Lupus has been in the news a fair bit as of late with many notable celebrities and public figures speaking out about their condition. Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, Lady Gaga, Seal and more have all be diagnosed, and thankfully, by being open about their diagnosis, they are helping spread the word.
While this is a good thing, the problem with this type of exposure is that very often information can be confused for misinformation, and the result is people are getting the wrong facts surrounding this serious illness. So with the public’s well-being in the forefront, allow us to help separate fact from fiction and provide you with the truth about lupus.
It’s an autoimmune disease – Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects around 1.5 million people in the U.S. The immune system works to protect our bodies from infections and viruses. However, in lupus patients, the immune system actually attacks them instead of protecting them.
Females are more likely to be diagnosed – Lupus is primarily a woman’s disease, as females account for approximately 90 percent of sufferers. It usually strikes young women, particularly those in their childbearing ages, however, not limited.
Women of color are at a greater risk of lupus – Lupus tends to strike women of color more than Caucasian women. African-American, Native American, Asian and Latinas are more than three times more likely to develop the disease.
There are 5 types – There are five different forms of the disease. The most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which makes up 70 percent of cases. The symptoms of lupus are wide-ranging as the disease can affect any part of the body, including the major organs.
When males get lupus, the symptoms are more severe – Although it is only a small percentage of lupus patients are male, they tend to experience more severe symptoms and are more likely to suffer kidney complications, neurological diseases and inflammation of organs such as the heart and liver.
The cause is still yet unknown – While scientists are unable to determine the exact cause of lupus, it’s commonly understood to be a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. Exposure to ultraviolet light and silica have been linked to the disease as well as having Epstein-Barr virus.
It can be very difficult to diagnose – Because lupus has such a wide range of symptoms, many of which mimic other diseases, it is an incredibly difficult disease to diagnose. It takes around six years for the average lupus patient to receive their diagnosis.
While some of these facts about lupus are less than inspiring, research is still going on. Lupus poses a lot of questions that have yet to be answered by doctors; however, hopefully in time; we will not only understand this condition more but hopefully find a cure.Advertisement