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Three must-know facts about lupus - one of the most common autoimmune diseases

by , 01 February 2018
Three must-know facts about lupus - one of the most common autoimmune diseases
Lupus is an autoimmune that, according to the Lupus Foundation of America, affects an estimated five million people worldwide. The numbers are likely much higher due to the difficulty in diagnosing the disease.

One of the top 10 most common autoimmune diseases along with celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, lupus is an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks in own tissues. Symptoms vary from person to person, but can include skin rash, fatigue, fever and joint pain.

If you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with lupus, you probably have a lot of questions about the disease. Read on for three must-know facts about lupus…

Three things you should know about lupus

#1: There are five different types of lupus
There are five specific types of lupus that fall under the catch-all term for the disease, each of which affects the body in different ways. The most common type is systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which accounts for around 70% of all lupus cases. SLE can affect the entire body, including skin, joints, brain, lungs, heart and kidneys. Symptoms can include swelling and joint pain, skin rash, hair loss and difficulty breathing.

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#2: Women are nine times more likely than men to get lupus
Women have a much higher risk than men of being diagnosed with lupus, especially during their prime childbearing years (20 to 35 years old). “Patients with lupus tend to develop the disease between the ages of 15 to 49,” says Irene Blanco, MD, MS, an associate professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a rheumatologist at Montefiore Health System in the United States.
 
#3: When men get lupus, symptoms tend to be more severe
When men do get lupus, they usually experience more severe symptoms than women do, according to Janet Lewis, MD, chief of rheumatology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, also in the United States. “Men are often more likely to experience some of the more serious manifestations of lupus, such as renal disease, neurologic disease and serositis (inflammation of the linings of organs such as the heart and lungs – and it isn’t clear why,” she explains.
 
Go here for five lifestyle remedies for lupus to prevent and treat flares.
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