Yesterday was #PutOnPurple for Lupus Awareness Month, a day intended to help increase awareness of lupus and show support for those living with this disease.
What is lupus?
- Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body.?
- An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least 5 million people worldwide have lupus.?
- No two cases of lupus are alike. Common symptoms include joint pain, skin rashes, overwhelming fatigue and fevers that last for days or weeks. Most people with lupus don’t look sick.
- Lupus can impact any organ or tissue, from the skin or joints to the heart or kidneys. Two leading causes of serious illness and death from lupus are kidney disease and heart disease.
- Lupus usually develops between ages 15 and 44 and it lasts a lifetime.?
- Lupus can strike anyone, but 90 percent of the people living with lupus are females. Men, children and teenagers develop lupus too.?
- While people? of all races and ethnicities can develop lupus, lupus occurs two to three times more frequently among African Americans, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans than among Caucasians.
- While the causes of lupus are unknown, scientists believe hormones, genetics (heredity) and environmental factors are involved—more research is needed to better understand the role of these factors in people with lupus.?
- Lupus can be expensive to live with and treat. The average annual direct and indirect costs incurred by a person with lupus can exceed $21,000 annually, a higher cost per patient than those living with heart disease, bipolar disorder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and asthma.?
- Lupus can be difficult to diagnose. There is NO single blood test to diagnose lupus, and its symptoms mimic those of other diseases, vary in intensity and can come and go over time. More than half of those afflicted with lupus suffered at least four years, and saw three or more doctors before obtaining a correct diagnosis of lupus.
- Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing long-term consequences of the disease. If you notice signs or symptoms of lupus, be sure to engage your doctor and ask questions.?
If you are like me and love someone who is living with lupus, please take the time to sign a petition urging Congress for funds for lupus research. Learn more at lupus.org/petition.