Learning more about lupus

10 Things You Didn’t Know about Lupus
Source: The Lupus Foundation of America
Lupus is a mysterious and complicated illness that is difficult to diagnose and challenging to treat. Despite its widespread prevalence, about two thirds of the public have little or no knowledge of its effects. This Lupus Awareness Month, you can help spread knowledge and bring us closer to a future free from lupus.

1. Lupus is an unpredictable autoimmune disease that can affect the heart, lungs, skin or kidneys.
2. A lupus patient’s average medical and loss of productivity costs are roughly $20,000 per year, and can increase to $63,000 per year if he or she has kidney complications.
3. No special diet has been found to cure lupus or cause it to go into remission.
4. In certain cases, people with lupus are treated with cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug commonly used to treat cancer that suppresses the immune system.
5. The steroids used to treat people with lupus are the same ones that body builders and some professional athletes have been known to use.
6. While lupus affects people of all races and ethnicities, African Americans — as well as Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans — are diagnosed with lupus 2-3 times more often than Caucasians.
7. Lupus is not contagious. It cannot be “caught” or “passed on” to anyone, no matter what symptoms are showing.
8. Sensitivity to UV light (present in both sunlight and artificial light) affects as many as two thirds of individuals with lupus. This is known to cause fever, debilitating fatigue, joint pain, and rashes.
9. Lupus is not a form of arthritis, but many people with lupus do suffer from joint and/or muscle pain.
10. It is estimated that more than 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.

Visit lupus.org to learn more about how you can take action this Lupus Awareness Month.

Another resource I recommend is (Amazon) The First Year – Lupus An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed.

Online support groups are great. I am liking the one I mentioned last night.

You can also look for groups in your area.
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What is lupus?

This is a lupus awareness month post, my first one of the year (and the blog).

I’m a bit behind with blogging due to my health…. but I wanted to blog about lupus.

Lupus is a struggle every day. It’s joint pain and a lot of fatigue, as well as other symptoms.

Anyway, you may be wondering what lupus is…  Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. (Definition courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.)  It is a rheumatological and autoimmune disease. What I am writing about specifically is systemic lupus, the full name for which is systemic lupus erythematosus, which is also known as SLE.

Lupus is hard to diagnose, as it mimics other illnesses and it’s disease processes can be the same as those other illnesses. It attacks organs…. and each of those organs could fail on their own, without lupus, so unless there are a bunch of failing organs doctors aren’t as likely to think lupus.