Lupus Awareness Month
Lupus Awareness Month is a May holiday that is designed to raise awareness about this autoimmune disease and the effect that it has on the people who suffer from it. This inflammatory disease occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissues.
This causes joint and muscle pain, rashes, hair loss, chest pain, kidney problems, and a whole host of other symptoms. Although this condition can be somewhat managed with medicine, through the use of anti-inflammatories and steroids, there still isn’t a cure for it.
Of course, this month is perfect for everyone to come together and work towards better treatments for lupus, as well as to provide support for these people suffering from this condition.
The History Of Lupus Awareness Month
The word “lupus” comes from the Latin word for “wolf.” It’s a word that’s been used all the way back to the Middle Ages when it was used as a catch-all for a number of different diseases that had ulcerous lesions as the main symptom, especially lesions on the lower limbs.
It was used from the Middle Ages all the way to the 18th century, but the breakthrough moment for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease wouldn’t come until the 19th century.
During the 19th century, a clear distinction was made between cutaneous lupus with lesions and lupus valgaris. This allowed the modern treatment of this condition to advance all through the rest of the 19th and 20th centuries.
For much of this time, however, treatments were used to simply treat the symptoms of this disease, and it wouldn’t be until the end of the 20th century that the underlying condition would begin to be treated.
Lupus Awareness Month originally began in 1977, but back then it was a holiday that was only observed in a few locations and it wasn’t observed as a national or international holiday month.
This would change in 2009, however. This is when the Lupus Foundation of America was finally able to get May recognized as Lupus Awareness Month. This month has become a powerful tool for lupus advocates to raise this disease’s profile and to help people find the support that they need.
Some Important Facts About Lupus
Below are some important facts about lupus that we feel everyone should know about, regardless of whether they’re actually planning on observing Lupus Awareness Month. It’s our sincere hope that our readers find the following facts to be educational.
- No two cases of lupus are alike. Common symptoms include skin rashes, fatigue, fevers, and joint pain.
- Lupus usually develops between the ages of 15 and 44 but will last a lifetime.
- Approximately 90% of people diagnosed with lupus are female.
- Lupus can develop in all races and ethnicities. However, it’s three times more common in Asians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.
- Currently, the causes of lupus are unknown.
- Direct and indirect costs of people diagnosed with lupus can easily exceed $22,000 a year.
- Early detection can prevent many long-term consequences of lupus. People should seek treatment as soon as they recognize the symptoms of this disorder.
- The two leading causes of death from lupus include heart disease and kidney disease.
- World Lupus Day falls during this month. It is observed on May 10th every year.
Observing Lupus Awareness Month
One of the main ways for this holiday month to be observed is by people and organizations raising awareness about it. Organizations such as the Lupus Foundation of America have events every year to do just that.
People can help in this endeavor by using social media to spread the word about this holiday. That can be done simply by using the hashtag #LupusAwarenessMonth online. Another way that people can observe this month is by wearing the color purple.
The color purple represents this holiday because it combines the color red, a color that is seen as passion, and the color blue, a color that stands for calmness. People can wear purple clothing on this day or they can use a purple ribbon on their person or on their houses.
This is also a good month for people to educate themselves on the subject of lupus, especially if they’ve been recently diagnosed with it or have a friend or family member who has been recently diagnosed. And, of course, people can reach out to those afflicted with this condition to provide moral support.