By Nazreen Subrati
Over the next 5 weeks, The Bokem Legacy Team took up the task to educate you about a disease that is not known to many. Get ready to be educated, inspired and motivated…
Types of Lupus:
There are many types of lupus out there but these are the main types of Lupus:
1.Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus and Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, affecting the skin.
2. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, which is the most common form of lupus, affecting the immune system, thereby affecting various organs and other body parts.
3.Drug-Induced Lupus, which is temporary as it is brought on by certain medications being taken at the time. This type of lupus usually disappears once the medications are stopped.
4. Neonatal Lupus, affects newborns that are born to mothers that have Lupus.
5. Childhood Lupus occurs in children, in the same manner as adult Lupus.
We will focus on the most common and fatal of the above 5, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, commonly referred to as SLE or just Lupus.
How the phrase SLE originated?
Systemic meaning it’s in the system, the various organ systems, like the heart, lungs, kidney, liver, etc.
Lupus is the Latin word for Wolf. Wolf because of its unpredictable and violent nature as is SLE and the destructive injuries the disease caused brought to mind the bites of the Wolf.
Erythematosus comes from the Greek word Erythros meaning Red. Because of the red skin lesions and malar rash that occur when one has discoid lupus.
What is SLE or Lupus?
In a nutshell:
SLE or Lupus is a chronic, auto-immune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and / or organs inside the body).
The term auto means “self”.
It is when something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu).
The immune system becomes overactive and cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues and attacks itself, not only destroying the bad cells but the good cells as well.
It attacks the body’s organs (heart, brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, etc.), blood, skin, nerves, bones, muscles or everything.
Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better).
What are flares?
Flares are when your symptoms worsen (unpredictable and debilitating) and you become ill.
Flares can be classified as mild, moderate or severe.
A mild flare could be a lupus rash.
A moderate flare could include the rash, fatigue, joint or muscle pain.
A severe flare could cause damage to the organs, including fluid build-up around the heart and lungs or even kidney disease or failure (called Lupus Nephritis), which would require immediate medical attention.
A lupus flare, if not treated immediately can be fatal and can sometimes result in death.
Anything that stimulates activity in the immune system can cause a lupus flare.
Flares, can last days, months or years and most cases require hospitalisation.
When a flare occurs, it can leave the sufferer and their families feeling helpless cos there is literally nothing much they can do.
When the flares settle, the illness goes into remission or quiescence (pronounced kwee-ess-ence), which can be the same as days, months or years.
To come next, will be Common Signs and Symptoms as well as Common Medications used.References Used:
The Struggles by Jeff Cross
Lupus is a very frustrating disease,
It’s one that many symptoms you cannot see.
It is an autoimmune disease that fights within,
Good cell fight good but no one wins.
Symptoms come and symptoms go,
Even the doctors find it hard to know.
Proving you have it is a task on its own,
Leaving you tired, mad and feeling alone.
Your family and your friends just don’t understand,
You energy is gone and you have pain in your hands.
Hair falling out, arthritis for sure,
Pain on the hips shoulders and more.
That’s just the aches and the severe pains,
Let’s talk about your organs, it’s much the same.
Liver, kidney, and heart too,
Fingers and hands sometimes turn blue.
Always to the doctor to check were you’re at,
Blood work will help foresee an attack.
Some people have swelling around the heart,
Some have brain fog and don’t feel so smart.
You start out life with your body intact,
I had 2 kidneys before my last attack.
Rash on your legs, feet, hands and back,
Malar rash and scars where it was at.
Sitting at home barely unable to move,
Feeling worthless because I can’t even clean my room.
Relationships have come and gone,
No one wants to be with you for long.
Lazy and faking are words we all hear,
But when no one is around we still shed tears.
So why don’t you come and sit in the sun,
But the light brings anything but fun.
Stress is a trigger that sets off the rest,
But in my situation I do my best.
The meds doctors give are all the same,
Helps with one issue but another you’ll gain.
Take this for energy, but you might go blind,
Take this for swelling, you should be fine.
Take this for the rash, and apply every day,
Go to the pharmacy give your paycheck away.
Go back to work is what I pray,
But that’s not the case from day to day.
Get on disability that’s what they said,
But getting approved is such a dread.
So struggles in life from day to day,
Because you seem fine but you’re not okay.
If you know someone with this please don’t judge,
Just give them a kiss and nice tight hug.
PI assure you they wish that they were fine,
And you should know they will be in time.
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