Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. The symptoms can mimic other common conditions, making the path to diagnosis a challenging one. With around 1 in every 2,000 people diagnosed in the United States, lupus shows no discrimination.
What is Lupus?
Autoimmune diseases turn your body’s immune defense system against itself. This “mutiny” can cause damage to specific parts of the body. With lupus, it can be any part of the body. Early symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint stiffness, and hair loss. More advanced symptoms are gastrointestinal problems, kidney inflammation, anemia, and seizures.
The Lupus Foundation of America compares diagnosing lupus to “putting together pieces of the puzzle”. This process can take months, and sometimes longer before all the pieces fit together for a lupus diagnosis. Treating lupus is a lifelong process, as there is no cure for it. However, by working with your rheumatologist to find the right treatment combination specific to your symptoms, you can still lead a healthy and full life.
All Walks of Life in the Fight
Well-known celebrities like Selena Gomez, Nick Cannon, and Toni Braxton are just a few whose lives have been impacted by Lupus. You could say that their personal story of lupus is a little more extraordinary because they are going through it under the watchful eye of the public, where it is not so easy to hide away. These celebrities all have varying degrees of lupus, but they all find a way to make it work with their busy lives.
- Toni Braxton– Diagnosed in 2011, she describes her journey with lupus as “having the flu every day.” She stays in bed and rests when she is having a flareup to help reset her body.
- Seal– He was diagnosed with discoid lupus erythematous at 23, which caused the facial scarring he is well-known for. Though he keeps his lupus journey private, some of that story can be heard through his music.
- Trick Daddy– Abandoning all western medicine for treating his discoid lupus, he has had no recent complications from his very own “ghetto diet.”
- Selena Gomez– Selena took the world by surprise in 2017 with her Instagram post of her and her best friend holding hands in side by side hospital beds after her kidney transplant. She had been lying low after she found out she needed a kidney transplant due to lupus.
- Nick Cannon– Before being diagnosed in 2012, Nick knew nothing of the disease that caused kidney failure and blood clots in his lungs. With changes to his diet and taking other precautionary measures, he now feels like he’s healthier than ever before.
Hope for the Future
No matter where you are in your life, being diagnosed with lupus does not have to be the final curtain. You don’t have to have all the resources available to you to live your best life. By educating yourself and working with your rheumatologist, you can reduce flareups and begin to take control of this disease.
New England Research Associates, LLC is currently enrolling patients interested in looking at new treatment options for lupus. Qualified participants receive access to medication not available to the public, reimbursement for time and travel, and care from a physician. To find out more, click HERE.