Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for May 31, 2012-Lupus Awareness Month (Vol.5, Iss.3)
Awareness does not cost you much more than your time. When you choose not to expand your knowledge base you miss the opportunity to know more about the world and those who live in it. In addition to being a month for awareness of strokes, May is also Lupus Awareness Month. Lupus is a condition that is both misunderstood for its symptoms mimic other conditions rheumatoid arthritis (RA), myositis, scleroderma and Sjogren’s Syndrome.
To find out more about Lupus and how the awareness is brought to the forefront during this month, go to http://www.lupus.org/awareness
May is Lupus Awareness Month — a time for everyone to come together to raise awareness of lupus, an unpredictable and sometimes fatal disease, and show support for the estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide affected by the disease. As part of Lupus Awareness Month activities, World Lupus Day is observed on May 10 — a day when the global lupus community rallies to bring greater attention to this terrible disease.
Lupus is more widespread than most people realize. In fact, research shows most Americans know little or nothing about lupus and its devastating impact. We can change that, but we need your support!
Band Together. Tell the Story. Change Lives. The Lupus Foundation of America offers many ways the public can join the Lupus Foundation of America and Band Together for Lupus Awareness during May. Lupus Awareness Month activities include social media, online, and grassroots components to empower individuals, organizations, and companies with a wide-ranging number of tools and resources to educate their communities about lupus. Visit www.lupus.org/awareness to learn more.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
- Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
- Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.
- Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
- Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is unreactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
- Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
- It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
- Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
- Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
- People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
- More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country. http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_actionawareness.aspx?articleid=4142&zoneid=570
- Lupus flare diagnostic to be developed under LabCorp, XDx partnership (medcitynews.com)
- Living with Lupus: Fact #27 – Lupus is not contagious but is often invisible or misunderstood (lupusadventurebetweenthelines.wordpress.com)
- Lupus is not contagious (butterflywarrior.typepad.com)