Welcome To The Women's Info Page
A NEW site highlight: Lupus stories sent to me. They are the tales of other lupus sufferers' experiences and life stories--along with any updates they send me. As I get more I will build a special navigation page. :-)
Marian's Story~A woman from the Netherlands.
Chrissy's Story~A woman from the U.S. A new Firetalk page. It works for me. 8-) With this program you can talk over the internet with others on the same page. Cool. 8-) (A good way to talk to each other and be supportive.) You can get the free software by going to: The Firetalk Page. This page is now an official member of the Lost Child Emergency Broadcast System. Their logo and link can be found on here at the MISSING CHILDREN'S" page.
Please email me if you find any broken links. I would appreciate it, thanks. You are also welcome to e-mail me if you have questions,comments, or suggestions. You may also email me if you wish to place the story of your lupus journey on this site.
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What is Lupus?
First let me tell you why it's called lupus. There are several stories. One is back about 130 years ago a French doctor had patients with scars and red areas around their necks and bodies that seemed to him to have been caused by wolf attacks, thus he named the condition Lupus--latin for wolf. (Also if you look at very old photographs you will see many of the patients noses turned black from sun damage. To me they looked like wolves.) There is also a story that it got its name because the "butterfly rash" that many patients get across their noses that gave them--according to a doctor--a lupine look.
Actually the full name for the disease is Lupus Erythematosus, the word erythematosus meaning "red" for the red patches of skin frequently seen in the disease.
Lupus is one of over 125 autoimmune diseases. The word "autoimmune" simply means the body attacks itself. Arthritis is an example of an autoimmune disease that most people are aware of. There is no certain explaination as to why the body suddenly takes this tactic. Right now there are theories--a number of them. Some think lupus is caused by some sort of infection. (And antibiotics seem to work in some cases.) Some say it is a matter of inheriting the genes to develop it. There is also a form of lupus caused by a reaction to medication.
LUPUS SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
These symptoms are not exclusive to lupus, but the more you have of them, the more likely you are to have it or another autoimmune disease. They aren't meant to help you diagnose yourself, but to spur you to go to a physician for testing. They are not in any particular order.
Suspect symptoms are:
1...Unexplained low-grade fever.(100°F)
2...Arthritic symptoms, especially in a young woman.
3..."Butterfly" rash across nose or on the face. (A sometimes very red, sometimes very mild, rash over the nose to the cheeks. It can be very mild or very severe--going down onto the cheek, or not even present at all.)
4...Red, firm lesions on the face and/or exposed skin areas of the neck, chest, and back.
5...Red, vein-like patches on the same above areas.
6...Sore, red tongue.
8...Brown, scaley, raised circles on areas of skin that have been exposed to sunlight.
9...Painless sores in the nose and mouth--as well as unexplained soreness of gums and teeth.
10..Recurrent pleurisy, pneumonia, ear infections, pericarditis, and other symptoms of organ dysfunction.
11..Itching ears, unusual rashes, and sudden developement of allergies.
12..Extreme and unexplained exhaustion.
13..Sensitivity to sunlight. (Photosensitivity)
18..Bladder problems--pain behind the pubic bone, urgency but no burning of urination. (This is a very good indication of lupus.)
There are two another forms of lupus. One is called Discoid Lupus Erythematosus which affects mostly the skin. The other is a drug induced form of lupus which gets better when the offending medication is removed.
Many lupus patients also have other diseases going on at that same time, like polyarteritis (which affects small and medium sized arteries), central nervous system problems, and various skin and muscle disorders.
Much more information can be found on the Journal Page, "My Lupus" Page, the Links and on pages I am writing about the symptoms and treatments. I will slowly add more information to all of these pages as I go along.
Thank you so much for this honor, StudyWeb. I'm thrilled. Truly.
Thank you for visiting my site. I hope you learn a lot about lupus, missing children, and auto-immune diseases. If there is any way you can suggest to improve this site, please email me.
© 1998--2001 Cathy W. Guess