What Not to Say to Someone With Lupus

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edited October 2015 in Awareness

Lupus article: What Not to Say to Someone With LupusWhat Not to Say to Someone With Lupus

"We know most people are trying to help, but these comments can still put a damper on our entire day." Anna discusses what not to say to someone with lupus.

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  • This is a great article. I love the style it's written in; it's a refreshing change from the overly technical journal articles I've read about lupus and other conditions. What I also appreciate about this article is that the advice provided can be helpful even with conditions other than lupus. I usually don't comment on anything online, but want to share a thought after reading this. I think a lot of people say comments like these because they don't understand what on earth lupus is, as is the case with a lot of other conditions. Lupus isn't some low-grade infection, where you take medicine, or sit it through and you be fine. It's a chronic autoimmune condition that has no cure to date. It's commonly treated with corticosteroids, which have a lot of side effects, but I think there's a lot of work being done to provide better alternatives, such as biologic medication (e.g. monoclonal antibodies).

    To explain, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune condition; that's when the body's own immune system attacks it. In SLE, the immune system specifically targets connective tissue. Connective tissue exists basically everywhere in the body, and its main function so to glue everything together. That's why SLE may affect so many different vital organs. The immune system affects the skin causing the condition's signature butterfly rash on both cheeks, and affects the connective tissue in the joints, which may be very painful (ask anyone with arthritis, and they would have an appreciation for that).

    Also, a final note; SLE is one of a number of autoimmune conditions where the immune system attacks the body. Others include rheumatoid arthritis (affecting the joints) and sicca syndrome (affecting the tear and salivary glands). Compare that to hypersensitivity disorders (e.g. allergic asthma, eczema, seasonal allergies, and Churg-Strauss syndrome), where the immune system attacks a foreign invader (not the body itself), but exaggerates way too much, and in the process damages the body in spite of not directly targeting it.

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