Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects mostly women and occurs when the body’s immune system attacks tissues and organs in the body.”
Inflammation caused by lupus could affect body systems such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
Lupus takes two to four years to diagnose; Lupus is a multi systematic disease which affects all the systems in the body; it is a cruel and mysterious disease in the world.
It is cruel because it makes an individual to feel he or she does not know what is wrong with them and it is when it gets to the terminal stage that it is seen.
The most distinctive sign of Lupus is a facial rash that resembles the wings of a butterfly, unfolding across both cheeks which may not occur in all cases.
Lupus disease affects people of African, Asian, or Native American descent two to three times as often as it affects whites.
Nine out of 10 people with Lupus are women and usually strikes between age 15 and 44, although it can occur in older persons.
A Neurosurgeon with Usmanu Dan Fodio Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Dr Nasir Ismail says the cause of the disease is unknown and advises Nigerians to be cautious of their health and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Research shows that under a normal function, the immune system makes proteins called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as viruses and bacteria.
Lupus makes the immune system unable to differentiate between antigens (a substance capable of inducing a specific immune response) and healthy tissue. This leads the immune system to direct antibodies against the healthy tissue – not just antigens – causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage.
Any part of the body can be affected by lupus as it has an array of clinical manifestations affecting the skin, joints, brain, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and other internal organs.
The Founder of “Eye on Lupus Foundation”, Mrs Ummahani Amin, says many Nigerian women are still ignorant of the disease, adding that women should know their health status and google information if in doubt.