Monday, May 06, 2013

May 10th marks the annual Global Lupus Awareness Day

Julie Martin - Provincial branch and education manager for the Arthritis Foundation of South African in the Western Cape joined us on the line to talk about lupus. Friday May 10th marks the annual Global Lupus Awareness Day which is a united awareness campaign by lupus organizations around the world. Lupus is a chronic auto-immune disease that can affect various parts of the body including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. It is said to often attack mostly young women of childbearing age, but individuals of any age or gender can develop lupus. Unfortunately no one knows what causes lupus but scientists believe that hormones, genetics (heredity), and environment are all involved. Since lupus can affect so many different organs, there is wide range of symptoms that can occur. The most common symptoms of lupus, which are the same for females and males, are Extreme fatigue (tiredness), Headaches, Painful or swollen joints, Fever, Anemia (caused by low numbers of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or low total blood volume), Swelling (edema) in feet, legs, or around eyes, Pain in the chest on deep breathing (pleurisy), Butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose, Sun or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity), Hair loss, Blood-clotting problems, Fingers turning white and/or blue in the cold and Ulcers in the mouth or nose. The Lupus Awareness Day focuses on the need for heightened public awareness, improved patient healthcare services, increased research into the causes of and a cure for lupus, enhanced physician diagnosis and treatment of lupus, and better epidemiological data on lupus globally. For further information you can contact 0861 30 30 30 or visit www.arthritis.org.za

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