Health & Wellness

What is lupus and do I have it?

When singer Selena Gomez revealed she had been diagnosed with lupus, she brought high-profile attention to a relatively rare disease that affects 1.5 million people in the U.S, striking women far more often than men.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can attack any part of the body including the joints, skin, kidneys and lungs. In 2014, Gomez went through chemotherapy to treat the disease.

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Some people seem to be more susceptible to lupus, but autoimmune diseases can also be triggered by toxins, stress and infections.

How is it diagnosed?

The most distinctive lupus symptom is a butterfly rash, it appears on the face and resembles the wings of a butterfly across both cheeks. Lupus can also result in fatigue, fever, joint pain and dry eyes. People with lupus may experience their fingers turning white and or blue in the cold, which is known as Raynaud's syndrome.

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To learn more, watch the above video with NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.