Are You Looped In On Lupus Nephritis?

Woman talking to doctor, lupus nephritis
Did you know that lupus can affect your kidneys? If you have lupus, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk for lupus nephritis and how to protect your kidneys for as long as possible.
Medically reviewed by
AKF's Medical Advisory Committee
Last updated
January 29, 2024

What is lupus nephritis?

Lupus nephritis is permanent kidney damage caused by lupus, an autoimmune disease. Lupus nephritis happens when your immune system attacks your kidneys. Your kidneys are vital to life – they filter your blood and remove waste and extra fluid from your body. When your kidneys are damaged, they do not work as well as they should.

How can i know if lupus nephritis has damaged my kidneys?

Get your kidney function tested regularly. If lupus nephritis causes permanent damage to your kidneys, your kidneys may stop working completely. This is called kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. The only way to know if your kidneys are damaged is to get tested. Finding and treating lupus nephritis early can help prevent serious damage. Visit our lupus nephritis page to learn more about this autoimmune disease.

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Who will be on my treatment team? 

Because lupus can affect many different parts of your body, the lupus treatment team includes different health care professionals. Keeping everyone on your team looped in on your health is important.

Looped in on Lupus - 4 people

Who is more likely to get lupus nephritis?

9 in 10 people with lupus are women.

Lupus is more common in Black women.

About 50% of adults with lupus develop lupus nephritis.   

Lupus nephritis typically occurs in people aged 20-40 years.

Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are more likely to have lupus nephritis than whites. 

How much do you know about lupus and the kidneys?

Take a quick quiz to learn about lupus nephritis. It's time to get looped in!

  • Question 1 of 5

    Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect your:

    Select one

    That's correct

    Sorry, that's not correct

    Lupus is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases cause your immune system to attack your healthy cells. Lupus can affect many parts of the body. When your kidneys become affected, it is called lupus nephritis. Lupus nephritis happens when your immune system attacks your kidneys.

This quiz is purely informational and should not take the place of consultation with your physician or any medical diagnosis.

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Are you dealing with stress, anxiety or fatigue?

Everyday life can be overwhelming, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like lupus nephritis. Are you dealing with stress, anxiety, or fatigue? There are steps you can take each day to take care of your mental health.

How can i find a support group for lupus nephritis?

Having a chronic disease like lupus nephritis can feel isolating. But you are not alone. One of the best ways to cope with a major life change is to connect with people who are going through a similar experience.

Benefits of joining a support group include:

  • Being able to talk openly and honestly with people who understand what you are going through
  • Learning tips for managing lupus from people who have been living with it for longer than you
  • Learning more about lupus nephritis and opportunities for patients
  • Finding new ways to cope
  • Feeling empowered and supported by your new community Making new friends

 Visit the Lupus Foundation of America National Network to learn more about support groups and other community-based resources near you.

Where can i get more information about lupus nephritis?

How can I be the best advocate for myself? 

Know your risk for lupus nephritis. Find out what you can do to protect your kidneys. Be engaged with your healthcare. Speak up to get the tests, treatment, and care you need.

Hear from people living with lupus nephritis

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