Lupus Q & A

The 411 on Lupus


Condition: Systemic lupus erythematosus, a.k.a. Lupus
Color: Purple
Symbol: Butterfly, Purple ribbon, L hand sign
Famous Lupus Warriors and Caregivers: just to name a few…

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Lupus? What is that?

So what is lupus, you ask? Medically defined, lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can cause damage to any part of the body. Essentially, the body’s immune system is confused between the good stuff and bad stuff on the inside. So, just like the average person fights off a common cold, lupus victims do the same, as well as attack healthy body tissue…. EACH AND EVERY DAY.

Can I get lupus?

No, lupus is not contagious. We do not have koodies. However, lupus is a common condition. Over 15, 000 new cases are reported each year. Most of which are women, and even more are women of color.

Why is lupus so bad?

Well, the symptoms of lupus itself are not that severe. I’m no doctor, but here is a pretty good list of what we deal with on the daily.

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Painful/swollen joints
  • Anemia
  • Edema: swelling in the extremities
  • Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks
  • Sun/light senitivity
  • Hairloss
  • Fingers turning white or blue when cold

Actually, The Great Imitator has symptoms just like some other “household name” conditions. It’s the complications of lupus that make it alarming. The disease is different from person to person, and some have it worse than others. Severe flare-ups may be life-threatening, while daily side affects are just a pain in the… well… the derrière.

What causes lupus?

Nobody really knows, unfortunately. Research has been done, and many scientists blame hormones, genetics, and the environment. They have yet to find a conclusive answer.

How is lupus treated?

Because each Lupus Warrior fights a different battle, there are many different treatment approaches. Drugs like corticosteroids and antimalarials (anti’ = against; ‘malarials = malaria; say what?!) are most common; and, in my experience, are taken daily, or even more frequently. Oh goodie! If lupus has caused damage to another part of the body, more treatments will be needed.

Is there a cure for lupus?

No. Point. Blank. Period. But! That’s why Mommie and Wee is here! To raise awareness and funds for lupus research! Find out how YOU can take action!

How does lupus affect pregnancy?

It is definitely possible to have a successful pregnancy with lupus! I am living proof! You just have to plan carefully and take care of your body. Make sure you attend OB appointments regularly, and there will most likely be a need for a Neo-Natal Specialist as well. So, clear up your schedule! If lupus is in remission at the time of pregnancy, you have a greater chance of it being a successful birth. On the flip side, flare-ups can cause some major damage. So, be prepared!

With Love, M&W.

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