World Lupus Day 2024

Subarna Debbarma (BPT, DNHE)

World Lupus Day

World Lupus Day is an international day marked on 10 May to raise awareness of Lupus disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. World Lupus Day was first celebrated by Lupus Canada in 2004 to raise awareness of the disease Lupus. Since then, every year, on 10 May has been celebrated in most continents around the world, in Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, and a growing number of countries in Europe. Along with the rest of the world, India also celebrates Lopus Day.

World Lupus Day

What is Lupus?

Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, and blood cells.

What are the symptoms of Lupus?

The symptoms of lupus can vary widely among individuals and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include fatigue, joint pain and swelling, skin rashes (especially a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose), fever, chest pain, hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, and mouth ulcers. Because lupus can affect multiple organ systems, it can also lead to complications such as kidney inflammation (nephritis), cardiovascular problems, and neurological issues.

What are the causes of Lupus?

The exact cause of lupus is not fully understood, but it's a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. Normally, our immune system protects us against harmful substances such as viruses, cancer cells, bacteria, and toxins. However, when the body's immune system malfunctions or becomes overactive, it attacks healthy tissues, cells, and organs, causing lupus.

What are the treatment options of Lupus?

There is no cure for lupus, but treatment aims to manage symptoms.This typically involves medications to suppress the overactive immune response, reduce inflammation, and manage specific symptoms. Additionally, lifestyle measures such as avoiding excessive sun exposure and managing stress can help individuals with lupus manage their condition better.

A recent global survey by the World Lupus Federation found that 91% of lupus patients have used or are currently using oral steroids to manage their lupus. Over 7,700 individuals fighting with lupus from more than 100 countries participated in the survey.

The findings indicate that a significant portion of lupus patients (75%) have been on steroids for over a year, with 27% patients using more than a decade. Moreover, 43% of participants reported that taking doses range between 5-7.5mg daily, 58% reported that they're taking maximum doses of 30 mg or higher. Almost all respondents (96%) expressed concerns about the potential long-term effects of steroid usage.

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