Medical Minute: Lupus Awareness

According to the lupus foundation of America, about $1.4 million Americans have lupus, though statistics vary greatly.

Awareness of some common facts and symptoms can help lead to an early diagnosis. Casey Taylor gives us some more facts to know about this little-known disease

At just twenty-four, Camille knows a lot about a little-known disease. Camille Khan Has lupus, she said, "I was diagnosed at 15, so I guess I'm a veteran in the lupus category."

Lupus involves abnormal immune activity in virtually all body tissues.

Hugh McGrath, Jr., M.D. Rheumatologist, said, "One of the most disabling symptoms is actually the fatigue that's seen in about 50 percent of patients."

"About 80 percent of patients will present with some degree of photosensitivity and a rash." Maricela Villarreal had photosensitivity, rashes and extreme fatigue, but several doctors missed the diagnosis.

Maricela uses experimental light therapy to control her symptoms. Camille found relief with high doses of chemotherapy. Doctor McGrath says death is a common fear, but with better medications and new treatments, the number of patients who live more than five years has increased from ten percent to eighty-five percent. Camille has learned to live with the disease. "I take every day and live it to the fullest."

Maricela has also stayed positive. Her advice is simple.

For More Information:
Lupus Foundation of America
www.lupus.org


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