Saturday, June 12, 2021

HEALTHIER YOU: Raising awareness about lupus?

May 5, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Raising awareness about lupus?

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

May is Lupus Awareness Month, and it is important to keep the information flowing — since 4 out of every 1,000 people in the United States get the disease.

Black women are three times more likely to have lupus than white women. Most people develop lupus between the ages of 15 and 44, but Black women tend to develop the disease at the earlier end of this range. African-Americans also tend to have a more severe form of the disease — with more kidney disease, seizures, strokes, and lupus related deaths.

Lupus is a chronic, lifelong autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. With autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune defense system cannot tell the difference between viruses, bacteria, and other germs and the body’s healthy cells, tissues, or organs. Because of this, the immune system attacks and destroys these healthy cells, tissues, or organs.

Some of the health problems caused by lupus include:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney disease

Researchers are still studying possible causes of lupus. It is known that lupus is not a disease you can catch from someone else — and while genetics play an important role, they do not always tell the entire story. Even someone with one or more of the genes associated with lupus has only a small chance of actually getting the disease. Researchers are also studying possible causes such as environment (sunlight, stress, and smoking); hormones like estrogen (lupus is more common in women during their childbearing years when estrogen levels are highest); and other problems with the immune system.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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