Many Americans, including those from the Houston, Texas, area, may have heard of the disease lupus, but unless you or a family member or friend has experienced the disease you may not know what it is or how it affects victims. Lupus is an autoimmune disease; this means it tricks your body’s immune system into believing that healthy cells are foreign, and attacks these cells.

Lupus sufferers may experience a wide range of symptoms as well as periods of remission. Most lupus victims start experiencing symptoms in early adulthood into their thirties. A majority, up to 90 percent, of lupus sufferers will experience fatigue. They may also experience low grade fevers. Hair loss resulting from scalp and skin inflammation is also not uncommon for lupus victims. Skin lesions or rashes may also be present. This occurs for approximately half of all people with lupus.

There are also various internal symptoms that affect many lupus victims. This may include but is not limited to swollen and painful joints, gastrointestinal issues including acid reflux and heartburn, and pulmonary issues such as inflamed lungs. These conditions may also lead to chest pains and difficulty breathing. Kidney inflammation, called nephritis, could also occur for those suffering from lupus. Symptoms may include high blood pressure, dark or bloody urine, and swelling of your lower legs and feet.

Lupus victims may qualify for the Social Security Disability Benefits for Illness program. This program is designed to help Americans who are suffering from debilitating conditions, whether it is an illness, injury or mental condition, that prevents them from maintaining gainful employment. It is important to note that the program may not fully cover a victim’s medical expenses, though it will be helpful in providing some financial relief for those who are unable to work.

Source: Healthline, “10 Early Signs of Lupus,” Accessed on Sept. 4, 2017

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