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May is Lupus Awareness Month: Improving Education On This Misunderstood Disease

Posted by on 5/1/2019

The month of May is used to raise awareness and educate others about Lupus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. This chronic disease causes an overreactive immune system to produce autoantibodies which attacks healthy body tissue.
This disease can take years to diagnose. On average, it takes nearly 6 years for people with Lupus to be diagnosed from the time they notice their symptoms.

Here are the most common symptoms of Lupus to be aware of: 
Extreme fatigue
Headaches
Painful or swollen joints
Fever
Anemia
Swollen feet, legs, or hands
Swelling around the eyes
Pain in chest when taking deep breaths
“Butterfly shaped” rash around cheeks and nose
Light sensitivity
Hair loss
Blood clotting
Fingers turn white or blue when cold
Mouth or nose ulcers.

Fatigue is the main symptom of Lupus, affecting about 80% of people with the disease.

Lupus can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are like other diseases. The symptoms can come and go, making it even harder to diagnose. 

If you or your doctor thinks you may have lupus, you will have to answer questions about your symptoms, medical history, and your family medical history. This will be followed by a variety of tests, there isn’t just one test that can give you a “yes” or “no” diagnosis.

Lupus is not contagious. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.

Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening. 

There is no cure for lupus, currently, but you can manage the disease and life a healthy life by working with a medical care team to find the treatment plan that works for you.

Anti-inflammatories are the most common drugs used to treat Lupus.  Corticosteroids (also known as cortisone), Antimalarials, Immunosuppressives, and Monoclonal Antibodies are also is used to help treat Lupus. 

This May, raise awareness by participating in World Lupus Day on May 10th, Put on Purple Day on May 17th, or using social media campaigns.

Show your support for those living with Lupus and Lupus research by wearing or decorating with Purple Awareness Ribbons, Pins, or our Giant Awareness Loops.

For more information on Lupus, go to lupus.org.

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