Early diagnosis improves quality of life and saves lives. Under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable physician, the prognosis for lupus patients can be very good. Lupus is a serious disease that can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, joints and more. It can lead to heart attacks, stokes, seizures, fatal infection and organ failure. But once patients along with their medical, nursing, and health professionals know the signs, they can partner to take action and manage lupus effectively.
Know the signs.
- Signs of lupus can include fatigue, painful joints, muscle weakness, fever, chest pain, trouble thinking, hair loss, rash, low blood count and more.
- No one is immune; however women are more likely to develop lupus than men and American women of color are at an increased risk for lupus.
- Lupus is most often diagnosed in women when they are in their childbearing years between 15 and 45. Although the risk of miscarriages is increased, women with lupus can successfully have children.
- Children and adolescents with lupus appear to have more severe illness. Nevertheless, they should and often can be active socially and in school.
- Empowered patients have better outcomes. Get educated. Did you know the FDA approved the first new lupus drug in 50 yrs? www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/218864.php
- Partner with your provider to find the most effective treatment for you. www.lupusinitiative.org/pdf/PatientPhysicianDialogueTool.pdf
- There is more to good health than healthcare. Stay active, try to reduce stress, create a network of family and friends, avoid smoking, maintain a well-balanced diet. http://www.lupus.org/resources/taking-care-of-yourself
- Use available resources and support networks: