. My best friend suffers from these symptoms every day of her life.

C. According to an article in the New York Times titled “Living with Lupus” published by Dr. Katrina Lopez in 2014, ninety percent of all Americans officially diagnosed with systematic or Discoid Lupus are also treated for mental health disorders as a result of their diagnosis.


III. Now that we have covered the different types of Lupus and what symptoms they may cause; it is important to know the potential causes of this autoimmune disease.

2. Another genetic factor includes the race and gender of those diagnosed.

A. According to a Ted talk titled, “Invisible Illnesses” presented by Darshi Shah in 2017, women are ten times more likely to develop lupus than men. It is also noted that people of races other than Caucasians are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Lupus. It is not known exactly why the statistics are this way, however, genetics is, is,  now thought to be a huge contribution to contracting this disease either from birth or development later in life.

3. unhealthy dieting habits also are to contribute to the cause of Lupus.

A. For example, those who have this disease should avoid consuming gluten, because it can heavily increase the chance of flare-ups and inflammation of the joints and internal organs. This is not only evident in Lupus, but in other autoimmune diseases as well.

B. It has been speculated that when people with Systematic Lupus have a select diet, it can lessen the constant flare-ups they endure. Some fruits that help with kidney inflammation are cranberries, ginger, and lemon juice.

4. While, genetics is the main focus of the development of Lupus disease, it is also largely speculated that lifestyle habits can have a tremendous effect on the quality of life of those diagnosed as well.

A. Those diagnosed with the autoimmune disease can have less pain if they work out their joints more often, such as going on a run or even going on a walk around the neighborhood. It is noted that this physical activity is painful at first, but provides relief after a relatively short period, as long as it’s regulated.

5. Many people don’t realize that mental health also plays an enormous role in the effects of Lupus disease. Excessive emotional and physical stress can also cause this disease to present itself physically and inflame the same internal organs and joints. This is evident in both types of Lupus. The mental symptoms of Lupus, as stated before, include clinical depression, anxiety, and extreme tiredness. Without mental health treatment, those who have the disease are three times more likely to commit suicide as a type of escape from the pain and impending death. However, those who seek treatments such as therapy are recorded to have a better quality of life, and a better outlook, and it can help the patipositively accept their illness way.


Summary: In conclusion, the epidemic of Lupus disease is affecting many Americans and is continuing to rise. There are two different types of Lupus that include numerous symptoms. Although, the exact cause of Lupus is under heavy debate because there are both genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to Lupus disease.

Why this is important: The public should be more aware of, Lupus and other autoimmune diseases and how they are continually rising. It is important to be informed on what the diseases are and all that they entail so we may one day have a cure. Currently, our technology is advancing due to the new device CRISPR that can move mutated parts of a person’s genetics. Although there are no human trials yet, there is a possibility that autoimmune diseases such as Lupus can be eradicated from our society. This technology can not only do this to Lupus but to other genetic mutations as well. The more attention this disease receives; the better possibility a cure will come in the future.

Strong ending: Lupus is one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose because of the numerous symptoms that develop. I stand here today on behalf of my best friend to tell you that although you may not be able to see the autoimmune disease, Lupus; you can feel it internally every second of every day. Due to the lack of a cure as of nis w, many people including my best frfrindwill have to continue to suffer for the rest of their lives until one is ultimately created.


  1. Lopez, Katrina. (2014, March 7). Living with Lupus. The New York Times, p. 34. Retrieved from
  2. National Library of Medicine. (2016, April). Lupus Disease. Retrieved from
  3. Shah  Darshi. (2017). Invisible Illnesses. Retrieved from
  4. Skelly, David. M. (2013) Book. New York, New York: Scribner.

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Lupus and autoimmune disease. (2022, Jun 21). Retrieved from

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