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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?

  • Lupus develops most often between the ages of 15 and 44.
  • Lupus primarily affects young women.
  • Lupus is two to three times more common among African Americans, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans than in Caucasians.
  • Contrary to popular belief, British singer Seal wasn't bitten by a seal and didn't wrestle a wild boar. His facial scars were caused by a childhood bout with lupus.
  • Michael Jackson was also diagnosed with lupus in the mid '80s.
  • In 2015 Selena Gomez revealed to fans and the press that she was diagnosed with lupus. In 2017 she received a kidney transplant due to complications with the disease. 
  • For more info on lupus, head to The Lupus Foundation of America.
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What Is the Nickname for Lupus?

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

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

KawaiiSkittlez
KawaiiSkittlez posted in Style:
I love Bardot Junior and Pavement  [s:sm3/1jw2] [s:sm3/1jw2] [s:sm3/1jw2] Def's recommended if you're on a shopping spree.
reply about 7 hours
GirLovesPiggy
GirLovesPiggy posted in Style:
This thread has been moved. Click here to see the new thread.
reply 3 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
@rainbowpoptart  When I originally talked to my father, I was given the opportunity of good timing to bring it up. Luckily, there was no anger like I was partially expecting and I remained calm, which I definitely wasn't expecting. My fathers main concern was just worry and having seen other teens run away from something later getting themselves in trouble. He even brought up how he had run off at 18 and joined the Air Force, which I already knew. But, with this round, there is no perfect time to bring it up and he's always busy or we're having to do something so it's just very frustrating to find at least alright timing to bring it up, if that makes sense.
reply 7 days
rainbowpoptart
My advice on this may not be the best because I haven't personally dealt with this yet, but... Parents, or guardians, get used to having their children around. You're [usually] with them for 18 years, which is a long time, so of course they - or in this case, your father - is going to feel like he's lost something very dear to him once you move out. To me it seems like he does truly understand that you're growing up. He just doesn't want it to happen. He knows that you're leaving soon - he just doesn't want it to be soon. Parents/guardians who are close to the children usually feel that way. If you're really so concerned, talk to him about it again, in a similar way you have done already. Or perhaps just a "Wow, my birthday is just around the corner". Once you do move out, visit him as frequently as you're able to and feel like. I'm sure he'll appreciate it, and it'll help you maintain a close relationship with him.
reply 8 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
Usually I wouldn't come here for advice, but I am really needing it. To sum it up, my birthday is in 21 days. Not only will I be leaving KW, but home as well. My mother has made it to where I have had plans to leave since I was around 11 or 12; so about 7 to 8 years. I won't get into everything, but we'll just say that my mother and I do not have a good relationship at all. My father on the other hand, I am very attached too and always scared of upsetting him. Things are not always very good between us at times, but we rarely fight. When we do, it is always bad nor ends well. So, having plans to move out are very scary to me and causes me plenty of anxiety that fights are going to break out when I have my help to get my belongings out.   For the record, I have talked to my father about leaving, why I want too, etc. But, more in the sense of that I want too, not that I am. Which, in a way, my parents understand I'm moving out as well as already pretty much know where I'm going without my mention. But, I don't think they, my father especially, understands how soon that is despite my saying of I want too when I'm 18 or when I say, "Soon." It doesn't help that my father told another that his "little girl is growing up" on him and that he is scared of the day I go because he will be alone. Which makes me feel guilty despite the fact I won't even be that far away. How should I talk to him once more and go about this or even when? I really want him to understand that I have thought everything through and that I will be in safe hands.
reply 8 days