Every week, Lupus LA receives hundreds of phone calls from lupus patients and their families and friends from around the world.
Below are replies to 20 frequently asked questions about lupus. If you have further questions, you're invited to phone us toll-free at 800.74.LUPUS (800.745.8787) during regular business hours Monday through Friday.
The cause of lupus remains unknown. It is believed that lupus has a genetic pre-disposition and something in the environment triggers the onset of the disease.
Lupus is not contagious. It cannot be transmitted sexually.
Yes, lupus is mainly a woman's disease, although men can have lupus. The ratio of women to men is 9 to 1, or 90%. Before puberty, boys and girls have the same ratio; that is 1 to 1.
Common symptoms of lupus are:
These symptoms can come or go, and can range from mild to severe. Most lupus patients have a combination of symptoms.
Many hospitals have rheumatology clinics, or your primary care doctor can order specific laboratory tests for lupus.
95% of people diagnosed with lupus have positive ANAs. There are other blood tests more specific to people with lupus that can be used in some instances.
Twenty years ago the answer would have been "no." But today, successful pregnancy and childbirth are possible. It is wise for lupus patients to be in the care of a high-risk ob/gyn.
Most people with lupus can live a normal life span if they are properly treated, follow their doctor's advice, and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Not necessarily. With proper treatment, lupus is usually manageable.
Heredity does seem to play a role. Ten percent of lupus patients have a first-degree relative (sister, daughter, son, mother) or a second-degree relative (aunt, uncle, first cousin) with lupus. Therefore, 90 percent of lupus patients DO NOT have relatives with lupus. Even in identical twins, when one sibling has lupus and the other twin does not, it is believed there are environmental factors that play an important role.
Lupus primarily affects young women, and the disease often starts between the ages of 15 and 44.
People of all ethnicities may get lupus. Lupus is more prevalent in African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native American women than in Caucasian women.
Yes, we can refer you to a rheumatologist, a specialist who diagnoses and treats lupus. Just call Lupus LA at 800.74.LUPUS (800.745.8787).
No. Have your eyes checked for a "baseline test" prior to Plaquenil use, and twice a year thereafter. If there is a change in your vision, such as blurriness, immediately contact an opthalmologist.
Yes. Lupus LA has information about medications prescribed for lupus, but it is best to consult a physician.
City hospitals and most other hospitals can test and treat you on a sliding fee scale.
Let your physician know that you are unable to purchase your prescriptions. He/she can contact the PhRMA organization for prescription drug patient assistance programs. Some patients are eligible for Medicaid as well.
If your physician believes you are unable to do any "substantial gainful employment," that is, unable to earn $740 a month due to physical, mental, or emotional illness, then you are eligible for disability. You also will have to have worked for a required amount of time in the last 10 years since diagnosis.
Yes, we have a "Lupus Emergency Grant" to help Los Angeles area residents in crisis situations. More information
No. SSD allows you a nine-month trial work period where there is no limit as to income earned. This trial period is not necessarily nine consecutive months. There is hope that Medicare will be continued after this trial period.
No. However, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, eating chicken and fish over red meat, and drinking plenty of water are all highly recommended.
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