Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes persistent tiredness, discomfort, and other symptoms. It affects almost 1.5 million people in the United States. However, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, 63 percent of Americans are unaware of the disease.
Lupus Awareness Month exists to promote public awareness of the condition. Every year, activities are organized to educate the public about lupus and how it affects individuals.
Lupus Awareness Month
In the United States, May is Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus Awareness Week began in 1977 and was held in the fall months. It was eventually extended to a month and shifted to the spring. Since 2009, May has been Lupus Awareness Month.
These events raise awareness of the physical, emotional, and financial consequences. As their understanding grows, people facing the disease will receive improved assistance, resources, and advocacy. Fundraising is also critical for advancing research programs and providing assistance and services to people in need.
Patients frequently experience joint pain, excessive exhaustion, and organ damage. It can also have an impact on one's mental health. The condition flares up from time to time, making everyday living uncertain. Simply defined, the disease's physical, emotional, and social effects can significantly influence the quality of life.
If you know someone prone to having lupus, please refer them to have early diagnosis and prevention at Broward Community and Family Health Centers.
What is Lupus?
Lupus, also called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune illness that causes swelling and discomfort. Your immune system battles itself when you have an autoimmune disease. The immune system is made to battle potential dangers to the body, such as infections. Still, it is attacking healthy tissue in this situation.
It may affect anyone. Women, men, children, and even infants might be influenced. It impacts far more women than males, with around 90% of identified cases being women of reproductive age.
It is also more common in some ethnic groups. African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women are more prone than Caucasian women to get the disease. Getting it is higher if you have a family member who has lupus or another autoimmune illness.
Causes of Lupus
The cause of lupus is unclear at this time. Even if the actual etiology of the ailment is unknown, certain things may contribute to it. It can be caused by a variety of reasons, including:
- Hormonal changes
Women are more prone than males to get lupus, which may be attributed to hormones such as estrogen. It is more typical in women between 15 and 44 when estrogen levels are highest.
Different factors in your surroundings might also enhance your risk. It can be caused by various factors, including the amount of sunlight you are exposed to, the drugs you take, infections you may have been exposed to, and even stress. A history of smoking can also bring on the disease.
The disease may have a hereditary component. If you have lupus in your family, your chances of getting it are higher.
Is It Curable?
Lupus has no cure at the moment. The treatment focuses on managing your symptoms and reducing the extent of the disease's harm to your body. It can be treated to reduce its influence on your life, but it will never completely disappear.
The following are the most prevalent symptoms (which affect both men and women):
- Extreme exhaustion (feeling tired all the time)
- Joint discomfort or edema
- Swelling of the hands, feet, or eyelids
- Low-grade fevers
- Sunlight or fluorescent light sensitivity
- When inhaling deeply, chest discomfort occurs.
Visit Your Doctor When…
Consult doctors at Broward Community and Family Health Centers at Lauderhill Mall if you have symptoms like excessive exhaustion, joint discomfort, rash, or fever.
No one test can determine whether or whether you have the disease. There is, however, a test that can diagnose autoimmune illnesses in general. An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is what it's called. It looks for antibodies directed towards your bodily tissues and created in autoimmune illnesses. The presence of additional antibodies indicates the presence of the disease.
How to Prevent Lupus
You can't always prevent the disease, but you can avoid the things that make it worse, such as:
- If sun exposure creates a rash, limit your time in direct sunshine. Always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 70 that protects against UVA and UVB radiation.
- Develop stress-reduction strategies. Relax your thoughts by meditating, doing yoga, or getting massages.
- Get plenty of rest. Every night, get to bed early enough to have seven to nine hours of sleep.
Get Involved in Lupus Awareness Month
- Raise awareness
This month is all about spreading awareness about the disease. Spread the word to start educating others.
- Host a fundraiser
Host a fundraiser for Lupus Awareness Month to show the world that we can stand together.
- Use your platform
Use your social media platforms to spread awareness this month. You never know who you could reach!
- Wear purple
Wear your favorite purple clothes to boost lupus awareness and urge others to contribute!
The first step toward managing your health and improving your quality of life is getting a diagnosis. If you're suffering from lupus symptoms, reach out to Broward Community and Family Health Center at Lauderhill Mall. Because of the wide variety of symptoms and how symptoms gradually grow over time, lupus can be challenging to diagnose.