Lupus is a serious life-debilitating fatal disease where the immune system attacks our tissues and organs.
Every year, May 10th is dedicated to World Lupus Day to fight to fight against this misunderstood disease. Globally, lupus affects 40-100 people in every 100,000. The Lupus community provides in-depth understanding through real life experience, providing valuable information within the communities. Here are some facts about lupus that may give you the reader a better understanding about this chronic illness:
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects more women than men. If you have lupus, your risk is higher for other health problems that are common in women, such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
Lupus is a chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. With autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune (defense) system cannot tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, and other germs and the body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Because of this, the immune system attacks and destroys these healthy cells, tissues, or organs.
There are several different types of lupus:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common and most serious type of lupus. SLE affects all parts of the body.
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus, which affects only the skin
Drug-induced lupus, a short-term type of lupus caused by certain medicines
Neonatal lupus, a rare type of lupus that affect newborn babies
SLE is the most common type of lupus. SLE can be mild or severe and can affect different parts of the body. Common symptoms include fatigue, hair loss, sun sensitivity, painful and swollen joints, unexplained fever, skin rashes, and kidney problems.
There is no one test for SLE. Usually your doctor will ask you about your family and personal medical history and your symptoms. Your doctor will also do some laboratory tests.
African-American and Hispanic women usually get lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms, including kidney problems, than women of other groups. African-Americans with lupus also have more problems with seizures, strokes, and dangerous swelling of the heart. Hispanic women with lupus also have more heart problems than women of other groups. Researchers think that genes play a role in how lupus affects minority women.
If you ever experience the following symptoms to consult your physicians:
Signs and symptoms may include:
Butterfly rash on the face
Painful or swollen joints and muscle pain
Chest pain upon deep breathing
Swelling (edema) in legs or around eyes
Remember Lupus is not a one size fits all illness, no two individuals will experience the same symptoms.