The Lupus Foundation of America counts nearly 1.5 million Americans with lupus, and statistics show that nine out of ten are women. This autoimmune disease is considered unpredictable by both experts and patients.
Mallory Dixon is a young and determined patient with lupus (29). He also agrees that this disability cannot be described as unforeseeable.
Lupus can affect anyone, she explains, and doesn’t discriminate against race, age or ethnicity. Patients experience different symptoms and often they cannot explain them.
Mallory’s first diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis. However, after 6 years, she began to develop many additional symptoms and was diagnosed with lupus. Two years later, Mallory was in such a terrible state that she could not even breathe and had to get proper medical attention.
Mallory explained that the night before her hospitalization, she thought she was going to die and was even afraid to go to sleep.
In fact, he was dead on arrival at the hospital, but the doctors revived him. During his 86 days in bed, he went into a coma, was put on a ventilator, underwent chemotherapy and dialysis. Only later did doctors discover that the cause of these symptoms was lupus, which had spread to her kidneys.
Her goal is to educate women about the symptoms of lupus, as early detection can prevent it from spreading to the kidneys, brain, heart, and other organs.
Warning signs of lupus and its impact on life
A National Lupus Foundation of America nurse health educator explains that the first symptom of lupus is debilitating fatigue. According to him, here are other symptoms of lupus.
Mouth or nose sores
Blood coagulation abnormalities
When the fingers are blue or cold
A butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks (in the past, this rash reminded doctors of a wolf bite, so they called “wolf” in Latin “wolf”)
Painful or swollen joints
Chest pain when taking a deep breath
Swelling around the hands, feet, legs and/or eyes
Sensitivity to light or sun
Stothers says some appear normal but have great difficulty doing even the smallest of tasks. These people feel terrible, and others can say that they look really good. That’s why lupus is often an isolating disease.
Lupus mimics heart, bone, muscle, and lung disease, as well as Lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and blood disorders, so it’s often mistaken for an autoimmune or hormonal disorder.
Mallory said the only disease that runs in her family is psoriasis, an autoimmune disease. And this is the important part. Many people with lupus are misdiagnosed with other autoimmune diseases, so be careful if you have a family history or have been diagnosed with one of these diseases. In this way, you can prevent acute outbreaks.
The most common autoimmune diseases are inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, vitiligo, Graves’ disease, celiac disease, scleroderma, and Sjögren’s syndrome.
Stothers says that lupus can be genetic, but that doesn’t mean it’s a disease. Hormones, especially estrogen, and the environment play a role.
According to Stothers, lupus is often diagnosed during women’s most fertile years, between the ages of 15 and 44. She says many women are diagnosed at these times in their lives because of the huge hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and after birth. . However, he had patients with lupus in their 70s and 80s.
Although most people with lupus can lead happy and productive lives, they must monitor their symptoms carefully to stay healthy. Since we live in a busy world, these people have to change their lifestyle, so self-awareness is quite difficult. A case in point is Mallory, who left her career as an advocate for the Lupus Foundation.