LU­PUS LOW­DOWN

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Health -

One in 700 Aus­tralians has lu­pus Ninety per cent of lu­pus suf­fers are women

Nine out of 10 women with lu­pus de­velop it dur­ing their re­pro­duc­tive years

No one knows the ex­act cause, but trig­gers can in­clude ge­net­ics, hor­mones, stress and en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors such as ex­po­sure to UV light

Lu­pus has many char­ac­ter­is­tic symp­toms, but most pa­tients will never ex­pe­ri­ence all of them

About one in five pa­tients ex­pe­ri­ences skin rashes

About half of pa­tients ex­pe­ri­ence joint pain or swelling

Some pa­tients may have mild symp­toms for years be­fore they are ever di­ag­nosed, while oth­ers sud­denly ex­pe­ri­ence se­vere symp­toms with­out warn­ing

Many pa­tients ex­pe­ri­ence lu­pus ‘‘ flares’’ where the symp­toms of lu­pus re­turn.

The milder form of lu­pus is most com­mon, and many pa­tients are able to man­age those symp­toms and con­tinue to lead a nor­mal life

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