- This event has passed.
Lupus Awareness Month
May 1, 2022 – May 31, 2022 CDT
Lupus Awareness Month, observed in May, raises awareness and educates others about this life-changing disease.
Lupus Awarenes Month is a time to educate the public about this little-understood autoimmune disease. An estimated 1.5 million men, women and children have lupus in the United States. But the overwhelming majority are women. They often develop lupus during their childbearing years and the disease severely disrupts family life. While lupus can be disabling and fatal, the disease can be managed in most cases through aggressive medical treatment and lifestyle changes.
The exact cause of lupus is unknown. However, lupus is not contagious. While lupus can strike anyone at any time, 90 percent of the people living with lupus are female. Women of color are at an especially high risk. Lupus usually developes between ages 15 and 44.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease. In a healthy immune system, the body produces antibodies, which destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria, viruses and foreign waste. Lupus, however, causes an overactive immune system to produce auto antibodies which attack healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body including any organ.
Lupus can often be hard to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to other diseases. In some cases it is not uncommon for several years to pass before a diagnosis of lupus is confirmed as other diseases may be ruled out first. As symptoms of lupus can come and go, it can make diagnosis even harder.
Lupus is one of the world’s most mysterious and devastating diseases that ravages different parts of the body. Most common symptoms include: hair loss; headaches; extreme fatigue; butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose; mouth or nose ulcers; fever; painful or swollen joints; abnormal blood clotting; anemia, pain in the chest on deep breathing (pleurisy); fingers turning white or blue when cold (Raynaud’s Phenomenon); sun or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity); and swelling (edema) in the feet, legs, hands and around the eyes.