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The Lowdown on Lupus

Seal's facial scars and hair loss are due to a childhood bout with lupus.
Courtesy of Warner Music

Halloween costumes and candy may be on your mind, but October is also the time to recognize Lupus Awareness Month. But what exactly is lupus? Find out all you need to know about this disease right here.

What Is Lupus?

Everyone has a fighter in them. It's called the immune system! It battles germs and bacteria to keep your body from getting sick. But if your immune system isn't working properly, it becomes autoimmune and starts attacking itself - that's when you get sick. Lupus (pronounced loo-pus) is an autoimmune disease, where the immune system attacks your body's healthy cells and tissues, causing inflammation and tissue damage. There are three types of lupus.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus - SLE is the most common and the most serious. It can affect any part of the body, but usually the skin, joints, heart, lungs and brain.
  • Discoid lupus - This type causes a rash on the face, neck or scalp and can leave scars.
  • Drug-induced lupus - This type is caused by a bad reaction to medication. It affects your body in the same way that SLE does, but will go away once you stop taking the medicine.

What Causes It?

Scientists still don't know what causes lupus, but they think it could be factors like genetics and the environment. The good news is that it isn't contagious, which means you can't catch it from someone who has it.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Achy or swollen joints.
  • Extreme tiredness.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Anemia.
  • Photosensitivity (sensitive to sunlight).
  • Hair loss.
  • Ulcers in the mouth or nose.

How Is It Treated?

Unfortunately, there's no cure for lupus yet, but it's treatable with immunosuppressive medication to stop the immune system from attacking itself and corticosteroids to control inflammation. It's also important to get a lot of rest, eat a well-balanced diet and wear plenty of sunscreen when you're out in the sun.

Did U Know?

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Comments

ps3master

ps3master wrote:

My great uncle has lupus,lung cancer,and tb.
commented: Thu Sep 12, 2013

rootbeer_lover147
welll ihavent
commented: Thu Dec 22, 2011

x-Toxic-Gummybearz-x
Maybe its caused by kissing. Most 15-44 year olds most likely already had their first k...
commented: Sun Oct 02, 2011

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LostintheAbyss
Dear Dish-it, This is really strange for me to write to you because I have never done anything like this before but I need an outside POV from my situation and I need help. These days, I don't know what I'm doing or what tomorrow is going to bring. But before I get into how I feel, I am going to explain my situation a bit first. So let's get started. My family is a family of 6 though my oldest sibling has left the house to live else where because he's 26 years old. Anyway, I argue a lot in my family in fact there's fights everyday either with me or just between other family members. I don't remember a time that we didn't fight... Sad ain't it? But I try and not let it bother me. My mom and me have the best and worst relationship out there. At one time, we understand ourselves completely but then something happens and the arguments stop... It always ends with her angry and me frustrated, crying and angry... I have cried more in the past year and half (That is when it got worst) Then my entire lifespan so far. Plus since she had a bad childhood, she tries to make everything different from hers but she ALWAYS compares me to her. I am a different person than her and she just doesn't understand that! I always feel really bad after because she wants me to be the perfect child but I can't and I never will be. I am just me. Like today, I punched a wall because I just wanted to feel something else than sadness and worst thing is that I fake smiles and optimism at school so nobody knows. My friends don't understand even though I have told them but now I brush it off. It's not their life so they don't need to understand it. But that's my situation... Now that you have heard something about me, I need help. I'm sending myself in the abyss. I am losing control. I feel as if everything is slipping from my fingers and everything is falling apart. I don't know what's happening to me! I am losing myself and I don't know what to do! It's hard to keep up my grades, to make sure that everything is done, that I go to my activities after school. It feels so hard to do right now... I throw things and slam doors when I am super mad. I don't have anger issues but I keep in so many emotions that I explode when I can't take them anymore. My world seems to be crumbling before my eyes. My family is in debt, my parents might split and my brothers hate me. My dog, running, drawing and books are my only escape.  I don't know what to do... Sincerely LostintheAbyss
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hugebear
hugebear posted in Style:
snickers mkay and Im closing this thread now :) BR yush you is fabulous too mate :D
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Boysrock50
Boysrock50 posted in Style:
I'm fabulous :D
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Snickers147
Snickers147 posted in Style:
Kk 
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hugebear
hugebear posted in Style:
Your welcomes and I thinks that we can close this thread now mkay  :)
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