Friday, August 9, 2013

What is Lupus?

What is Lupus?
what is lupusWhat is Lupus? Did you know that there are 1.5 million people across the US who have Lupus and yet, many see 3 or more health care providers and it may take up to 4 years to get an accurate diagnosis.
It’s frustrating because there are many different symptoms that may or may not occur in each individual.
If you’re a patient or a health care provider who’s looking for more information on Lupus, the American College of Rheumatology has put together a comprehensive website at TheLupusInitiative.org with everything you and/or your patients will need to better manage symptoms.
Possible Signs and Symptoms
  • Swollen, painful joints
  • Fatigue and feeling tired
  • Fevers that are unexplained
  • Depression
  • Muscle Aches
  • Hair loss
  • Skin Rashes which may look similar to a butterfly that has landed on the nose and spread it’s wings across the cheeks
  • Pale or Purple fingers or toes that feel cold to the touch

Who is likely to have Lupus?
Though anyone can develop Lupus, it is 9 times more likely to occur in women and is more common in people of color. Lupus is usually diagnosed when a person is between 15 to 45 years old.
How to Get Help
We know that when people with Lupus take an active role in their own health care, they are much more likely to
  • Experience much less pain
  • Feel more hopeful about themselves and their future
  • Stay active, enjoying life
  • Not need to see their health care providers as often
Each person with Lupus will have their own unique manifestation of this autoimmune condition. Though some people can have very serious, life-threatening consequences of Lupus, there is hope. This disease can be managed now better than it has been in the past.
Check out their Web Site
I like the videos which are easy to understand and provide a wealth of helpful information about how to manage symptoms.
There’s also an illustrated guide that you can download that helps put Lupus in perspective.
To track symptoms, they’ve also developed a downloadable sheet that will help you and your health care provide see patterns in symptoms.
Disclosure: I have no financial or other relationship with The Lupus Initiative, the American College of Rheumatology or any pharmaceutical company that makes medications to treat Lupus. I heard about this initiative and wanted to pass the information along. I hope it helps.

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