Nollywood actress, Kemi Afolabi, disclosed in a recent interview that she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease called Lupus.
Here are five things you should know about the ailment according to VeryWell Health, which provides health and wellness information.
1. Lupus is an autoimmune, and inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. It can also be referred to as Systematic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). It can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
2. There are five different types of the life-threatening disease. There is the Systematic Lupus Erythematosus that affects the joints and organs, the Discoid Lupus which affects the skin and the Sub-Acute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus characterised by a specific, non-scarring skin lesion. The Drug Induced Lupus is one that can develop after exposure to certain drugs while the Neonatal Lupus solely affects newborns.
3. Although getting a diagnosis may be difficult, symptoms of Lupus can vary. It is differentiated from other connective tissue diseases based on 11 criteria offered by the American College of Rheumatology. These are butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose; scaly disk-shaped rash on face, neck, ears, scalp, chest; sunlight sensitivity; mouth, tongue and inside nose sores; arthritis pain in joints; pain in chest and side when breathing or moving. Other signs are kidney problems, neurologic problems, blood problems such as anemia, low white cell count; immune system malfunction and antinuclear antibodies. It is recommended that if you have four or more of these 11 symptoms, you should consult with a rheumatologist.
4. Lupus affects about 10 times as many women as men. Most times, it develops in people between the age of 15 and 44. Though Lupus is more prevalent among women, it can also affect men and children, as well as people of all ages.
5. With careful monitoring of Lupus and treatment adjustments as needed, most patients lead normal lives. There may be some limitations and the disease may impose restrictions at times but with good management, quality of life can be sustained. The worst adversary comes from within when the patient loses will and gives in to frustration and depression.