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"What exactly is a Lupie", you ask? Lupie is a nickname for an individual with Lupus. So now, of course, your next question is "What is Lupus?"
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease ('auto' meaning 'self'), in which the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks the body's normal tissues. In very simple terms, it is like the body being allergic to itself. The exact cause of Lupus is unknown, although genetics, environmental elements and a variety of other factors are probably to blame. It should be noted that Lupus is not a contagious disease and is not contracted outside of the body.
There are three types of lupus: Systemic, Cutaneous (primarily affecting the skin) and Drug-Induced.
Lupus affects men and women alike, but occurs 10 to 15 times more frequently among adult females than among adult males. The symptoms are the same for men and women. Common symptoms are painful/achy joints, extreme fatigue, arthritis, sun sensitivity, 'butterfly'-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, and more. Often, major organs (kidney, lung, heart, brain, etc...) come under attack causing a wide array of symptoms and problems.
Diagnosing Lupus can be difficult, as many of the symptoms are vague and mimic those of other illnesses. A combination of tests, medical history and observation can help lead to a proper diagnosis.
More people have Lupus than AIDS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, sickle-cell anemia and cystic fibrosis COMBINED. Research data shows that between 1,400,000 and 2,000,000 people are reported to have lupus.
Someone you know has Lupus.
'The only sure thing about lupus, is that there is no sure thing about lupus.' (- Coping with Lupus; Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D.; 1991)
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