What Is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system mistakes the healthy tissues and cells as foreign invaders and attacks them, usually leaving damage. This, unfortunately, leads to more health problems and complications throughout ones’ life.
The most common type of lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE, which occurs in about 70 percent of cases. The underlying cause of lupus is still unknown and there is no cure.
Those diagnosed with lupus take medications and disease-specific treatments to calm the symptoms and disease activity.
Common Symptoms Include:
- Sensitivity to the Sun
- Joint Pain, Swelling, and Stiffness
- Extreme Fatigue
- Hair Loss
- A Skin Rash. The most well known is the ‘butterfly rash’ which occurs across the nose and cheeks.
- Confusion and Memory Loss
- Mouth sores
- Headaches and Migraines
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)- This is the most serious form of lupus. It mostly affects the brain, kidneys, lungs, mouth, skin, and heart.
Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus- This type primarily affects the skin and causes inflammation and sores around the ears, scalp, face, and other areas of the body.
Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus- This is a rare form of lupus that can occur in infants born to mothers who have systemic lupus. It occurs when the infants are affected by the mother’s antibodies in the womb and show symptoms at birth.
Drug-Induced Lupus Erythematosus- This type is similar to systemic lupus. It’s caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to certain medications.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)
About 90 percent or more of those diagnosed with lupus are women.
Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to be diagnosed with a form of lupus than Caucasians.
Since more is known about lupus and its symptoms, about 80-90 percent of those diagnosed with lupus will live a normal lifespan, with treatment.
Lupus activity and flares can be triggered by sunlight, stress, infection/virus, pregnancy and birth, certain foods, and physical exhaustion.
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Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional healthcare advice.