May 10 is World Lupus Day and an important opportunity to raise awareness of the disease and improve our understanding of its impact.
There are many ways you can get involved and raise awareness during the day. See the Lupus UK website for details about fundraising and how you can raise awareness and help more people get the right care.
You can also share your experience of lupus using #lupuschat on social media to contribute to the first global report on the impact of lupus.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. There are a wide range of symptoms associated with Lupus which means that it is often not detected or misdiagnosed. Left untreated, severe cases of Lupus can cause permanent organ damage or even death.
Symptoms of Lupus include kidney problems, heart and lung issues, increased risk of miscarriage, sensitivity to light, hair loss, rashes and mouth ulcers but the most common symptoms are extreme fatigue and joint or muscle pain that does not go away after resting. In many cases of Lupus there are no visible symptoms and the average time between seeing symptoms and lupus being diagnosed is seven years.
Around 1 in 3,500 people have Lupus. 90% of sufferers are female, mainly developing the condition between the ages of 15 and 55. After diagnosis, most people with Lupus have normal life expectancies and are able to manage their condition through adequate rest, eating the correct types of food and appropriate medical treatments .
With your help, we can get more people with Lupus the care they need to help manage their condition and live happy and fulfilling lives.