World Lupus Day 2016

World Lupus Day was first celebrated in 2004, wherein a number of events were conducted to highlight its significance. Most important was the declaration of the inaugural World Lupus Day Proclamation, identifying this historic day and manifesting concern for the requirements of millions of people globally.

Why Lupus Day is Celebrated

World Lupus Day is observed to focus on the requirement of heightened public awareness, enhanced patient healthcare services, advanced research into the reason of and a cure for lupus, enhanced physician examination and treatment of lupus, and advanced epidemiological information on lupus globally.

Impact of Lupus

Lupus not only affects the sufferer but it also impacts their family, friends, and peers. Still, it is extensively under-recognized as a global health issue by the public, health professionals, and governments, appealing the need for enhanced awareness. Early ascertaining and treatment of lupus enable to mitigate the debilitating effects of the disease. However, lupus is often hard to diagnose because symptoms frequently mimic common illnesses.

A lot of countries, worldwide, celebrate 10th of May every year and consider this as a very special day and an appropriate opportunity to raise awareness for Lupus.

Causes of Lupus

Cause of lupus is unknown. Scientists believe that people are born with the genes to experience lupus and that something "triggers" the disorder and symptoms. However, a combination of heredity, environment, and hormones are the real culprits.

Symptoms of Lupus

Symptoms of lupus may vary from individual to individual case and the type of lupus present. Most people with lupus do not witness all of these symptoms. Symptoms that enable doctors to differentiate lupus from other rheumatic diseases may encompass:

A butterfly-shaped patch or rash unearthing on the cheeks and on the bridge of the nose (malar rash)

  • Scaly wound appearing on the face, neck, and chest (discoid rash)
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Ulcers in mouth
  • Arthritis pain and joint stiffness
  • Inflammation of cells found in  lungs, heart, abdomen, and internal organs
  • Kidney trauma
  • Abnormalities in central nervous system
  • Blood disorders
  • Antinuclear antibodies
  • Immune system disorders
  • Fatigue, swollen glands, fever and weight loss may be experienced with lupus.

Lupus Basics

Systemic lupus erythematosus, also generally termed as lupus or SLE, is a chronic, autoimmune and inflammatory disorder.

Lupus mostly attacks the joints, kidney, skin, heart, lungs, nervous system and often other organs of the body. It has also been found that symptoms of lupus often resemble symptoms associated with other types of rheumatic and arthritis disease, thus making it tough to diagnose lupus.

Types of Lupus Exist

  • Discoid lupus
  • Drug-induced lupus
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus
  • Neonatal lupus

Diagnosis of Lupus

There is no single examination available that can diagnose lupus. Diagnosis is conducted depending on a fusion of factors (clinical symptoms, family medical history, and blood tests) which jointly provide evidence of disorders in several organ systems. Laboratory tests and x-rays are also facilitated to ascertain the diagnosis of lupus.

In addition to abnormalities which may be detected by routine blood counts, chemistry examination, and urinalysis tests few other types of tests which are particularly prominent to lupus include:

  • Antinuclear antibody test
  • Sedimentation rate and CRP
  • Specific antibodies (anti-smith, anti-dsDNA, anti-phospholipid)
  • Complement examination

Treatment of Lupus

Treatment of lupus can depend on the seriousness of symptoms and organ systems encompassed. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are basically recommended to control inflammation. Plaquenil is another commonly prescribed medication, which is used as a DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug) used to treat lupus. Yet some other immunosuppressants may include Imuran, Cytoxan, cyclosporine, and CellCept. Corticosteroids (prednisone) are also prescribed to treat the condition of lupus.

Studies are still on to find out the effectiveness of new treatments for lupus, most of which are monoclonal antibodies.

Prevalence of Lupus

Lupus attacks 10 times more women as compared to men. Albeit lupus can develop at any point of time, disease unearths generally occurs between the ages of 18 and 45 years. Asians and African-Americans have a higher risk of getting lupus as compared to the population coming from other racial or ethnic backgrounds. The Lupus Foundation of America reports that 1.5 million Americans have at least one of the types of lupus, but the estimate may differ.

Thing to Know about Lupus

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as the name suggests, can affect multiple organ systems and is considered to be the most serious type of lupus.
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus attacks only the skin and is not concerned about any other organ systems.
  • Drug-induced lupus is due to a reaction to a few prescription medications. Symptoms often resemble of SLE but it does not attack the central nervous system or kidneys.
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus is observed in the form of skin lesions that are witnessed on those body parts which are exposed to the sun.
  • Neonatal lupus is a rare condition which affects infants.
  • Almost all lupus patients are more prone to detect antinuclear antibodies in blood serum.

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