What is this disease and what do people with it go through on a daily basis?
Recently, a TikTok mocking Selena Gomez went viral. It focused on the way she put on eyeliner. In the video, other stars are applying eyeliner smoothly. Meanwhile, Selena is struggling to keep her hand steady. Many other TikTokers have since called out this video. They pointed out that Selena’s hand was shaking because she has a disease called lupus.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and pain. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks healthy tissue. This means that the body is confused and attacking itself even when it’s healthy, which is not good.
In extreme cases like Selena’s, chemotherapy and a kidney transplant may be necessary. Anyone can get it, but the likelihood is higher in women within the 15 to 44-year-old age range.
Aside from systemic lupus, there are other types. They are:
- Cutaneous lupus – This is generally on the skin.
- Drug-induced lupus – This is usually triggered by specific prescribed drugs.
- Neonatal lupus – This affects babies of women already suffering from lupus. Amongst all the types, it’s quite rare.
The tell-tale signs of lupus vary from person to person. It can affect joints, skin, the kidney, and more. Factors for early detection are also tough to determine. They’re the same as full-blown symptoms. They include a butterfly rash, extreme fatigue, and/or joint pain. Shakiness is also a key sign, due to how unstable the body is.
Clearly, it’s no laughing matter. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not contagious but it’s most likely hereditary.
Needless to say, it’s best to consult a doctor to determine a specific diagnosis. Lab tests, alongside imaging like a chest x-ray or even a biopsy, are needed. From there, treatment can be planned according to the patient’s specific situation. In the face of complications, a kidney transplant may be needed. Lupus nephritis—which affects the kidney—is one such complication. In some cases, patients can even have seizures or strokes.
Common treatment methods for this disease include antimalarial drugs, corticosteroids, and NSAIDs.
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All told, it’s a serious condition that requires medical attention and understanding.
Featured Image Macky Arquilla