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So, you think you have Lupus?

What is lupus? The traditional view of lupus is the butterfly rash. This is not just limited to the face, you can get a rash everywhere such as the V neck, elbows and fingers.

This image shows all patients with lupus, and they have different aspects. On the left, a young woman with mainly joint pains. The woman in the wheelchair had shrinking lungs elevation of the diaphragms. Hidden in the very back is her sister with ITP showing genetic aspects.

If you look on the far right of the picture this was a patient found wandering around London psychotic, she had skin lupus, she responded well to treatment and she's now normal but it was neurologic disease in a woman with predominantly clinically skin involvement.

The woman next to her, on the right is very interesting. Graham Hughes first job as a junior registrar at the London hospital was to contribute to Mason and Currey’s textbook of Rheumatology, at this time Graham knew nothing about Lupus. The picture of the lupus textbook had a face on it which was this woman on the right. Graham wrote that Lupus is a fatal disease and you shouldn't have any pregnancies. Graham was proved wrong and this woman now has 5 children, she is completely fit and healthy and is now a famous music teacher in London.

There is a criteria for Lupus, however there are some signs that we should all look out for:

1. Childhood migraines

2. Growing pains

3. Food and drug allergies

4. Chronic fatigue

5. Hair loss / alopecia

6. Lupus patients do not catch colds

Lupus now is a major and common illness but what causes lupus is usually genetic and the environment. If you have a parental history of lupus, there is a 14 fold increase of lupus amongst the offspring. So there is a strong, as there are in all autoimmune diseases, a genetic tendency.

But what's interesting too is that there maybe environmental factors.

We know that UV light, certainly can trigger lupus and that's been well known for years. But there's increasing recognition that silica and other products can actually affect the immune system.

Did you know that vaccines contain aluminium and aluminium is one of the strongest adjuvants known to man? There's now evidence that aluminium can amongst other things, induce Lupus.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition

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