World Lupus Day 2020 (Photo Credits: File Image)
Every year World Lupus Day is celebrated on May 10 and the day is dedicated to the global health problem, lupus. The autoimmune disease is known to affect any part of the body in any way at any time. The disease can be unpredictable and have varying impacts on your body. The day aims at increasing awareness about the disease also help people dealing with the autoimmune condition. The condition is also known as systemic lupus erythematosus and it impacts one’s immune system, which is our body’s defence mechanism. Our immune system works towards protecting our body from infections and illnesses. When a person has lupus, their immune system attacks tissues in different parts of the body.
Causes of Lupus
Women of childbearing age (14 to 45 years old) are most often affected and as many as 1 in 250 people may develop lupus. The cause of lupus is unknown. However, there appears to be something that triggers the immune system to attack various areas of the body. That’s why suppressing the immune system is one of the main forms of treatment. Finding the cause is the object of major research efforts. Factors that may contribute to the development of lupus include viruses, environmental chemicals and a person’s genetic makeup. Female hormones are believed to play a role in the development of lupus because women are affected by lupus much more often than men.
What Are the Symptoms of Lupus?
The symptoms of lupus differ from one person to another. Some people have just a few symptoms, while others have many. In addition, there are many different symptoms of lupus because the disease can affect any part of the body. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Achy joints (arthralgia)
- Unexplained fever (more than 100 F)
- Swollen joints (arthritis)
- Prolonged or extreme fatigue
- Skin rash
- Ankle swelling and fluid accumulation
- Pain in the chest when breathing deeply (pleurisy)
- A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to the sun and/or other light
- Mouth or nose sores
- Pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
It is believed that between 10-15 percent of people with lupus will die prematurely due to complications of lupus. However, due to improved diagnosis and disease management, most people with the disease will go on to live a normal life span.