Mayo Clinic Q&A: Patients with lupus should work closely with care team to monitor condition

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I was diagnosed with lupus six months ago. I am 23. Are there things I can do now to prevent heart or kidney problems down the road?

ANSWER: Lupus is a complex autoimmune disorder that can affect any organ system in the body. Although you can take steps that may lower your risk for developing complications, it may not always be possible to prevent heart, kidney and other health problems associated with lupus. But treatment is available that often can manage symptoms effectively. Working closely with your care team to get regular checkups and blood tests to monitor your condition can help control lupus.

Lupus develops when your body's immune system...