Let’s Make Lupus Visible

Each May rally your family, friends and community to raise funds and awareness of the invisible physical, emotional and financial impact of lupus.

Source: Lupus foundation of America

May is Lupus Awareness Month! It’s a time for the lupus community to join together across the country to raise awareness of the physical, emotional and economic impact of lupus, while raising funds to support lupus research, care and support services, and educational resources a

Lupus is a disease that can affect people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. The signs and symptoms mimic those of other diseases, making it hard to diagnose. Learn more.

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects many different parts of the body. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks itself because it cannot tell the difference between healthy tissue and foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

Lupus symptoms can show up in many different ways and are often mistaken for symptoms of other diseases. This is why it can be hard to diagnose and is often called “the great imitator.” Lupus symptoms can range from mild to life threatening, so early diagnosis and treatment by a rheumatologist are important. A rheumatologist is a doctor who has additional training and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, lupus, and other diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones.


Signs and Symptoms of Lupus

People with SLE can have many different symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue or extreme exhaustion no matter how much they sleep
  • Muscle and joint pain or swelling
  • Skin rashes (in particular a butterfly-shaped face rash across the cheeks and nose)
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Recurring mouth sores


How Is Lupus Treated?

Although there is no cure for lupus, it can be managed with proper treatment, and people with lupus can go on to live long, happy lives. The goals of treatment are to manage current symptoms, prevent future flares, and prevent damage to joints and organs by calming the immune system. Because the symptoms of lupus vary widely, management depends on a person’s individual symptoms and needs. Seeing a doctor regularly and following the prescribed course of treatments is important. Beyond that, adopting healthy behaviors and learning skills to manage the disease can also be beneficial.

To improve overall health and quality of life, people with lupus should:

  • Be physically active
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid smoking
  • Wear sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure


Self-management education workshops, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, can help people with lupus learn how to manage daily life, medications, and interactions with doctors, as well as improve energy and pain management. Visit CDC.gov for more information about self-management education programs and other tools and resources that can improve quality of life for people living with lupus.



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