What if you can not distinguish between your family members and strangers? It’ll be awful, right? Well, something like this happens to a body when it gets diagnosed with ‘lupus.’ In it, the immune system fails to identify proper home cells and tries to hurt them.
Recently, Selena Gomez was diagnosed with Lupus and had to cancel her world tour. This brought people’s major attention to this disease worldwide. According to an estimation, 5 million people have one or other type of lupus across the globe.
What is Lupus?
It is a ‘chronic’ inflammatory disease of the immune system which is also known as Lupus erythematosus. Although treatments can suppress its symptoms, it can not be completely treated since it is a recurring (chronic) disease.
Partially, the immune system contains white blood cells, whose work is to destroy viruses, bacterias, and other harmful invaders. However, due to failing mechanism of the immune system, it starts attacking healthy cells confusing them to be harmful invaders. In medical terms, this process is called autoimmunity in which the immune system produce autoantibodies instead of antibodies. These autoantibodies start hurting nearby cells causing rashes, pain, fatigue, and much more. Although many people lead a full life even after being diagnosed with it sometimes it can be life threatening. It can badly affect joints, skin, blood cells, kidney, brain, lungs and other important body parts.
The word ‘lupus’ is a Latin word which means wolf in English. The researchers gave it this name because early symptoms include rashes on a person’s face which make him look like a wolf.
Symptoms of lupus vary from case to case much of it depends on its form and how severe it is. However, some common symptoms are:
- Hair loss: It can be one of the initial symptoms
- Fatigue: 90% lupus patients experience some sort of fatigue
- Sensitivity to sunlight
- Rashes mostly on the face
- Fever: Body temperature may vary from 98.5-101 Fahrenheit without reasonable cause
- Swelling around eyes or in legs
- Pale fingers or toes
- Pain in joints or chest
- Poor blood circulation
- Nose bleeding may occur
Some rare symptoms are:
If left untreated then it can lead to some other diseases and disorders such as Raynaud’s syndrome.
There are few facts that a person must know about this disease.
- Neither you can catch nor you can give it to someone, it is non-contagious.
- It may seem similar to cancer or at least related to it. However, they both are far different from each other. Although it harms healthy cells there is no exponential growth of unhealthy cells, as it is in cancer.
- HIV and AIDS are also immune systems related diseases but they are also different from lupus. HIV and AIDS are underactive diseases whereas lupus is hyperactive.
- According to an estimation, 1.5 million American have at least a type of lupus.