Could I Have Lupus? The Challenge of Diagnosing Lupus
PORTLAND, OR, January 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Lupus is a very difficult disease to diagnose and one of the main focus points for Molly's Fund Fighting Lupus is facilitating earlier diagnosis by educating physicians as well as those who may potentially have the disease. Because lupus rarely presents itself the same way in any two people, it is very challenging for those in the medical profession to understand, diagnose and properly treat. Our founder, Molly McCabe had to see 14 doctors before getting a conclusive diagnosis of lupus. That frustrating journey is all too common. To learn more visit www.MollysFund.org.
Lupus strikes primarily women (and some men) and it often takes a very long time for a diagnosis, which can be extremely frustrating for both the patient and the physician alike. Lupus symptoms may have a sudden onset or progress slowly; they could be temporary or permanent, making it all the more confusing and concerning. Lupus, in some cases, becomes life threatening due to the nature of the disease attacking vital organs, and in extreme cases, only after organ failure is the disease finally discovered.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). When a person has lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, and it cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and your body's healthy tissues and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. The result is intense inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. There is no cure, and 1 in 185 people suffer from this illness, and millions do worldwide. There are, however certain signs and symptoms, which can help answer the question, "could I have lupus?"
A Quick Synopsis of Some Common Lupus Symptoms and Signs
Lupus can affect many different systems in the body, and therefore, if you do have lupus, the symptoms and signs that you may experience will depend heavily on which part of the body is being affected by the disease.
Brain and Nervous System: Persistent and unusual headaches, memory loss, or confusion.
Lungs: Lupus can damage the lungs through pleurisy and pneumonitis (inflammation), or pulmonary emboli, resulting in shortness of breath and pain in the chest from deep breathing.
Eyes: Lupus can damage nerves and blood vessels in the eye, leading to dry or puffy eyes, and increasing sensitivity to light.
Mouth: Sores inside the mouth are a common symptom of lupus.
Skin: Lupus may cause skin rashes, and is known for its distinctive "butterfly" rash on the face usually over the cheeks and bridge of the nose. These rashes can be exacerbated by sun exposure (photo-sensitivity). You may also experience hives or sores which would also worsen with sun exposure. Sudden and unexplained hair loss could also signify lupus.
About Molly's Fund Fighting Lupus:
Molly's Fund Fighting Lupus is a lupus awareness nonprofit, whose mission is to educate the public and the medical community about lupus, to push for earlier, life-saving diagnoses for those afflicted, and to spur governments and foundations to fund research toward a cure.