- An estimated 1.5 million Americans have lupus.
- Ninety percent of the people with lupus are women; however, men and children also develop the disease.
- African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with Lupus – a disparity that remains unexplained.
- More than half of the people with lupus suffer for four or more years and visit three or more doctors before receiving the correct diagnosis.
- Late diagnoses and delayed treatments contribute to significant tissue damage leading to organ failure, disability, and death.
- There is no cure, and over the last 50 years, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one drug specifically for Lupus.
No one knows what causes lupus.
Scientists think that people are born with the genes to develop lupus and that something brings on or “triggers” the disease and symptoms. However, a combination of genetics (heredity), environment, and hormones is involved.
WHAT IS LUPUS?
There are generally four recognized forms or types of lupus:
- Cutaneous (skin) Lupus Erythematosus
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
- Drug-induced Erythematosus
- Neonatal Lupus
For more information, click here [https://medlineplus.gov/lupus.html] to view information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LUPUS?
Symptoms of lupus vary depending on the individual case and the form of lupus present. Because lupus can affect so many different organs, a wide range of symptoms can occur.
These symptoms may come and go, and different symptoms may appear at different times during the course of the disease.
The most common symptoms of lupus, which are the same for females and males, are:
- extreme fatigue (tiredness)
- painful or swollen joints
- anemia (low numbers of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or low total blood volume)
- swelling (edema) in feet, legs, hands, and/or around eyes
- pain in chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)
- butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
- sun or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity)
- hair loss
- abnormal blood clotting
- fingers turning white and/or blue when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
- mouth or nose ulcers
*Many of these symptoms occur in other illnesses besides lupus