243365544_f0eda60aa9_m.jpg22173264_4cebab6962_m.jpg337270262_b5c84f2d8e.jpg

WHAT IS LUPUS?

Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus (sis-teh-mik lew-pus er-eh-thee-muh-toh-sis) or SLE, is a disease that affects your immune system. Normally, your immune system fights infections caused by germs. Instead of protecting your body, your immune system makes the mistake of attacking your body’s healthy cells.

Lupus can affect almost any part of your body, including your joints, skin, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, and brain. There is no way to know what part of your body will be affected.

For most people though, lupus is a mild disease affecting only a few parts of your body, and some patients don’t get inner organ problems (like in the heart and lungs), but do have skin and joint problems.

Normally, lupus develops slowly, with symptoms that come and go. For some, it can cause serious and even life-threatening problems.

Even for patients with diseases that hurt their organs, with good care and management and a strong partnership between a patient and her health care provider, the prognosis is good.

Who has lupus?

Lupus affects up to 1.4 million people in the United States. About 9 out of 10 people who have lupus are women. Lupus is 3 times more common in black women than in white women. It is also more common in women of Hispanic/Latina, Asian, and American Indian descent. Black and Hispanic/Latina women tend to develop symptoms at an earlier age than other women. African Americans have more severe organ problems, especially with their kidneys.

What are the different types of lupus?

There are several forms of lupus:

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is the most common type of lupus. SLE can affect many parts of the body including joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, blood, and brain. Although SLE usually develops in people between the ages of 15 and 44 years, it can occur in childhood or later in life.

The signs of SLE vary and there are usually periods of both illness and wellness (also called remission or having no symptoms). Some people have just a few signs of the disease while others have more.

Its symptoms can include:

“butterfly” rash across the nose and cheeks

skin rashes on parts of the body exposed to the sun

sores in the mouth or nose

painful or swollen joints

fever

weight loss

hair loss

fatigue

chest pain when taking deep breaths

purple or pale fingers or toes from cold or stress

abdominal pain

kidney inflammation

headaches

paranoia

schizophrenia

hallucinations

depression

trouble thinking

memory problems

seizures

strokes

blood clots

THERE IS MORE TO TELL YOU ABOUT LUPUS…so I will write more in the days to come…

REMEMBER, there is a Lupus Foundation…they do take donations to help cure this crippling disease!

Advertisements