Living with any type of disease can be extremely challenging for the person going through it and living with lupus is no different. According to the Bruskin-Goldring survey, an estimated 1.5 million Americans live with lupus and 5 million people in the world overall. This rare illness can’t be that rare with these types of statistics, right? It’s easy to see it that way but this is still a rare, multisystemic, genetic autoimmune disease that disrupts many people’s lives, but with research and education, it doesn’t have to.
How Lupus Affects the Body
There are 4 different types of lupus, systemic, cutaneous, drug-induced and neonatal.
Systemic lupus is where most of the world’s lupus cases fall under. An estimated 70% of lupus cases are systemic. Systemic lupus is when the immune system attacks its own healthy tissue causing inflammation and damaging the body’s tissue in the process. A person’s heart, lung, brain and or kidneys will mostly be affected by systemic lupus.
Cutaneous lupus makes up an estimated 10% of lupus cases. This type of lupus is when the immune system attacks one’s skin causing rashes or sores. The areas that are most affected by this skin disease are the ones more exposed to sunlight, for example arms, face, neck and legs.
Drug-induced lupus is lupus that comes when one is exposed to systemic lupus through drugs (usually prescribed medicine). Medicines like Hydralazine for high blood pressure and Procainamide for irregular heartbeats can expose one to drug-induced lupus. Similar to the symptoms of systemic lupus, drug-induced lupus systems are usually muscle and joint pain, flu-like fevers and fatigue and inflammation around the lungs or heart (serotosis).
Neonatal lupus is lupus that is not actually lupus. It’s more so a rare condition when certain antibodies from the mother affect a baby at birth. A lot of the symptoms that come with it such as skin rashes or low blood cell counts usually disappear once the child hits 6 months. A major concerning symptom of this condition is congenital heart block, which slows down the heartbeat of a baby. Though rare, newborns whose mothers have lupus are more subjected to congenital heart block.
Who is More Subjected to Lupus?
Research shows that women are more subjected to being diagnosed with lupus. It is even more common to find in women of color, specifically Black women where lupus is more likely to affect their organ system. Minority women are usually diagnosed with lupus at younger ages and suffer higher mortality rates than white women. Men who are diagnosed with lupus usually have drug-induced lupus. This is because certain drugs that are mostly given to men are exposures of systemic lupus symptoms (ie. Hydralazine).
5 Natural Remedies to Use
Unfortunately, people with lupus are prone to flare-ups and though there are recommended and prescribed medications out there to