I have a family history and display most of the common symptoms of lupus. The symptoms I have are the characteristic butterfly rash, migraines, kidney problems, anemia, excessive fatigue, joint pain, and photosensitivity. My mother and cousin, who have been diagnosed with lupus, display the same symptoms that I do. My mother has not had me tested yet because of the cost but I display the majority of the signs and symptoms that come with lupus.
Here are some key points about lupus
- Lupus is an autoimmune disease, caused by problems in the body’s immune system. It can be mild or life threatening.
- Lupus is not contagious.
- The type that we refer to simply as lupus is known as systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE.
- Other types of lupus include discoid (cutaneous), drug-induced, and neonatal.
- According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 1.5 to 2 million Americans have some form of lupus.
- It is also said that 5 million people worldwide suffer from some form of Lupus.
- More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women.
- Lupus is most common between the ages of 15-45.
- 72% of Americans aged 18-34 have either not heard of the disease or know nothing about it.
- Most Doctors believe that lupus results from both genetic and environmental stimuli.
- Risk factors include exposure to sunlight, certain prescription medications, infection with Epstein-Barr virus, and exposure to certain chemicals.
- Environmental factors include extreme stress, exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, some medications and antibiotics, infections and the Epstein-Barr virus (in children).
- Although there is no cure, lupus and its symptoms can be controlled with medication.
- Treatments for Lupus include corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs and lifestyle changes.