Lupus Alert Day is an annual awareness event observed on April 1. This event was created to raise awareness of lupus and provide support for the millions of people affected by this condition. Lupus is a life-threatening autoimmune disease, it is an abnormality where the human immune system, designed to protect, attacks tissue and organs in the body. The result in most cases is severe organ damage. Although there is currently no cure for the disease, it can still be controlled if given the right medical attention from its onset. This goes to further emphasize the importance and need of Lupus Alert Day.
History of Lupus Alert Day
Lupus Alert Day was founded by the Lupus Foundation of America in 2000. There was a great need to educate the citizens on the dangers of lupus, tactically known as systemic lupus erythematosus (S.L.E.). The day was started to sensitize people to the causes, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment. Research shows that about 16,000 Americans develop lupus every year, and 90% of its victims are women. The disease commonly occurs between 15 and 44 years of age and may be hard to diagnose because its symptoms mimic other milder illnesses.
Physicians from the 18th to early 19th century had difficulty diagnosing the disease because of its complexity. However, a significant breakthrough was made in 1948 by a team of researchers at the Mayo Clinic, which led to 60% of lupus cases being diagnosed. In 1971, to aid in the diagnosis of lupus, a list was released by the American College of Rheumatology (A.C.R.), with detailed criteria for S.L.E. The criteria included symptoms that the patient could point out, like rash and pain, and others that a doctor could detect through a physical examination and laboratory tests. The list improved with time, as more and more discoveries were made.
A lupus quiz consisting of eleven questions can be taken online, and people are constantly being advised to take one, all in the bid to raise awareness, diagnose early causes, and further important research.
Lupus Alert Day timeline
Physicians struggle to identify lupus due to its complexity.
A team of researchers at the Mayo Clinic makes this significant discovery.
Corticosteroids aid in effective lupus therapy.
The Lupus Foundation of America launches Lupus Alert Day.
Lupus Alert Day FAQs
How serious is lupus?
Lupus is very serious. It can cause severe kidney damage and kidney failure, which leads to death.
Does lupus cause weight gain?
Yes, lupus can sometimes cause weight loss or weight gain. Weight gain is more common in people with lupus.
Can lupus affect your ears?
Lupus can damage the tissue of the inner ears, which causes tinnitus, a kind of ringing in one or both ears.
How to Observe Lupus Alert Day
Join sensitization campaigns
There are many ongoing lupus awareness campaigns, both offline and online. Taking part in such campaigns is a significant way to help raise awareness.
Take the lupus quiz and encourage others to do so
You can take the lupus quiz set by the Lupus Foundation and encourage others to do so after you. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues and tell them about it.
Donate to the Lupus Foundation of America
You can donate to one of the local chapters of the Lupus Foundation of America to support people living with lupus and fund important research. You can donate online or by mail. Visit the Lupus Foundation of America's official website to learn more.
5 Interesting Facts About Lupus
Lupus is not transferable
Lupus is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another.
Lupus has four types
Lupus has four types, namely systemic lupus, cutaneous or discoid, drug-induced, and neonatal lupus.
Lupus treatment can be very expensive
The report by the Lupus Foundation of America shows that the average annual direct health care costs for someone with lupus is $33,223 and can go as high as $50,000 and more.
Lupus has no known cure
Doctors can only treat lupus symptomatically since there is no cure for it.
Lupus can be fatal
An average of 12.5% of lupus patients die due to complications from the illness.
Why Lupus Alert Day is Important
An opportunity to raise awareness
We get to increase awareness about lupus, motivate people to take the lupus quiz, and get information around to those who need it. People need to be conscious about their health and take troubling signs seriously.
It provides financial assistance
Lupus can be quite expensive to treat. By donating and getting others to donate as well, we help provide financial support for people affected by lupus and funds for research.
It changes the public’s attitude
These campaigns work toward making the public sensitive to the suffering of people living with lupus. It also encourages the government and other organizations to put in place working and schooling conditions favorable for sufferers.
Lupus Alert Day dates