17– year old Chloe gives advice and inspiration as she shares how she overcame severe scoliosis at age 9 and now manages the autoimmune disease Lupus. Despite joint pain and fatigue, she manages to juggle academics and a social life while still finding time to give back-by sending care packages to other sufferers.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in any part of the body. Instead of the immune system attacking intruders or infections, lupus causes the body to attack health tissue, specifically; skin, joints or internal organs. There are several types of lupus. The most common type is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), while cutaneous lupus effects only the skin. There is also drug-induced lupus, caused by certain prescriptions, and neonatal lupus, a rare type which affects infants after being born from a mother with lupus.

Generally, symptoms of lupus include fatigue, joint pain, joint swelling, headaches, a butterfly-shaped rash, hair loss, Raynaud’s Disease, mouth sores etc. Usually, women ages 15-44 are most at risk, including those with a family history of lupus/ autoimmune conditions. Although there is no cure, many treatments can help manage symptoms and provide relief including immunosuppressants, corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs and NSAIDS.

 

Other Potential Symptoms:

  • Butterfly-shaped rash
  • Raised red patches on your skin
  • Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent light
  • Ulcers in your mouth or nose
  • Pain in two or more joints, plus swelling or tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Inflammation in the lining of your heart or lungs
  • Seizures or other nerve problems
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Hair Loss
  • Low fevers
  • Fingers and toes turning white or blue and feeling numb when a person is cold or stressed (Raynaud’s Disease)
  • Too much protein in your urine
  • Low blood cell counts
  • Certain antibodies in your blood
  • Results from a blood test called an ANA test that suggest you may have too many antinuclear antibodies

Resources:

https://www.lupus.org/resources/what-is-lupus 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20365790 

https://www.cdc.gov/lupus/funded/awareness.htm 

https://www.usinlupus.com/basics-of-lupus/resource-organizations/

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