Lupus is a complicated disease that people do not fully understand. It affects one out of every 185 people and could spell death for those who do not take proper care and precautions, according to Lupus News Today. The condition itself is very serious and awareness needs to be raised about the disease. While people may not die from the disease itself, complications from it may prove fatal, as stated by Ezine. With the disease, the immune system is compromised, and if there is irreversible damage to the organs as a result of repeated system attacks, death could be the end result.
Lupus is very hard to diagnose and at times difficult to treat. It is an incurable and chronic disease that attacks the immune system. It is sometimes called an invisible disease and it is painful and mysterious. It can be debilitating in some cases, attacking cells, tissues, the nervous system, blood, skin, and even vital organs, including the heart. The disease is not contagious and is also not cancerous. It is even more prevalent than AIDS, according to the article, which also said that the disease can affect men, women, and children and can even plague the elderly.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE, is the most common form of the disease and can be deadly if people do not educate themselves about the disease itself as well as the risks. The disease is life-threatening if left untreated, so awareness needs to be raised. Many people may have heard of the disease, but not very many people understand it unless they have dealt with it or know someone who has. It is very hard to diagnose, especially in extreme cases, in that it tends to mimic the symptoms of other diseases, as stated by Fox News. Approximately 97 percent of people with Lupus tend to test positive for something called antinuclear antibodies. The antinuclear antibodies destroy cells in the body. Some without the disease may also test positive for these, so this test cannot really give an accurate diagnosis alone.
It is staggering that one out of every 185 are affected by Lupus, and that number continues to rise as the years go on, according to Fox News. These individuals could be in jeopardy in that the disease could spell death for those that remain untreated. One cannot get treated properly if they are unaware that they have the disease or what risks come with it. It is important for those with SLE to know that it affects the body’s major organs, according to the article. When individuals experience something called a flare-up, the body is actively attacking itself, creating inflammation throughout the whole body. One could say that the body is having an allergic reaction to itself.
SLE can attack the skin, kidneys, heart, nerves, joints, and blood just as other forms of the disease can. SLE is simply the most common form of Lupus, and typically attacks these areas in the body. Many with SLE can experience kidney damage, which is common in sufferers and should be a concern for those with the disease as well as those who know someone with it. Symptoms of the disease include a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, sensitivity to light, anemia, painful and/or swollen joints, swelling, especially in feet, hands, and legs, fatigue, fingertip numbness, hair loss, mouth ulcers, and headaches. The disease imitates other illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease, blood disorders, and many more that have many of the same symptoms, according to the Lupus Foundation of America website.
Symptoms vary depending on the patient and the disease can be scary and isolating for those who are faced with it. The article said that there are many researchers and medical professionals out there who are devoted to solving the mystery of this incurable condition. It is an unpredictable and sometimes cruel disease that can be devastating. Those who suffer with it need support and understanding. The fact that it affects one out of every 185 people makes it clear that this is a serious issue. Diagnosis is the first part of the battle. People can play a key role in helping to manage their disease. One has to be their own advocate, listen to their bodies, stay involved, and always ask questions. It is a serious issue that the world needs to be aware of and action needs to be taken to aid sufferers and save lives.
By Heather Granruth
Lupus Foundation of America: What are the common symptoms of Lupus?
Fox News: 5 things you probably didn’t know about lupus
EZine: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Can Be Fatal
Mayo Clinic: Lupus
Daily Journal Online: Lupus Diagnosis Brings Daily Struggles
Lupus News Today: Lupus Specialists Teach How to Manage Disease at LFAFL Seminar
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