Myths and Facts About Lupus

When 1.5 million Americans — and at least 5 million people around the world — suffer from lupus, myths and misinformation are bound to arise. At Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center, we want to give lupus patients the best care possible, so let’s clear up a few common myths to enable you to best to fight the disease.

Myth: Lupus is a form of cancer

Fact: Lupus is classified as an autoimmune disease. This means that instead of fighting off invaders and infections as your immune system was designed to do, it begins attacking your own body, which leads to tissue damage and inflammation that affects your joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. 

Myth: Lupus is contagious

Fact: While it’s unknown how people get lupus, it’s not caused by a virus, bacteria, or other infectious agent, so you won’t get it from being around someone who has it. Lupus has never been transferred from one person to another by sexual transmission. 

Researchers do know that genetics plays a role in the development of lupus in an individual — 20% of people with lupus have a parent or sibling who has the disease or may develop it. There may also be a link between lupus and elevated levels of estrogen in women.

Myth: Only women get lupus

Fact: While 90% of those who get lupus are women, men and children get the disease as well. Women age 15-44 are the most affected group.

Lupus doesn’t prevent women from getting pregnant (another myth), but it can cause complications in your pregnancy, including miscarriage in the first trimester, late-term issues with high blood pressure, and potential premature birth.

Myth: Lupus only affects your joints

Fact: While your joints are one of the primary areas lupus affects — and many lupus patients have arthritis — your immune system can attack many other areas of your body. Common symptoms include unexplained fever, weight loss, fatigue, skin problems such as rash, changes in blood counts, and kidney problems that can become life-threatening.

Myth: Lupus eventually goes away

Fact: There’s no known cure for lupus, but it can be managed with a combination of medication and lifestyle adjustment. Your treatment plan depends on how lupus is manifesting in your body, but doctors commonly use different medications to treat various aspects of lupus, including steroids for skin rashes and drugs that suppress the immune system.

Dr. Behnam Khaleghi helps patients get their lupus under control with innovative treatments including biologic drugs such as Benlysta®. You can also improve your well-being and quality of life by developing an exercise routine, resting well, limiting sun exposure, treating fevers quickly, and building an open and honest relationship with your doctor.

If you think you may have lupus and you’re tired of dealing with it on your own, call Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center or book an appointment with our convenient online tool. We may not be able to cure your lupus, but we can certainly help you live your life to the fullest.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Give Yourself an Energy Boost With the Myers’ Cocktail

Do you feel so tired you can barely drag through the day? Or maybe you just feel a little off your game and want to improve your performance. When you need an energy boost for any reason, a Myers’ cocktail may be the perfect solution.

These Bad Habits Lead to Tendonitis

Your risk of developing tendonitis is directly related to the movements you make throughout the day. You can prevent tendonitis when you learn to spot bad habits and make simple changes that take the stress off your tendons.

Busting These Myths About CBD Oil

If you have considered using CBD oil or any type of CBD product, you’re not alone. One-third of American adults have used CBD. But you should know that not all CBD products are the same and many myths abound.

Who Gets Scleroderma?

Like many autoimmune diseases, scleroderma is more common in women than in men. However, the disease can affect anyone, causing progressive symptoms and complications. Here’s what you need to know about scleroderma.

The Difference Between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy

PRP and stem cell therapy can be used together or individually, depending on the nature of your injury, the cause of your pain, and your overall health care needs. Here’s what you should know about these effective regenerative therapies.