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Lupus An Unpredictable Disease Essay

1347 words - 6 pages

Because of its wide range of symptoms and similarities to other health problems, lupus is sometimes called the “great imitator” (American College of Rheumatology).
To be diagnosed with lupus, you must have at least four of these symptoms. If suspected of having lupus a combination of blood and urine tests, and physical examinations will be performed since no one test can diagnose lupus (Mayo Clinic). Blood and urine tests may include: Complete blood count. This test measure the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets as well as the amount of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Results may indicate anemia, which commonly occurs in lupus. Erythrocyte sedimentation ...view middle of the document...

The goals of any treatment plan are to: reduce inflammation caused by lupus, suppress overactive immune system, prevent flares, and treat them when they occur, control symptoms like joint pain and fatigue, and minimize damage to organs (Lupus Foundation of America). Simple measures can also help prevent lupus flares and better cope with the signs and symptoms such as: Getting adequate rest, wearing protective clothing such as a hat, a long-sleeved shirt and pants, and use of sunscreen with a SPF of at least 55 when outside and getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet (Mayo Clinic).
Two of the major questions researchers are studying are who gets lupus and why. We know that many more women than men have lupus. Lupus is two to three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women and is also more common in women of Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. In addition, lupus can run in families, but the risk that a family member of a patient will also have lupus is still quite low (Alliance for Lupus Research).
Lupus is an unpredictable disease. No one can say with certainty how your lupus will progress over time. What is important to know is that people with lupus are living longer, more productive, and healthier lives than ever before. Historically, treatments for lupus have not always been successful and caused people to die young. The 5-year survival rate for lupus patients from 1949 to 1953 was only 50 percent (Everyday Health); today, with careful treatment, 80 to 90 percent of people with lupus can expect to live a normal lifespan (Healthline). And with the availability of new medications and advanced care methods, the 21st century looks to be a promising one in lupus research. The stages of research are being streamlined and improved, and major lupus centers have banded together to make new lupus medications safer, more effective, and more focused. Because lupus is such a personal disease with many emotional effects, both physical and psychological care, have become known and are being practiced like never before (Hospital for Special Surgery). Research is active and there's reason to be hopeful about the future for lupus patients.
Being a daughter of a Lupus patient has caused me to grow up in more ways than one. My mom was diagnosed with SLE before I was born in her late twenties right after she had just signed her reenlistment for the Army and also right before her first deployment. She was medically discharged and regularly went to get checked by her doctors but then she became pregnant with me. 6 months into her pregnancy she had a lupus flare and was forced to deliver me prematurely. Luckily, I was born perfectly fine and my mom recovered shortly after. Everything was good until she had another flare when I was in...

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