This page and “self test” is not intended for diagnosis. If you’re wondering about Lupus or when to consult a doctor or Rheumatologist, please read the following information and test yourself with these 11 questions.
If your answer is “yes’ to at least three of these questions, we suggest that you consult with a doctor and discuss any questions you may have about Lupus.
- 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 other 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. The immune system then makes antibodies directed against “self.”
- Lupus is NOT infectious, rare or cancerous.
- Lupus is more prevalent than AIDS, Sickle-Cell Anemia, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Cystic Fibrosis combined. Lupus Foundation of American (LFA) 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)
- Although the cause of lupus is unknown, scientists suspect that individuals are genetically predisposed to lupus, and know that environmental factors such as infections, antibiotics, ultraviolet light, extreme stress and certain drugs play a critical role in triggering lupus.
- Lupus affects 1 out of every 185 Americans and strikes adult women 10-15 times more frequently than adult men. Lupus is more prevalent in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asians.
- Only 10% of people with lupus will have a close relative (parent or sibling) who already has or may develop lupus. Only about 5% of the children born to individuals with lupus will develop the illness.
- Lupus can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms come and go and mimic many other illnesses. Some symptoms of lupus can be transient joint and muscle pain, fatigue, rash caused by or made worse by sunlight, low grade fevers, hair loss, pleurisy, appetite loss, sores in the nose or mouth 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 years, 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 year.
- the Lupus Foundation of America has nearly 100 local chapters directly providing patient services, education awareness and research in their local areas.
1) Have you ever had achy, painful/swollen joints for more than three months?
2) Do your fingers/toes become pale, numb or uncomfortable in the cold?
3) Have you had any sores in your mouth/nose for more than two weeks?
4) Have you been told that you have low blood count(s)-anemia, low white-cell count, or a low platelet count?
5) Have you ever had a prominent redness or color change across the bridge of your nose and cheeks (butterfly rash)?
6) Have you ever had sensitivity to the sun where your skin “breaks out” after being in the sun (not sunburn)?
7) Have you ever had chest pain when breathing deeply for more than a few days (pleurisy)?
8) Have you ever been told you have protein in your urine?
9) Have you ever had a seizure or convulsion?
10) Have you ever experienced persistent, extreme fatigue/exhaustion and weakness for days or even weeks at a time, even after 6-8 hours of restful nighttime sleep?
11) Have you ever had an unexplained fever of more than 100 degrees for a few days or longer?
If your answer is “yes’ to at least three of these questions, we suggest that you consult with a doctor and discuss any questions you may have about Lupus. Also, please see our “What is Lupus?” page.
Feel free to call our office for more information: 607-772-6522