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The Lowdown on Lupus

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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What Is the Nickname for Lupus?

  • Loopy.
  • The Great Imitator.
  • Werewolf.
  • Blotchy.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

PittsburghPenguinsFanatic
"aftershock" wrote: "NicolletteA" wrote: no. and you sound like the marketing people that stop me at the mall.  :/ lol, I'm not, i just kno someone whos making a new app and wanted to see if any1 would use it.   BTW what do u say to the marketing people at the mall? No. I don't like those people at the mall. Sometimes, they ask my family and I (usually directed at my mom and sister, but sometimes at me, too. Even though I'm under 13. Not for long though.) if they want their hair done. And sometimes I'm so tempted to say, "No thank you. I did my hair today. Do you think I want it done?" But of course I never do. It's kinda disrespectful. So we just usually say No thank you. My mom, sister, and I now have a solution for that (my idea when I was maybe ages 9-11) Don't make eye contact with them and pretend that they aren't there.
reply about 6 hours
BookWorm86
This is GREAT advice! Thx a lot StephRox!:) I have a younger brother & he can be EXASPERATING at times lol! Great advice!!:D
reply about 7 hours
Arenl
Arenl posted in Family Issues:
My little brother is annoying as ever, but I have to handle him. He is my brother after all.
reply about 7 hours
Arenl
Arenl posted in Family Issues:
@Sophieeee I definitely agree with you.
reply about 7 hours
Sophieeee
 Loosing a parent is hard, your dad knows that and I'm sure that he misses your mom just as much as you do. Whether you explain to him how you are feeling or not, you should know that your Dad will always love you and admitting to him how you feel isn't going to change that. Although it is completely understandable how you feel, you need to let your dad move one eventually. It's not fair to him if he has to spend the rest of his life alone. Even though you might not see it, its a good thin that your dad is finally feeling comfortable enough to date. It doesn't mean that he is letting go of your mom or that he will forget about her, it means that he is moving on with his life. You lost your mother and he lost the love of his life. Dating other people will probably start off being just as hard for him as it is for you. My advice is that you talk to your dad. Let him know how you feel in the most gentle and understanding way that you can. Don't flat out say that you don't want him dating anyone, tell him that you still miss your mom and its hard to see him with other people. Let me know how it goes, good luck. :)
reply about 7 hours