Lupus is an inflammatory disease that affects approximately 5 million people worldwide and primarily affects women. In fact, it affects 9 women for every 1 man. What is this disease, what are its causes, and symptoms, and how can it be treated?
What is lupus?
Lupus is a Latin word meaning “wolf”. It is a chronic autoimmune disease that usually results from a malfunctioning immune system that starts attacking different components of the body. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, brain … The appearance of various symptoms can disrupt the life of the person who suffers from it. This is the case of Mallory Dixon, a 29-year-old girl who recounts her experience with this unpredictable disease.
At the age of 17, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but the persistent symptoms she experienced led her doctors to recommend the treatment to her parents.
After carefully examining her condition and analyzing her symptoms and medical history, the doctor was finally able to determine what disease she was suffering from lupus. This diagnosis came 6 years after the initial diagnosis.
She says that the day before she went to this doctor, she thought that she would not survive that night. In fact, Dixon arrived at the clinic in a state of clinical death before he could be revived. She was admitted to the hospital and spent 86 days there under observation. She underwent numerous tests and underwent several treatments such as chemotherapy and dialysis, and was also on life support because she often fell into a coma. While he was in the hospital, doctors discovered that lupus had spread through his body and reached his kidneys, causing him to have bouts of pain. His kidney function began to fail.
Dixon claims that if her disease had been diagnosed earlier, it could have stopped its spread and damaged vital organs. That’s why you think people need to know more about lupus and its symptoms.
Symptoms of lupus that affect both men and women:
Chronic fatigue condition
Sun and light sensitivity
unusual blood clots
Swelling and joint pain
Nose and mouth ulcers
Blue or white toes when it’s cold
Chest pain when breathing deeply
Swelling of the hands, feet, legs, and around the eyes
A butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and nose.
Many people with lupus may seem fine while feeling very depressed. They may look completely normal, but they experience pain that makes daily tasks difficult.
Lupus has also been called “the great imitator”. It mimics the symptoms of other diseases, which complicates its diagnosis.
Dixon says no cases of lupus have ever been reported in her family. On the other hand, psoriasis, which is also an autoimmune disease, is hereditary.
In addition, it has been found that people with lupus are also at risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, scleroderma, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo, inflammatory bowel disease, and reactive arthritis. . , and celiac disease. Digestive dyspepsia and Sjogren’s syndrome. Celiac disease, Addison’s disease, and pernicious anemia.
The cells and tissues of the body find themselves attacked by antibodies produced by the immune system as if they were pathogenic germs or viruses.
What causes lupus?
Although genetics plays an important role in the transmission of lupus, it is not a determining factor. Just because someone in your family has it doesn’t mean you will have it, too. Its onset is favored by other factors such as the environment, stress, or hormones, including estrogen, which is largely responsible for the disease in women.
Lupus usually affects people between the ages of 15 and 44, when women are most sexually active and fertile. It also appears in people between the ages of 70 and 80.
How do you deal with this?
To date, there is no specific treatment for this disease. However, taking certain anti-inflammatories or immunosuppressants can help relieve symptoms, especially during flare-ups. In addition, people who suffer from it are usually able to read the signals that their body sends and recognize the factors that cause them pain. For Dixon, illness is primarily colds, stress, and physical exertion.
She ended her testimony by expressing her gratitude to her family and friends who supported her and said that every person diagnosed with lupus should be resolute and show courage to fight this disease.