Newly Diagnosed FAQ's

Fact Sheet
 
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation of various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys. The immune system normally protects the body against viruses, bacteria, and foreign materials. In an autoimmune disease like lupus, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between foreign substances and its own cells and tissues. 
 
Lupus is NOT infectious, rare or cancerous.
 
Lupus is more prevalent than AIDS, sickle-cell anemia, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and cystic fibrosis combined.
 
Research data shows that between 1,400,000 and 2,000,000 people have been diagnosed with lupus. (Study conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research, 1994)
 
Lupus affects 1 out of every 185 Americans.
 
Lupus strikes adult women 10-15 times more frequently than adult men.
 
Lupus is more prevalent in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asians.
 
Lupus can be difficult to diagnosed.
 
Some symptoms of lupus can be transient joint and muscle pain, fatigue, a rash caused by or made worse by sunlight, low grade fevers, hair loss, pleurisy, appetite loss, sores in the nose of mouth and/or painful sensitivity of the fingers to the cold.
 
Although lupus ranges from mild to life threatening and thousands of Americans die with lupus each year, the majority of cases can be controlled with proper treatment.
 
With current methods of therapy, most people with lupus can look forward to a normal lifespan.
While medical science has not yet developed a method for curing lupus, new research brings unexpected findings and increased hope each ye ar. 
 
1997 Revised ACR Criteria for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 
 
This is the criteria doctors use to diagnose lupus:  
 
Malar rash rash over the cheeks and nose
Discoid rash red raised patches with scales and scarring
Photosensitivity reaction to sunlight resulting in the development of or increase in skin rash
Oral ulcers ulcers in the nose or mouth, usually painless
Arthritis involving two or more peripheral joints
Serositis plueritis involving two or more peripheral joints
Renal disorder excessive protein in the urine or cellular casts
Neurologic disorder seizures (convulsions) or psychosis
Hematologic disorder hemolytic anemia, low white cell count or low platelet count
Immunologic disorder presence of antibody to DNA, Sm, or phospholipids
Antinuclear antibody abnormal titer of ANA 
 
Symptoms 
 
Aching joins (arthralgia)
Fever over 100 degrees F (38 C)
Prolonged or extreme fatigue
Swollen joints (arthritis) 
Skin rashes
Anemia
Kidney involvement 
Pain in the chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)
Butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose
Sun or light sensitivity (photosensitivity)
Hair loss 
Raynauds phenomenon
(fingers turning white and/or blue in the cold)
Seizures
Mouth or nose ulcers