According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 9 out of 10 women have lupus, and currently, 1.5 million people suffer from this disease in the United States.
So, this article today will focus on this autoimmune disease, its symptoms, prevention and treatment.
We will include two interviews, with the nurse and the patient.
Both of them use the same word very often: “Unpredictable.”
Mallory Dixon, 29, shared her experience with this disease in the Medical Daily.
She said: “It is such a disease that simply can not be described, because the whole thing with Lupus is that it is unpredictable.”
Lupus comes unexpected, but at the same time, can occur regardless of age, race or any other criterion.
In addition, it has a wide range of symptoms that can vary and can change throughout life. Doctors initially diagnose it as rheumatoid arthritis, as in the case of Dixon, when she was only 17, but her symptoms just did not stop even after several years.
She admitted: “One of my doctors told my parents that I may need a new therapist.” After six years of initial diagnosis, a doctor gave his review on disease: after researching the symptoms, reading medical history, we have identified lupus.
Dixon had the feeling that something terrible happened and she decided to go to the hospital. She explained: “The night before, I was afraid to sleep. I tried to ease my pain, but I felt like I was dying. ” On the way to the hospital, Dixon has experienced clinical death but she was brought back to life.
She remained in the hospital 86 days, and her condition was treated in different ways, then she fell in coma, she received chemotherapy, and spent some time on life support. After that, doctors found out that lupus moved to the kidneys and it was the cause of the symptoms and pain.
In fact, her kidneys began to shut down. Dixon thinks it is essential for women to learn about lupus so they don´t suffer as she did. Sarah Stothers, RN, nurse that works at the Lupus Foundation of America, in interview with Medical Daily, said that most common sign of lupus, for both sexes is “exhausting fatigue”.
Also, she continued, there are: headaches anemia Sunlight or light-sensitivity fever A rash shaped like a butterfly, which spreads through the nose and cheeks (this rash reminded doctors on wolf in earlier times, and that is the origin of the name.
Lupus- wolf in Latin Abnormal clotting Extreme fatigue Painful or swollen joints Swelling around the eyes, arms, legs Chest pain when you breathe deeply Hair loss Stothers explains: “Some people seem perfectly normal but they´re feeling terrible. Doing smallest task is impossible. Because person looks normal on the outside, the hardest thing, is when people do not believe them and say “But you look absolutely fine,and you are just avoiding work.” That hurts.
This autoimmune disease is often called “the great imitator” because characteristics often mimic many other diseases, such as inflammatory disease, bone disease, heart muscle disease and thyroid issues, diabetes, blood disorders, Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Many experts believe that it is associated with hormonal and autoimmune disorders. Dixons said “Lupus did not appear ever in my family. The only thing that runs genetic in my family is psoriasis,but that is whole another thing” Most commonly, people are suffering from the following autoimmune diseases: scleroderma, Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, psoriasis, vitiligo, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, reactive arthritis, Graves’ disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, celiac disease, pernicious anemia, Addison’s disease.
In all of these diseases, tissue in the body is mistakenly attacked by the immune system, along with foreign body’s, a viruses or bacteries. Causes of lupus Stothers said: “We know that there is a genetic component for lupus.” However, this does not mean that the person suffers from lupusm automatically. Also, cause could be hormonal disorders and environmental nox. According to the scientists, a great impact on lupus is age limit.
Women are more likely to get lupus, because the estrogen is involved in its development Stothers added: “People that have lupus are between 15 and 44 years of age and this is the time when women are most fertile. In fact, many women are diagnosed with lupus when they are testing for pregnancy or after giving birth, when their hormones are increased. ” However, it can be also diagnosed with people that are in their 70’s and 80’s.
Treatment Stothers indicates that “Most lupus patients are living for a long time, and they are having a productive and happy life.” However, in order to control the situation and the preservation of health, patients must monitor symptoms. Dixon explains that patients can have mild to severe symptoms. “It is difficult, perhaps the most difficult thing about lupus, you never know when the symptoms will occur and when they are going to get worse. All this variate from person to person. ”
Stothers points out that lupus patients are really brave and strong people. “These are really strong people, I admire them, I do not know how to gather up the courage and strength to fight with it all the time, also it should be noted that they have a lot of patience, because lupus gets people tired and it’s very boring disease.
People with lupus are the bravest people I’ve ever met. ” Dixon says that most of her power comes from the support of her family and friends, but it is said that the greatest strength must come from the patient himself. She says: “After all, you will be the one to get up out of bed.” “It is difficult, perhaps the most difficult thing about lupus, you never know when the symptoms will occur and when they are going to get worse. All this variate from person to person. ”
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