Lupus awareness month takes place in October in the UK every year. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and improve understanding of the condition. The 2017 campaign hashtag is #THISISLUPUS and the aim of the campaign is to make the invisible visible.
What is lupus?
Lupus is the Latin word for wolf. Lupus vulgaris, a severe facial rash rarely seen now, was once thought to resemble a wolf’s bite. Lupus is an incurable immune disease which can affect any part of the body.
What are the symptoms?
The two major symptoms are joint/muscle pain and an extreme tiredness which does not improve despite rest. Rashes, depression, anaemia, fever, headaches, mouth ulcers and hair loss may also occur.
What are the triggers?
Women are affected more than men and the main trigger of lupus is hormonal activity and change. Lupus can be triggered after childbirth, at the menopause of during puberty. A viral infection, strong medication, sunli9ht, trauma and environmental factors can all contribute.
How is lupus diagnosed?
Usually lupus is diagnosed with at least 4 out of 11 internationally accepted conditions present, from The American Rheumatism Association. These include: Malar rash, discoid rash, photosensitivity, oral ulcers, serositis, arthritis, renal disorders, neurological disorders, haematological disorders, immunologic disorder and anti-nuclear antibody test (ANA). Diagnosis is not straightforward, the cause is still not clear and symptoms can vary widely from day to day in any one patient.
What is the treatment?
Lupus is generally treated with anti-malarials and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Steroids and immunosuppressant's may also be used in some cases. Those with lupus can generally expect a normal lifespan.
LUPUS UK relies on your support and donations in order to keep doing what we do. There are a number of ways to donate:
1. Through the JustGiving website
2. Via the donation form
3. Through JustTextGiving
4. Through the Memory Giving website
5. By signing up to Give As You Earn