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May: Lupus Awareness Month

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs). It 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.

Did You Know:

  • The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans have Lupus
  • 1 in 537 Black women are impacted by Lupus
  • A 2014 study found that minority women tend to develop lupus at a younger age, experience more serious complications, and have higher mortality rates.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age. However, anyone can develop lupus
  • Most people with lupus develop the disease between the ages of 15-44

Risk Factors

  • Being a woman
  • Being between the ages of 15 and 44
  • Being a member of certain ethnic groups, such as African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, Native American, or Pacific Islander
  • Having a family history of lupus

Sign and Symptoms

The symptoms of lupus vary according to the parts of your body affected. Symptoms can disappear suddenly. They can be permanent or flare up occasionally. The most common symptoms include:

  • a fever
  • fatigue
  • body aches
  • joint pain
  • rashes, including a butterfly rash on the face
  • skin lesions
  • shortness of breath
  • chronic dry eyes
  • chest pain
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • memory loss

Prevention

For most lupus types, the condition isn’t preventable.

Tip for managing Flare-ups

  • Avoiding direct sunlight
  • Practicing stress management techniques.
  • Practicing infection prevention techniques.
  • Get plenty of rest

Healthy eating tips for people with lupus

  • Avoid foods high in salt and cholesterol
  • Eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel
  • Eat foods high in calcium, such as low-fat dairy products
  • Eat whole-grain carbohydrate sources
  • Eat a blend of colorful fruits and vegetables

Healthy bodies are beautiful bodies. Please take the time to be aware of the different issues that may affect you and make a conscious effort to prevent them. For more information please visit The Lupus Foundation of America’s website https://www.lupus.org/

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