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What is lupus?

 

So few have heard of it, yet worldwide it's seen as more common than leukaemia, multiple sclerosis & muscular dystrophy.

Over 30,000 people have the disease in the UK of whom 90% are female. Men & young children can also be affected by lupus. The ratio of women to men(who are affected) being 9:1.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, a type of self-allergy, whereby the patient's immune system creates antibodies which instead of protecting the body from bacteria & viruses attack the person's own body tissues. This causes symptoms of extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, anaemia, general malaise, & can result in the destruction of vital organs. It is a disease with many manifestations, & each person's profile or list of symptoms is different. Lupus can mimic other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis & rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to diagnose.

Currently there is no single test that can definitely say whether a person has lupus or not. Only by comprehensive examination and consideration of symptoms and their history can a diagnosis be achieved.


Lupus is neither infectious or contagious.

Lupus can be triggered-
·at puberty ·during the menopause
·after childbirth ·after viral infection  
·through sunlight ·as a result of trauma 
·after a prolonged course of medication
 
The symptoms:
These may include -
-extreme fatigue -joint/muscle pain
-eye problems -depression
-mouth ulcers -facial or other rashes
-miscarriage -hair loss
-anaemia -fever
-possible involvement of the kidneys, heart, lungs & brain 

There is no cure...

People diagnosed with lupus normally remain under medical care with continuing medication. Many symptoms have less impact as a result, but side effects can often occur. Lupus can adversely influence the lives of those who suffer the illness, their families & friends.

SLE - Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

...hard to say - harder to live with...

 
 

 

 
 

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