Lupus Awareness Month happens every year in May. Here's what you need to know about the month and the disease it centers on, as well the people who have it.
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5 Things You Didn't Know About Lupus for National Lupus Awareness Month
Lupus Awareness Month happens every year in May. The month helps bring more awareness to the disease so that people who suffer from it can experience less stigma and more empathy from society. It can also be a great opportunity to learn about the disease and how to cope with it, in case someone you know and love ends up being diagnosed with Lupus.
For National Lupus Awareness Month, here are five important things that you likely didn't know about lupus. Learn about what the disease is, people you know of who might have it, how to treat lupus, and more. By shedding light on the condition, we can help remove the stigma around it and give people who suffer from lupus a better quality of life overall.
It's an Autoimmune Disease
Lupus is an auto-immune disease. This means that it comes from your own immune system attacking your body—not from a germ or virus that has invaded the inside of your body from the outside. Lupus causes chronic inflammation and pain. While it can go into remission and disappear for long periods of time, people who have lupus can experience flare-ups that can be crippling. Lupus doesn't just affect your skin, joints, muscles, and more. It can also affect your organs, which can be dangerous.
There are actually several types of lupus that dictate how it affects you. The types are systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which is the most common kind that affects the whole body. Then there is cutaneous lupus, which just affects the skin; drug-induced lupus, which is kicked off by certain kinds of drugs; and neonatal lupus, which appears in infants of women who have lupus.
While there is no diet that combats lupus, people who suffer from the autoimmune disease can benefit from eating a healthy, nutritious, well-rounded diet that provides them with all the nutrients they need. If you want some advice about how to ensure your diet is healthy to keep you strong and thriving despite having lupus, check out our helpful guide to healthy eating here. Eating right can give you energy, help you feel strong, and make sure you are thinking clearly.
It is Hard to Tell if Someone Has Lupus
For National Lupus Awareness Month, it's important to realize that from the outside, it is often difficult to determine that someone has lupus. People who suffer or are looking for a diagnosis may experience some of the following symptoms, which can signify that something is wrong with their immune system.
These symptoms include headaches, extreme fatigue, joint swelling, swelling in the hands, feet, or eyes, fever, sensitivity to light or fluorescent color, and chest pain when breathing deeply. Lupus commonly shows up on the skin no matter what type you have, which can result in a butterfly rash on your face, sores in your mouth, loss of hair, and numb fingers when you are cold.
There are No Cures for Lupus, but There are Ways to Cope
There is no miracle cure or medication to take that simply gets rid of lupus. But thanks to science and research today, there are many ways for people who have lupus to cope with a flare-up or to stop one before it happens. Here are some of the most common ways of dealing with the symptoms of lupus:
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs/NSAIDS: Over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen or Naproxen can help people deal with aches and pains.
• Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids like prednisone can help reduce swelling and inflammation related to lupus.
• Antimalarial drugs: Doctors have discovered that the same medications that help treat and prevent malaria also reduce the severity of lupus.
• Immunosuppressive drugs: Drugs that suppress the immune system can help people who suffer from Lupus since it is an autoimmune disease. One option that people choose is chemotherapy, which is really only recommended in severe cases of lupus.
• BLyS-specific inhibitors: These medicines limit the abnormal B cells in your body, which are the ones in your immune system that create antibodies. People with lupus have too many of them.
Lupus Comes with a Normal Life Expectancy
Lupus sounds like it's a scary, serious disease to those of us who don't know much about it. It can be uncomfortable and cause a lot of suffering for people who have it. However, thanks to science and research today, it doesn't mean a death sentence. In fact, research shows thanks to advances in modern medicine, 80 to 90% of people with Lupus live long, normal-length lives.
Experts recommend exercising to help manage lupus and its flare-ups. Are you a novice fitness enthusiast? Fear not! We have great gentle, intro exercise guides that can get you feeling stronger and better without tiring you out or leaving you injured. Read about how to simply add more movement into your day here. Moving more means you get your exercise in while going about your regular activity, and it's an easy way to up your activity level without doing anything too strenuous.
People You Know About Have Lupus
Lupus can be managed so well these days that often, you won't know when someone has it. However, there are many celebrities in the public eye that have lupus, and they have found ways to manage it, including treatments, healthy lifestyles, and more. Here are some of the most famous people who have lupus that you might not know about:
• Selena Gomez
• Toni Braxton
• Nick Cannon
• Kristen Johnston
• Shannon Box
• Paula Abdul
• Charles Kuralt
• Tim Raines
• And many more.
You don't know that many celebrities have lupus because there are so many good ways to manage the symptoms via lifestyle choices and medical interventions. One way is meditation. Studies have shown that meditation can be very helpful for people who are experiencing the symptoms of lupus. Meditation is helpful for any person who wants to feel better, get control of their mental health, and reduce stress.
Here is our guide to mindfulness meditation for people who have never meditated before but are ready to experience the benefits of meditation on their mental and physical health.