Raising awareness about Lupus

Lupus is one of over 100 kinds of Arthritis and it can cause inflammation in any and or every part of the body.

Lupus is one of the over 100 kinds of Arthritis. Lupus will cause inflammation in any and/or every part of the body. The Latin name for Lupus is wolf, as many people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) will get a red rash that covers the cheeks and nose of the face, like the markings a wolf has – this rash today is called a “butterfly rash.”

Lupus is known as the disease of 1,000 faces because of the vast number of body parts that Lupus can affect. SLE is the most serious kind of Lupus, as it can attack any of our organs, lungs, eyes, blood vessels, muscles and the brain to name a few. Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the body attacks itself. The healthy cells in the body get confused and attack the harmful free radicals and our healthy protective cells and this is like a war going on inside the body 24/7. Many who have Lupus also have Fibromyalgia and Raynaud’s syndrome. Photosensitivity from UVA and UVB rays  can bring on a Lupus flare.  The involvement of the central nervous system can cause impairment of cognitive thinking, fatigue, depression, loss of memory, confusion, thought process, seizures and more. Lupus also mimics other diseases such a multiple sclerosis.

As you can see this disease is the very complex. Awareness needs to be spread and people need to know that the Lupus B.C. Society desperately needs funding for more research to be done. Victims need specific treatment for Lupus because, at this time, there is none.

One drug is called Plaquenil, which was invented for Malaria and by chance it was found that it helped with the face rash in Lupus.

My best friend, my sister Gloria died 34 years ago of Lupus at the young age of 42 and she was on the same medications we have today, and the same ones that were used 50 years ago.

Fifty-thousand people in Canada, 1.5 million in the U.S. and five million worldwide have Lupus. The good news is that we have research being done in B.C. at the University of B.C. just for Lupus.

I have had SLE for over 22 years and the symptoms keep coming. I am grateful that I can operate a small business from my home and I have met many friends running this little business that I love.

No. 1 on my bucket list is to let as many people as I can, know about Lupus, therefore I am working with Lupus B.C. to be an advocate for education about this disease.

For more information on Lupus, please contact the Lupus B.C. Society or myself at 250-447-6298 or at shirleybell1@shaw.ca.

Written by Shirley Bell