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Lupus Facts

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, in which the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect.

The cause is unknown.

Genetics seem to play an important role, but other factors may be involved. Scientists are looking for a connection to sunlight, stress, hormones, cigarette smoke, certain drugs, and infectious agents such as viruses.

There is no cure.

Lupus is characterized by periods of illness, called flares, and periods of wellness, or remission.

Diagnosing lupus can take months or years. No single test can determine whether a person has lupus, but several lab tests may help confirm a diagnosis or rule out other causes for a person’s symptoms.

More women than men have lupus. It can run in families, but the risk that a child or a brother or sister of a patient also will have lupus is low.

Symptoms include painful or swollen joints and muscle pain, unexplained fever, red rashes, unusual loss of hair, pale or purple fingers or toes from cold or stress, sun sensitivity, swelling in legs or around eyes, mouth ulcers, swollen glands and extreme fatigue.

Source: National Institutes of Health | More on Lupus

Rheumatoid Arthritis/Rheumatoid Disease Facts

Rheumatoid Arthritis/RA/RD: is a chronic, systemic disease; is an auto-immune disease; attacks the body’s tissues; causes chronic pain, weakness & inflammation; can cause severe disability; can cause permanent joint & organ damage; does not have a cure; affects 1.3 million Americans and an estimated 1 to 2% of the population worldwide; does not have a confirmed cause; affects 2-3 times more women than men; can occur at any age, but generally age 30-60; shortens life span; can cause deaths from RA-related causes; is consistent only in its inconsistency in onset, severity and response to therapies between patients.

RA is not the same as the more common Osteoarthritis/OA, which is not usually an autoimmune disease and seen more often in the elderly or as a result of injury.

Source: Thrive with RA. | More on RA

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