May 10 marks World Lupus Day, a disease that isn’t very well understood by the average man or woman on the street. In order to better understand how serious lupus is, you have to know what it is first and how it can impact on a sufferer’s life.
What is lupus?
Lupus is a chronic disease that’s part of the autoimmune family of diseases. It can affect and damage your skin, joints, and/or organs.
Is lupus common?
Research seems to indicate that 1.5 million Americans are already diagnosed with lupus, and more than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually.
Is Lupus contagious?
Lupus is not contagious.
Who usually gets diagnosed with lupus?
Anyone can develop lupus, however, women between the ages of 15 and 44 are more likely to develop lupus. Sometimes there’s already a family history of lupus or other autoimmune diseases or conditions.
What are the symptoms of lupus?
While there are a number of symptoms, some of the most common ones include:
- extreme tiredness
- painful or swollen joints
- swelling in the feet, legs, hand, and/or around the eyes
- butterfly shaped rash across cheeks and nose
- sensitive to light or to the sun
What causes lupus?
Doctors and medical researchers don’t know what causes lupus, and they don’t know why some are more prone to develop this autoimmune disease.
Are any famous people diagnosed with lupus?
There are indeed, including some of these celebrities:
- Grammy award-winning recording artist Toni Braxton was diagnosed with lupus in 2008.
- Grammy award-winning recording artist Paula Abdul was also diagnosed with lupus.
- Syndicated radio show host, Nick Cannon (and Mariah Carey’s husband) was diagnosed with lupus in early 2013.
- Baseball great, Tim Raines, who played with six major league baseball teams (Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and Florida Marlins) was diagnosed with lupus in 1999 while with the Oakland Athletics. He returned to baseball in 2001, playing with the Montreal Expos followed by a stint with the Florida Marlins.
- American actor Ray Walston, who was best known for his role in the TV sitcom “My Favorite Martian” and recognized from other television and movie appearances.
- American actress Mary McDonough who played Erin on the TV series “The Waltons.”
- American actress Kelly Drury, who was part of the ensemble cast of “General Hospital.”