What is Lupus?
Lupus is an acute and chronic (lifelong) autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually every organ system in the body. It is complex, and no two cases of lupus are the same.
• Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
• Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone.
• Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
• Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
• Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
• More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
It is believed that approximately 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus. Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children and teenagers develop lupus, too. Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus but people of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
Sigma Upsilon Nu, SL Sorority has been affected very closely by lupus and as in any true sisterhood, if one of us hurts, we all hurt. More importantly, when one finds a cure, we have all been cured. Please take a moment to stop by our blog each day this month for little known facts about lupus as we bring awareness during the month of May through events planned all this month.
Information cited courtesy of http://www.lupus.org