Every day, 1.5 million Americans (enough people to fill thirty baseball stadiums) struggle with the often disabling and life-altering impact of lupus. Lupus is the result of an unbalanced immune system that can become destructive to any major organ or tissue in the body. Lupus is unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists.
Why is awareness of lupus important? To save lives! Consider these facts:
- Lupus can attack the body for years before the disease is diagnosed. Symptoms of lupus mimic common illnesses and often are dismissed as nothing serious.
- More than half of the people with lupus suffer four or more years and visit three or more doctors before receiving a correct diagnosis.
- Awareness of lupus is lowest among women 18-24 –- the age group most likely to develop the disease.
- Late diagnosis and delayed treatment contribute to poor outcomes and increased morbidity and mortality.
- Lupus is a serious disease that can damage vital organs, such as the kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain. The disease can cause seizures, strokes, heart attacks, miscarriages, and organ failure leading to significant disability or death.
But there is hope. Early diagnosis and proper medical care greatly improve the quality of life for people with lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) seeks to educate the public about early warning signs of lupus and all aspects of living and coping with the disease.
Could it be lupus?
The LFA has created a simple self-screening tool to help individuals determine whether they should consult with their doctor about lupus. Take the test now.