The first person to call the disease Lupus was a doctor named Rogerius. This happened in the 1200s, and he named the disease because the face sores people get from Lupus make them look like a wolf bit them. I guess back in the 1200s more people were bit by wolves and doctors actually knew what wolf bites looked like. I also guess those sores were often ugly because of infection. This is the earliest reported coining of the name Lupus for this illness, and all other sources I found also attribute it to Doctor Rogerius. The most authoritative of all the sources where I found this was Lupus Foundation of America's website. They also produced this informative video on what Lupus is.
Lupus Foundation of America's video says:
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks healthy cells. In early stages its symptoms are often just body aches and fatigue, so Lupus is hard to diagnose. The wolf-bite looking facial sore is a tell-tale sign, but it doesn't always show in everyone who has Lupus. It is treated by suppressing the immune system with cortisone and other steroids. There is no cure as of January 2013. It is not necessarily a lethal disease, but it can be life threatening. A rheumatologist is the doctor who treats Lupus.
I am researching my third Dog Aliens book right now. It is about a she wolf named Neya. It has nothing to do with the disease Lupus. The disease just kept coming up when I was trying to find information on wolves. If you would like to read my story, you should start with the first book, Dog Aliens 1: Raffle's Name.
Other authoritative sources, including Lupus UK and
NIAMS, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases say the disease wasn't first named after the Latin word for wolf until the 1850s, by doctors named Clausit and Cazenave. They also say it was named for resembling a wolf bite, but are more tentative on that being for sure the explanation of why the disfiguring skin disorder is named after an animal.
Yet more sources say Lupus was named with the Latin word for wolf because the sores make the patients themselves resemble wolves, rather than the victims of wolf bites. However, I couldn't find any authoritative references for this claim. I'm not saying there aren't any, just that I could not find references.
I weighed in at 154.6 this morning.