5 things you probably didn’t know about the chronic disease Lupus
By Smitakshi Guha
While chronic illnesses like Cancer, AIDS, etc are quite widely known of, Lupus, which is a chronic autoimmune disease, is a condition that not many are well aware of. Well, to put it briefly, it is an inflammatory disease wherein the body’s immunity tissues attack the body itself. Recently, the disease became quite a popular term over the internet after popular Hollywood singer and actress Selena Gomez confessed that she was diagnosed with Lupus and had to battle the disease with the help of chemotherapy.
While the kinds of treatments needed for the disease vary from person to person, here are some facts about Lupus that you probably didn’t know until now—
- Lupus affects nine times more women than it affects men
Research and statistics have proven that Lupus generally affects more women than men. Also, the women between the age group of 13-49 are more likely to be targeted. Additionally, compared to white women, women of color are more prone to developing Lupus and like any other chronic diseases Lupus too has genetics playing an important role, as women who have a family history of Lupus are at a higher risk of being targeted than women who don’t.
- People suffering from Lupus are more prone to skin rashes and arthritis
While the affects of the disease differ from person to person, approximately 75% of the patients tend to have arthritis, skin rashes as well as kidney problems and are more likely to be affected by infections.
- The symptoms of Lupus vary from patient to patient
Since the symptoms are highly variable, the diagnosis of Lupus becomes difficult compared to other diseases. The common symptoms include fatigue, mouth sores, blood clots, sensitivity to light among many others.
- Treatment will totally depend upon the kind of flare ups that you are going through
Since its affects on patients are variable, the treatment types are also variable. Some may need to be treated with Plaquenil—to deal with skin rashes and arthritis; others may need anti inflammatory drugs like Naproxen to help combat mild swellings and joint aches.
- Some simple blood tests can diagnose Lupus
The first and most easy way of diagnosing Lupus is to conduct an Antinuclear Antibody Test (ANA). If it comes negative, the chances of Lupus are fully ruled out. However, a positive ANA doesn’t 100% affirm Lupus and needs to be backed up with a sequence of other tests thereafter.