Understanding lupus

What is an overlapping disease?

Although lupus usually occurs alone, people with lupus may experience symptoms typical of one or more other connective tissue diseases such as antiphospholipid syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, scleroderma or Sjögren’s syndrome. In these cases, a physician may use the term “overlap” to describe the illness. It is important to talk with your doctor about any symptoms that concern you to ensure that any potential overlapping diseases are recognized.

Medically reviewed on February 28, 2014