Dr. Dzifa Dey gave us a talk on LUPUS. Below are highlights
What is LUPUS?
She explained that Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs.
Causes: Causes is Lupus is currently not known or fully understood.
Lupus is not contagious
Genetic factors increase the tendency of developing autoimmune diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune thyroid disorders are more common among relatives of people with lupus than the general population.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
Factors that triggers it include: sunlight, stress, hormones, smoking, certain drugs, and virus infections.
People with lupus may experience periods of flares when symptoms show up, and periods of remission when symptoms are under control. During a lupus flare, symptoms such as exhaustion, weight loss, fever, and anemia often occur. Flares and remissions can happen at any time, without warning.
BAD NEWS: There is no known cure for Lupus
GOOD NEWS: The condition can be managed.
Drug Induced Lupus can disappear when the drug is withdrawn.
Symptom: painful or swollen joints, muscle pains, red rushes mostly on the face, chest pains upon deep breathing, unusual loss of hair, pale toes or fingers from cold or stress, sensitivity to the sun, swelling in legs or around the eyes, mouth ulcers, swollen glands, extreme fatigue.
In some cases, the central nervous system is attacked causing dizziness, depression, vision problems, memory instability. Seizures, stroke, etc.
When the right tests are done and treatment is given, patients can have a normal life. Popular people like Michael Jackson and Olympic medalists have lived with this condition.
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