With a series of Instagram posts in September 2017, Selena Gomez shared that she’d undergone a kidney transplant at just 24, due to lupus-related organ damage. The announcement sent a shock wave through the media generated and a lot of discussion online-and educated many about the severe side of this misunderstood disease.
What is lupus and how does it affect the kidneys?
In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system. “Instead of the immune system fighting off things like infection and cancer, it turns against the individual and starts acting on their own organs,” says Dr. Gary Gilkeson, professor of medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina.