Things You Might Not Know About Living with Lupus

Things You Might Not Know About Living with Lupus

About 1.5 million people in the United States have lupus, and the majority, about 90%, of them are women. There are four types of lupus, but most cases are systemic lupus. 

At Rheumatology Solutions, our providers treat numerous patients with systemic lupus. Our treatment plans vary and depend largely on the severity and frequency of your symptoms. 

One thing from which all of our patients benefit, though, is a deeper understanding of their condition. In this post, we explore some of the things you (or your family) may not know about living with lupus. 

1. Lupus is not always the same

Two patients with lupus may have completely different symptoms. It can cause extreme fatigue rash, fevers, joint pain, skin problems, or organ and tissue damage. Symptoms can be mild or severe and may come and go. 

2. There’s no single test to diagnose lupus

We can’t do a blood draw, run a test, and tell you if you have lupus. In fact, some people don’t get a correct diagnosis for years! It takes an average of almost six years for a lupus patient to get a correct diagnosis. 

3. Most lupus patients have triggers that cause flares

Common triggers include things like stress, lack of rest, the sun or other bright light, having an injury or infection. Many of our patients have learned to recognize both their triggers and when a flare is coming, which helps them control the flares. 

4. Lupus is an expensive condition

The cost of care for a person with lupus is around $30,000 per year, but there are also productivity costs, too. Many lupus patients lose some or all of their income as a result of complications from lupus. Some are unable to work full time. 

5. Lupus isn’t especially well-known

Many people aren’t familiar with lupus. More than 60% of Americans have never even heard of lupus or know little to nothing about it. This means that patients are often burdened with explaining their condition. 

6. Your family must be involved

You have to make adjustments as a patient, obviously, but you may not realize that your family will need to adjust, as well. Your schedule needs to allow for an appropriate amount of rest, you may need to reassign some chores, and you may find that you need outside help. 

7. Finding a support network is helpful

Most people with lupus say that their close family and friends are their support network, and that’s absolutely crucial. You may find, though, that having an outside support such as a therapist or patient group or even an online support group can help you manage living with lupus. 

Get the right care

When you have a chronic autoimmune disorder like lupus, life can feel unmanageable. You may feel like you just have to live with the pain and regular flares. Getting proper care and the right treatment can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life. 

If you have lupus, or you suspect you may have lupus, schedule an appointment at Rheumatology Solutions. 

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