Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder. In a normal immune system, the body releases proteins (antibodies) to fight viruses, toxins and other potentially harmful foreign substances (antigens). With lupus and other autoimmune diseases, the immune system does not work properly. It produces autoantibodies that mistakenly attack and destroy the bodys own healthy cells and tissue. These autoantibodies also trigger inflammation, which can lead to organ damage.
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