It’s World Lupus Awareness Day! Lupus is unusual and complex, it can be frustrating – even devastating to live with it. Read on to learn more about this disease.

1. What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic disease that affects the immune system. In Lupus, inflammation will occur inside your body and can damage various parts of your body including your joints, skin or internal organs. It is one painful and mysterious disease.

*90% of Lupus sufferers are WOMEN. 80% are between the ages of 15 and 45.

There are 5 different types of Lupus:

i) Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – the most common form of lupus

ii) Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) – causes skin rashes that don’t go away

iii) Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (SCLE) – causes skin sores on body areas that exposed to UV rays.

iv) Neonatal Lupus – affects newborn babies

v) Drug-induced Lupus – caused by certain medicines

2. What causes Lupus?

There isn’t any known cause but a few factors that play a role in triggering lupus. Researches have stated that the condition may be in some way caused by a combination of genetic, environmental and possibly hormonal factors. The most common ones are repeated exposure to ultraviolet light or the use of certain drugs. Other factors like infection, trauma, stress,  and surgery may also cause lupus.

3. Lupus effects everyone differently

You can have lupus and still look perfectly normal on the outside. Different people will experience different symptoms of lupus such as kidney, heart and lung problems. Some exhibit external symptoms like skin rashes or hair loss. A butterfly, or malar rash occurs in about 30% of lupus patients on the cheekbones and across the bridge of the nose, and is characterized by a blotchy, raised appearance.

4. Lupus is difficult to diagnose

Some symptoms of lupus are common to other conditions as well which makes the diagnosis difficult. According to an article in lupus.org, 97 percent of people with lupus test positive for Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) that destroys cells inside the body. However, some people without lupus will also get tested positive for ANA. The symptom evaluation is more difficult because the disease affects everyone differently. Some of the common symptoms are:

i) Constant fatigue

ii) Painful or swollen joints

iii) Hair loss

iv) Butterfly-shaped rash

v) Chest pain when breathing

vi) Mouth sores

5. People with Lupus are at risk for many other illnesses

The effects of lupus has on one’s body can be life-threatening. It can attack your lungs, kidneys, heart and even your brain. Other medical illnesses that people who live with lupus are at risk include, poor mental health, blood clotting, stroke, heart failure and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis of Lupus can be detected by doing blood & urine tests, and tissue biopsy.  So now that you know about the facts, causes and symptoms of Lupus, if you or anyone close to you experience the above stated symptoms, do consult a doctor as soon as possible. If required by the doctor, a Lupus Erythematosus test can be done at TeleMe’s HealthLab.

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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