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Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
sis-teh-mik lew-pus er-eh-thee-muh-toh-sis)
to say....harder to live with~
is Latin for wolf, Erythematosus means
redness. In the 18th century, when
lupus was just starting to be recognized as a
disease, it was thought that it was caused by
the bite of a wolf. This may have been because
of the distinctive rash characteristic of lupus.
(Once full-blown, the round, disk-shaped rashes
heal from the inside out, leaving a bite-like
refer to this rash as the marlar butterfly
rash. It frequently occurs on the tops of the cheeks,
across the bridge of the nose and above the
eyes. This "butterfly" shape is very
distinctive, and is a good indication of lupus,
but is not necessary for diagnosis
Lupus Erythmatosus, commonly called lupus, is
perhaps the most misunderstood and misdiagnosed
disease in the history of medicine. It has been
called "The great imitator" because
its symptoms can mimic other, more common
diseases and syndromes. The
disease, is believed to have been described by
Hippocrates around 400 BC. Lupus is not a new
disease, but has been described more in the last
150 years. Approximately 25 years ago, lupus was
considered a terminal disease.
Lupus is an
autoimmune disease, a type of self-allergy,
whereby the patient's immune system creates
antibodies which instead of protecting the body
from bacteria & viruses attack the person's
own body tissues. This causes symptoms of
extreme fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches,
anaemia, general malaise, & can result in
the destruction of vital organs. It is a disease
with many manifestations, & each person's
illness and symptoms may be different. Lupus can
mimic other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis
& rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult
Anyone can have
lupus, but it is 9 times more common in females
than in males. There seem to be environmental
and genetic factors that predispose an
individual to lupus, but the exact causes of the
disease are unknown.
Lupus tends to
have a dormant, inactive stage during which the
patient lives a normal, or nearly normal
lifestyle. There is also an active stage, called
a flare, during which the symptoms are severe,
and can range from irritating to crippling.
is no single test that can definitely say
whether a person has lupus or not. Only by
comprehensive examination and consideration of
symptoms and their history can a diagnosis be
Lupus is not
contagious. There is no cure...
can be triggered...
a result of trauma
after viral infection
course of medication
are many helpful lupus sites on the
These are a few of my favorites.
National Lupus Foundation
A totally comprehensive site with a wealth of
Lupus at Suite101.com
Karyn Moran Holton.
Wonderful site for information, helpful links,
Karyn is a nurse with an uplifting personality,
who also has lupus... and a lot of understanding. Provides great support and
info through a chat board, and informative
Two women with lupus went on the
road to film a documentary on lupus and the
people who live with it every day.
Touching, poignant, and so true to life that you
cannot read them without beginning to understand
it's like to live with lupus.
and Me...In The Company Of The Wolf