Sources: Eagles Observer | All Things Michael
Besides a collection of radio hits, what do Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Selena Gomez, Seal and Toni Braxton have in common?
#Like 1.5 million of their fellow Americans, they’ve struggled with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disorder that attacks the skin, joints and internal organs.
#While you may not have been lucky enough to meet one of the stars mentioned above, chances are you have met someone with lupus here in Central New York.
#While no two cases of lupus are alike, common symptoms include joint pain, fatigue, fever, hair loss, sensitivity to light and the “butterfly rash,” a sunburn-like rash across the nose and cheeks.
#Lupus has no cure, and treatments are relatively limited. But it’s important that sufferers of the disease — and the people who care for them — know they are not alone in their fight.
#There are many things you can do to help those fighting lupus.
#First, educate yourself. Since the condition can mimic other illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis, it can take years for patients to receive a proper diagnosis of lupus. Communicate honestly and openly with your doctor if you or your loved one show signs of lupus. (See the sidebar on this article for more information.)
#While the cause of lupus is unknown, it may have hereditary and environmental components. Women in their childbearing years, especially women of color, make up 90 percent of lupus patients.
#Second, get involved. Donations to the Lupus Alliance help sustain services for local patients, including peer counseling, support groups and physician referrals. The alliance also welcomes volunteers for its annual Walk Along for Lupus, which is held in March.
#The Lupus Research Institute funds studies on the causes of and treatments for lupus. If you have lupus, you may be eligible to participate in clinical trials to help develop new treatments. Visit lupustrials.org to find out more.
Contact your elected officials and ask them to support health care legislation, such as laws that keep medications affordable or fund research. The Lupus Foundation of America has a guide to becoming a “lupus activist” atcapwiz.com/lfa/home.
#Finally, have compassion. Many of the symptoms of lupus aren’t outwardly visible. Patients may not look sick, but they often suffer extreme fatigue and pain. Be understanding if your co-worker needs to take several days off during one of his “flares” or if your friend isn’t feeling up to a girls’ night out.
#Even a small step to aid the fight against lupus makes a difference. Starting here in Central New York can help patients and health care providers alike bring an end to this autoimmune disease.
Note: I know that many fans do not like Diane Sawyer, but I have posted this video to focus on the doctor’s discussion about Michael’s condition because there are still some people who still do not believe that he had vitiligo or lupus.
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