Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 16,000 new people every year. It is unknown how many people are currently living with Lupus in the United States due to its varying onset and symptoms. While this disease is most common in women it does affect men and children as well. The causes of lupus are still unknown, but there are a number factors that researchers are focusing on:
• Hormones, primarily estrogen; because of the disease’s common appearance in women of child-bearing age, pre-pubescent and elderly men (when estrogen is at elevated rates in men).
• Immune issues, while it is a part of the disease, it may begin with another immune problem.
• Environment; factors such as climate, stress, and surroundings could trigger the disease. The disease manifests itself in a number of different ways, but some of the common symptoms include:
• Painful or swollen joints, arthritis, due to the body attacking healthy cells
• Inexplicable fever and extreme fatigue despite ample sleep.
• Common ‘butterfly rash’ across the nose and cheeks.
• Often have photosensitivity, may develop rashes after sun exposure.
Lupus can lead to an increased risk of other health problems, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and kidney disease; but living a normal life is possible with lupus. With proper treatment, up to 90% of those with lupus lead normal lives.
Join us by Putting on Purple for Lupus Friday, May 15th. The Lupus Foundation of America’s website provides a symptom tracker to assist in tracking Lupus’ affect on patient’s lives.https://www.usinlupus.com/lupusimpacttracker