Lupus: The Myths And WhatNots…
SLE - (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) simply known as Lupus is an inflammatory disease caused by the immune system attacking its own tissues. In other words, the defence system of the body becomes hyperactive and then attacks normal healthy tissues.
Common symptoms of Lupus include Chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety, stiff or swollen joints, Chest pains, severe weight loss or weight gain, A ‘butterfly’ shaped rash (known as the Lupus Skin Rash) across the face.
It is said that about 5 million people around the world suffer from Lupus, 90% of which are women and so it is important for us to discuss and distinguish between the facts and myths surrounding Lupus.
Lupus is contagious - Myth
Lupus is not caused by any Virus/bacteria/any infectious agent, therefore it is not a contagious disease. About 20% of people living with Lupus have been found to be related by blood to people who already have the disease or may develop it.
Lupus is never the same for everyone - Fact
The signs and symptoms of lupus that one experiences, depends on which body systems are affected by the disease. These signs and symptoms may come on suddenly in some people and develop slowly in others. It may be mild or severe, temporary or even permanent. It is important that one does not self medicate when symptoms appear.
Lupus eventually disappears - Myth
There is currently no known cure for Lupus but some lifestyle adjustments and medications have been created for better management. These treatments all depend on how the disease manifests in the person's body.
Lupus does not prevent pregnancy - Fact
Lupus doesn’t prevent women from getting pregnant but it can cause complications in pregnancy. These complications may include miscarriage in the first trimester, late-term issues with high blood pressure and potential premature birth.
While there is currently no cure for Lupus, current treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare ups. This begins with lifestyle modifications, sun protection and diet.
It is also important for people with Lupus to speak regularly with their GP, join support groups and learn more and more about Lupus. Do not self medicate when you get symptoms. Check with your doctor, run the necessary tests to confirm and follow the medications prescribed dutifully.