How Do You Get Lupus from Genetics?

Many researchers agree that in fact you can get lupus from genetics or at least there is a greater chance that you will get lupus. How you get lupus from genetics has not been answered. Review your family’s medical history. If there is someone in your immediate family that has lupus, you may want to schedule a lupus screening with your doctor. At this point, the idea that lupus is hereditary is simply observation; there is no scientific proof.

In a Stanford University study, it is claimed that there is less than a 5% chance that you get lupus from your parents. However, with identical twins, which share the same DNA, if one twin has lupus, there is a 24-69% that the other twin will also have lupus. This is much higher than the 5% and is evidence that you can get lupus through genetics. The study also shows how you get lupus from a combination of genes and environmental triggers combined:

Jane has a set of genes that can lead to lupus but she doesn’t have it yet. She gets a virus and her body’s immune system mounts an attack.

She wipes out the virus and gets better. But, her immune system has been trained to look for anything that looks like the virus and attack. Unfortunately for Jane, her set of lupus alleles has made her joints look like the virus.

Jane’s immune system now goes after her joints, thinking it is a viral invader. If Jane had never been infected, then she may never have developed lupus. She needed the unlucky combination of genes and environment to get lupus.

It’s not there there is a single “lupus gene.” In fact, in order for you to get lupus, it is believed that there are many genes involved. That is why your chances to get lupus from genetics are so low, since you don’t have to inherit just one gene, but several. Also, there are different kinds of genes, called alleles. For genes that can cause a disease, there are two forms–one that can lead to the disease and one that doesn’t. If you don’t get lupus, but it runs in the family, then one or more of your “lupus genes” may be the type that doesn’t cause lupus. So, you would need to get the missing gene from somewhere else, perhaps your partner. And if lupus doesn’t run in your partner’s side of the family, then the chances of getting lupus are even smaller.

As you can see, lupus is partly genetic, but it needs an environmental trigger as well.



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