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World Lupus Day: Things to know

World Lupus Day

Imagine hiring a body guard whose job description is clearly spelt out: look out for you, alert you when danger is lurking and protect you in times of need but instead the person turns their back on you and begins to attack you instead as if you were the enemy. This is what happens in the case of Lupus syndrome. Before we go ahead, let’s do a pronunciation exercise, it is pronounced as:

Loo-puhs

I hope you got that right, now we may continue……Lupus is a condition whereby a person’s immune system attack and fights their own tissues and organ. As we might know already, our immune system is like an automated bodyguard in everyone’s body that has been given the assignment to protect us and fight off sickness and infection. One of the main reasons we don’t fall ill in great severity is because our immune system has done the underground work. Our immune systems also aid in quick recovery when we eventually do get ill and also when a person undergoes major surgeries like organ transplant.

Lupus results into an inflammation that can affect any organ or tissue of the body and even the major ones like the lungs, heart, kidneys, blood cells and skin. According to the Lupus foundation, the condition affects approximately 5 million people globally and is very common with women in the child-bearing bracket (12-45 years). There are four (4) major types of the condition, namely:

  • Systemic Lupus Ertheymatosus (SLE), most common and deadliest
  • Cutaneous Lupus Ertheymatosus, affects only the skin
  • Drug-induced lupus, occurs for a short term and is caused by the use of certain medications.
  • Neonatal lupus, very rare and affects newborns

Lupus may not be common like conditions we’re well aware of like cancers, diabetes and hypertension but it’s very dangerous and may be difficult to discover as its signs and symptoms are quite similar to those of other conditions.

Signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • A rash that forms a butterfly shape, covering the cheeks and bridge of the nose or rashes on any other part of the body (may be purple or dark bluish if you’re darker in complexion.
  • Skin lesions, they appear or worsen when exposed to sunlight
  • White or blue-tinged fingers and toes brought on by the cold or during stressful times
  • Headaches, confusion and memory loss
  • Dry eyes
  • Breathlessness

Possible causes

Lupus being an autoimmune condition and most people are born with the potential of having it, there are other certain factors that can trigger it like:

  1. Exposure to sunlight
  2. Infections
  3. Medications

Others are risk factors like age, gender and race.

Preventative measures

Prevention they say is better than cure, but unfortunately in the case of Lupus even doctors themselves don’t know how it can be prevented, scary right? But here are a few ways to try minimized its occurrences…

  1. Know the triggers and stay away from them: Knowing is the knowledge aspect and wisdom is staying away once you’ve been able to identify them (hehehehe…..I don turn motivational speaker).
  2. Stay healthy: This comprises; eating healthy foods (fruits and vegetables), staying hydrated and exercising. This trio never gets old.
  3. Avoid staying too long in the sun or direct exposure to sunlight: Time yourself and have an umbrella handy but its best to stay away.
  4. Avoid over-the-counter drugs: A lot of people are very guilty of this, and it can be very dangerous
  5. See a doctor if you have any symptom. Especially the ones present for an extended period of time.

Ignorance is no longer an excuse. You didn’t know about Lupus, now you do with information right before you and don’t forget to share with anyone it may help.

Never stay home or silent about issues that border your health, it might be dangerous. Looking to speak to a professional? You can reach us at HCI Healthcare, your health is our cup of tea.

Have a lovely weekend….

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate.

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1 Comment

  • Adekunle
    May 11, 2024

    This is well detailed HCI. Thanks for sharing and enlightening us

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