WHAT IS LUPUS

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Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and or internal organs). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last for a long time. In lupus, this is when something goes wrong with your immune system and this is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These auto-antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.

People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus, however; women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus.
Although lupus can strike men and women of all ages, 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with the disease are women. Lupus effects mostly women at their childbearing age between the ages of 15-44.

Research estimates that 5 million people has some form of lupus. In addition, 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus. More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country. Lupus is not contagious. It is not a form of Cancer or AIDS.

Women of African American and Hispanic decent tend to have more organ damage from lupus than Caucasian Women. 20 percent of people with lupus will have a parent or sibling who already has lupus or may develop lupus.
About 5 percent of the children born to individuals with lupus will develop the illness.
Lupus is more prevalent than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscle dystrophy, Aids, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia COMBINED.

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Symptoms of Lupus

  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Achy Joints with Swelling
  • Unexplained Fevers
  • Mouth/Nose Ulcers
  • Hair Loss
  • Rash on cheeks/nose. Classic Butterfly Rash (Malar Rash)
  • Scaly disk shaped scarring
  • Depression
  • Sun Sensitivity
  • Discolored Urine
  • Weight Loss
  • Discolored fingers or toes
  • Pleurisy (Pain in the Chest)
  • Arthritis
  • Swollen Glands
  • Low Blood Count

Lupus is sometimes called “the great imitator” because its symptoms often looks like the symptons of lyme disease, thyroid, fibromyalagia, and a number of heart, muscle, lung and bone diseases.

There are four forms of Lupus:

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, SLE can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, blood vessels and organs. This chronic, inflammatory disease is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body attacks healthy cells with an overactive immune response. The cause is unknown. And it is hard to diagnosed because it looks like so many other ailments.

Discoid Lupus, is chronic inflammatory sores that develop on the face, ears, scalp and on other body areas that are most exposed. These lesions can be crusty, red and scaling and often leave a scar and or discoloration. They don’t hurt or itch. Some patients report lesions and scarring on the scalp, making hair re-growth impossible in those areas. A skin biopsy is used to diagnose discoid lupus in these cases, as other diseases can look the same. Chronic Cutaneous lupus (discoid lupus) appears as disk-shaped, round lesions.

Drug Induced Lupus is a condition mimicking the symptoms of lupus, but brought on by certain types of drugs, usually taken over long periods of time. Drug-induced lupus is completely reversible once the drug is discontinued.
Many drugs have been known to cause this form of the disease (38 different drugs to be precise), but several are considered primary culprits. They are mainly drugs used to treat chronic conditions such as heart disease, thyroid disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), neuropsychiatric disorders, inflammation, and epilepsy. The three drugs mostly to blame for drug-induced lupus are: Procainamide (brand name Pronestyl, used to treat heart arrythmias), Hydralazine (brand name Apresoline, used to treat hypertension), and Quinidine (brand name Quinaglute, used to treat heart arrythmias)

Neonatal Lupus, is a rare form of temporary lupus that affects a fetus or newborn (usually coming to the fore in the first few months of life). It occurs when the mother’s auto-antibodies are passed to her child in utero. These auto-antibodies can affect the skin, heart, and/or blood of the baby. Neonatal lupus sometimes appears as a rash developing soon after birth and can last several months before disappearing. It is not a permanent condition, but half of all babies born with neonatal lupus may present with a heart condition – one that is permanent, but treatable with a pacemaker.


Information from various websites.


Celebrities with Lupus

 

Cori Broadus, Rapper Snoop Dog’s Daughter
Toni Braxton, Singer/Entertainer
Nick Cannon, Actor has Lupus Nephritis, a rare form of Lupus that attacked his kidneys.
Lady Gaga, Singer, Musician, Songwriter
Gigi Garner, Daughter of Actor James Garner
 Seal, Singer, Songwriter and Musician has facial scars from Discoid Lupus
   Mercedes Yvette, America’s Top Model
   Charles Kuralt, CBS Sunday Morning Anchor dies from Lupus Complications.
   Kelly Stone, Sister of Actress Sharon Stone
   J Dilla, Producer, Rapper, and Writer, dies from Lupus Complications.