What is Lupus? Do you know?
If your answer is “no,” you are part of nearly 67% of the public who answered the same. So, in recognition of National Lupus Awareness Month, let’s work to change that statistic.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. Signs and symptoms tend to last anywhere from six weeks to several years.
Normally, your immune system produces proteins called antibodies that help fight off viruses, bacteria and germs (foreign invaders). When you have lupus, your system cannot tell the difference between your healthy tissue and these foreign invaders, so it creates autoantibodies. These autoantibodies attack and destroy healthy tissue, causing intense pain and inflammation in various parts of your body.
Lupus is also a disease of flares and remissions. This means sometimes your symptoms will flare up and worsen and other times they improve and you feel better.
What causes Lupus?
Many researchers believe Lupus develops in response to hormones, genetics and the environment. Due to the fact that 9 out of every 10 lupus occurrences are in females, researchers have looked at the relationship between estrogen and lupus.
What are the symptoms?
The most common are:
- Extreme fatigue
- Painful/Swollen joints
- Chest pain when breathing
- Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
How is Lupus treated?
Since this disease varies so severely from person to person, treatment is best when tailored to your specific condition. However, there is a wide variety of prescribed medications used to treat lupus. You can find a detailed list here
Digital is Putting On Purple!
Wear purple this Friday, May 20th to show your support for those battling lupus! Want a chance to win a Purple People Eaters t-shirt?!
Click here to find out how to enter and hear Audrey’s story!
For a future with NO Lupus, we must KNOW Lupus.