Lupus is chronic autoimmune disease that can inflict irreparable damage to the cells and tissues while affecting any part of the patient’s body. With an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system no longer can tell the difference between the invading particles and the body’s own healthy tissues. This means that the body will begin to create specific autoantibodies that could attack healthy tissues throughout the body. This produces inflammation and damage in various parts of the body. Lupus commonly affects the joints, skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, and nervous system.
Global Stats for Lupus
Did you know that there are an estimated 5 million people living with lupus around the world? In the United States alone, there are at least 1.5 million Americans who are afflicted with this chronic autoimmune disease. This disease remains a cruel mystery, but we are learning more each year through ongoing lupus clinical trials and research. For one thing, no two patients ever present with the same symptoms. Another shocking statistic is that nearly all known cases of lupus (about 90 percent) have been diagnosed in women! You can find out more on our lupus infographic.
The Symptoms of Lupus
Lupus is notoriously difficult to diagnose due to the fact that many of the symptoms associated with this autoimmune disease actually mimic those of other illnesses. A diagnosis of lupus is made based on a combination of the physical symptoms present and a number of laboratory tests. However, it often takes years before a patient’s diagnosis is confirmed. On our infographic, we have listed out some of the most common symptoms that could serve as indications of lupus. If you have experienced any number of these symptoms, then it is recommended that you contact a rheumatologist in your local area.
Final Thoughts on Lupus…..
Remember that one of the most difficult aspects of diagnosing lupus is ruling out other potential illnesses that could be afflicting the patient. At the bottom of Lupus – A Closer Look At The Autoimmune Condition, you’ll see a little box that outlines some of the other diseases that produce symptoms quite similar to systemic lupus erythematosus.
While we are not currently conducting any clinical trials on this autoimmune disease, you could have a look at our sister facility in Birmingham, AL. It is only through more support and funding that we will be able to uncover the mystery of this cruel disease. Please don’t forget that every May is National Lupus Awareness Month, and everyone is invited to get involved even if they are not directly affected by this disease.