Lupus often causes severe pain and overwhelming fatigue that interferes with activities of daily living. Isolation and depression resulting from lupus can be devastating. The emotional impact of lupus can be as disabling as the physical symptoms. People with lupus can benefit from emotional support and understanding from friends and family members who often fail to appreciate the serious health effects of lupus.
Lupus can affect any organ system, and one therapy is not adequate to treat the disease, which can have multiple symptoms varying from person to person.
Because of the many ways lupus can affect the body, people with the disease need access to quality care from several medical specialists and can benefit from treatment delivered at multidisciplinary care lupus clinics. Health effects of lupus can include strokes, seizures, heart attacks, kidney failure and even death.
Lupus is a disease where the immune system, for unknown reasons, targets the body’s own healthy tissue, such as the skin, joints, and organs, most often the kidneys, heart, lungs, brain, blood and blood vessels. The exact cause is not fully understood, but doctors believe a combination of genetics, hormonal and environmental factors are involved. Lupus is not contagious, and presently there is no cure.
Aden Thomas spoke to Una van Rhyn, founder of Andrea’s Gift, an emotional support group for people living with lupus.
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Listen to the interview here with Una van Rhyn and Aden Thomas: