13 Things Everyone Should Understand About Lupus
An estimated 1.5 million Americans and another five million people from other parts of the world are said to have some form of lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. This ailment is a collection of autoimmune diseases in which the person’s immune system becomes overactive and attacks and damages its own healthy tissues. It is among one of the most common autoimmune diseases today, alongside type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, even though the illness is prevalent, the level of awareness is way behind when looking at other autoimmune diseases. In a disturbing survey, about 73% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 do not know anything about the illness, even when this age bracket has greater risks of the disease.
It is vital for everyone to get acquainted with and understand the basic facts about the disease. Here are 13 things lupus patients wish others understood:
One: Lupus will change the life of the person affected
People who are diagnosed with the disease, whether it be a mild or a more serious form, need to have constant medical attention and supervision throughout. It is also important to change several aspects of their lifestyle in order to keep the illness under control and to feel well most of the time. In the beginning, it is not uncommon for someone to experience depression, uncertainty, guilt, and the fear of dying. It should also be noted that these are all normal feelings, and the most important factor is to adjust the individual’s perspective in dealing with the disease by constantly communicating with relatives and medical personnel.
Two: The illness is real
A person with lupus may look very normal on the outside and seem like they are physically well—take Selena Gomez’ Lupus Battle, for example. While others can go through their daily routine, have a decent job, and go to college, it should still be noted that the functionality of an individual with lupus is always not the measure of how anyone is feeling. Most of the time, those with lupus are in pain and are severely exhausted while at work.
Three: Cancelling plans is normal for a person with lupus
The feeling of always being sick affects any schedule or event that a someone may be planning ahead of time. There are some days where a person with lupus can feel exhausted just after taking a shower and need to cancel any plans for the day. Sometimes, they can even feel fatigue while eating, and a lupus patient may need to rest a few minutes. These simple things can greatly affect the relationship of the individual with Lupus to acquaintances and other close friends. So, it's important to understand that these patients do need their time to relax and recover from the pain that they feel.