World Lupus Day
World Lupus Day is honored on May 10th annually to underscore the disease's impact on several lives. World Lupus Day is celebrated to honor those living with Lupus and their loved ones and spread knowledge about the condition. Lupus is a serious, life-altering, and fatal disease that requires in-depth understanding and support for the affected persons. According to the latest reports, it has been estimated that 1 in every 1000 Indians has been affected with lupus disease. On this day, several worldwide organizations join to raise awareness of lupus and the necessity of early detection and screening.
History Of World Lupus Day
During the early 21st century, a World Lupus Day was set for May 10th each year to raise awareness of Lupus around the globe. This date was set following an agreement by representatives of lupus organizations from 13 different nations worldwide. World Lupus Day was founded in 2004 and celebrated on May 10th, 2005. The theme for that year was "Lupus Knows No Boundaries," which highlighted the global impact of Lupus and the need for increased awareness and support.
World Lupus Day 2023 Theme
The theme for World Lupus Day 2023 is "Make Lupus Visible". This theme emphasizes the importance of breaking down the barriers that prevent people from accessing proper diagnosis, treatment, and care for Lupus. It also highlights the need to build bridges between patients, healthcare providers to improve the quality of life for people with Lupus. The World Lupus Day 2023 theme is relevant as Lupus patients face numerous challenges, including stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to healthcare services.
Goal Of World Lupus Day 2023
- Raise awareness about Lupus and its impact on individuals and society.
- Advocate for better healthcare and research funding for Lupus.
- Encourage early diagnosis and treatment.
- Educate the public about Lupus and reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
- Help people understand the challenges faced by those affected with Lupus.
- Improve the quality of life for lupus patients.
What Is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that happens when our immune system attacks the normal healthy tissues. To begin, Lupus is an inflammatory disease/autoimmune disease that occurs when the body's system attacks its own tissues and organs. This may affect various body organs, including the skin, kidneys, brain, blood cells, lungs, heart, and joints. The major risk factors of Lupus include,
- Hormones: The prevalence of Lupus among females was six times higher than males, especially women between 15 and 45 years of reproductive age. Many theories have hypothesized that a high estrogen level (female reproductive hormone) may contribute to the flare-up of lupus disease, yet the mechanism remains unknown.
- Environmental risk factors include exposure to certain types of viruses and medications.
- Genetics also plays a significant role in causing Lupus. Few genes are linked to Lupus and run through the family.
Types Of Lupus:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is often referred to as systematic lupus disease. It can affect multiple organs in our body by causing inflammation in the major organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs.
- Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), also called cutaneous Lupus, is a persistent medical condition that affects the skin leading to various changes such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc.,
- Drug-induced Lupus is associated with various drugs causing Lupus. However, drug-induced Lupus will not be present in the long term, and the symptoms can usually go away within a few months after discontinuing the medication.
Common Symptoms Of Lupus
The symptoms can range from minor headaches and fatigue to significant complications like organ damage.
- Butterfly rashes on the cheeks
- Weight loss
- Hair fall
- Persistent headache with confusion
- Photosensitivity- skin rashes that tend to worsen when exposed to the sun
- Joint pain with stiffness
- Mild to moderate fever
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Breathing difficulty
- Inflammation of kidneys
- Thyroid related problems
- Mouth ulcers
Treatment Options To Manage Lupus
Although Lupus cannot be cured permanently, it can be treated in many ways, at least to prevent the flare-up of the symptoms. The cornerstone of the treatment involves reducing organ damage and alleviating the disease. The available treatment options are,
- Steroid medications such as corticosteroids will be prescribed when lupus symptoms get intense and affect the major body organs such as kidneys, lungs, and heart.
- Immunosuppressants are used in treating severe symptoms where Lupus induces organ-level damage and when steroids haven't worked well in patients.
- Antimalarial agent hydroxychloroquine is also used to manage Lupus to prevent the disease's relapse.
- Pain-relieving medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to ease joint pain, fever, and swelling.
How To Raise Awareness Among Everyone
"Lupus is Invisible, Make It Visible" is a campaign to raise awareness about Lupus and its impact on individuals and communities.
- Wear purple: Purple is the official color of lupus awareness. Wearing a purple ribbon, shirt, or accessory can help raise awareness and start conversations about Lupus.
- Narrate your story: By telling others about your experience via blog or social media about Lupus, you may raise awareness of the condition and its impact.
- Community events: Plan for community events like workshops, conferences, walk, run, and fundraiser for lupus research, which can help raise awareness and support the cause.
- Educate others: Educate your family, friends, and community about Lupus by sharing information, resources, and statistics.
- Media outreach: Reach out to media outlets, such as newspapers, television, radio, and other articles, to share information about World Lupus Day.
"Tweak your healthy habits to cope with lupus."
Although medication can help curb the symptoms, it is essential to incorporate some lifestyle modifications to manage the disease and improve the quality of life. Since Lupus is an autoimmune disease, it can increase the risk of infections, so getting flu shots regularly and washing your hands frequently to avoid contamination with germs is suggested. Avoid exposure to the sun for a prolonged duration, as patients with Lupus are photosensitive. Prolonged exposure may flare up Lupus. Avoid high-fatty foods, dairy foods, and processed meat, as they can trigger inflammation. It's important to raise awareness about Lupus to work to find a cure and improve the lives of those living with this condition.