In earlier centuries, lupus was known as a potentially fatal skin disease, it was even classified as part of the herpes virus family. However, we now know how dynamic autoimmune diseases can be. Lupus has no definitive cause or cure, however it can be well managed so that one can live a healthy and productive life. Here are some things we should know about lupus to keep raising awareness. 

Q1: What causes lupus? 
A: We don’t know what causes lupus, there are some indications that suggest it might be hereditary in some cases, but in other cases, certain environmental factors like sunlight, physiological stress, and certain medications are said to trigger the disease. 

Q2: What are the types of lupus?
A: SLE or Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, systemic meaning it can affect many parts of the body. Disease presentation can vary between mild and serious and the is the most common form of lupus.
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is the cutaneous or skin form of the disease. It mainly presents as a rash on the face or scalp and usually leaves a scar.
Drug-Induced Lupus, presentation is usually a milder form of the disease and should resolve upon discontinuation of the medication. 

Q3: What are the symptoms of lupus? 
A: Lupus is usually difficult to diagnose as it mimics a variety of diseases. Its systemic nature results in a very broad range of symptoms which include: skin rash, swollen painful joints, unexplained fever swollen glands, photosensitivity, low blood count, neurological interferences like confusion or loss of memory, and hair loss especially on the scalp. 

Q4: How can we better support those living with lupus? 
A: Living with a chronic disease is very challenging, so as co-workers, bosses, friends, family, and neighbors, we can allow the person living with lupus in our lives to talk freely about their challenges as we listen and pick up specific needs that we can help with. From companionship, to help with the kids and chores to financial assistance; even a simple message of encouragement that they might need to keep ongoing. We can all play a part in creating awareness and making life a little easier for someone. 

Diagnostic testing for Lupus is available at Ponea Health just a click or call away. Ponea Health offers Doctor On-Call Services from the comfort of your home. Call or Whatsapp us 24/7 on +254 111 013 900.



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