October is LUPUS Awareness Month!

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Lupus Awareness Month takes place during October.

Lupus is a complex and poorly understood condition that affects many parts of the body and causes symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening.

Some common symptoms of lupus include:

  • fatigue
  • skin rash
  • joint pain and swelling

lupus-awareness-monthLupus is an incurable immune system condition that is assumed to be genetic and mainly affects females.  The condition shares a lot of symptoms in common with other conditions; with lupus signs including rashes, depression, anaemia, headaches and mouth ulcers.

LUPUS UK, are trying to raise awareness of lupus with Lupus Awareness Month.  Due to the overlap with other conditions many GPs may not recognise the symptoms as lupus at first.

It is estimated that 50,000 people in the UK have lupus but many are undiagnosed and simply powering through the effects of the condition. However, joint pain, muscle pain and extreme tiredness will not go away no matter how much you rest.   It can also affect vital organs.   So it is important to raise awareness and get people diagnosed.

LUPUS BUTTERFLY RASHLupus causes are varied and include a viral infection, trauma and environmental factors such as sunlight.

I know that I have had some of the above symptoms at one time or another so I don’t know how many people may be dismissing them as symptoms of feeling rundown, overworked or stressed.

So it’s Lupus…

Systemic lupus is a chronic and presently-incurable illness of the immune system, a condition in which the body’s defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other organs.

The name systemic lupus implies that almost any organ or system within the body might be affected and lupus is perhaps the classical multi-symptom illness, deserving of far greater priority and investigation by the medical community.

Discoid lupus is a condition of the skin alone, and in a very few patients can develop into systemic lupus.

Lupus may be triggered by various means and can present in a bewildering number of ways, even to the extent of mimicking other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.

The causes of lupus is not positively known though research.

Who gets lupus?

Lupus affects young women most

More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women between the ages of 15 and 45. African‑American, Latina, Asian, and Native American women are at greater risk of getting lupus than white women.

Anyone can get lupus.

2-Foods-That-May-Reduce-Lupus-Risk-and-what-to-avoidAbout 9 out of 10 adults with lupus are women ages 15 to 45. African-American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. Lupus is also more common in Latina, Asian, and Native American women. Men are at a higher risk before puberty and after age 50. [CLICK IMAGE]

Despite an increase in lupus in men in these age groups, two-thirds of the people who have lupus before puberty and after age 50 are women.

African-Americans and Latinos tend to get lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms, including kidney problems. African-Americans with lupus have more problems with seizures, strokes, and dangerous swelling of the heart muscle. Latina patients have more heart problems as well. Scientists believe that genes play a role in how lupus affects these ethnic groups.

Apart from genetic factors, lupus can be more severe for people who aren’t getting the care they need. Studies have shown that people with lupus who have a lower household income, lower level of education, or less of a support system tend to do worse with the disease. For some people with lupus, severe symptoms of the disease leave them unable to work, which may result in low income and lack of health insurance. These factors make it hard for a person with lupus to get the right treatment — or sometimes even diagnosis — that they need.

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Lupus Awareness Month

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LUPUS FOUNDATION of AMERICA – READ MORE

LUPUS CANADA – Working Together to Conquer Lupus

Try holding a raffle or auction if you make it a Lupus dinner party to raise the Awareness of this silent disease!

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