Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes excessive inflammation. About 2 million Americans suffer from it and its cases have been reported from as early as middle age. The disease got its name after the Latin word lupus which means ‘wolf’. It is because the disease causes a classic facial rash that gives the appearance of a wolf. It was a 12th century physician that gave it this name. In this article, we will debunk some common misconceptions around this disease so that its sufferers can manage it better.
Number Six: It is contagious or can be transmitted sexually
Lupus is not caused by a carrier, i.e. a virus, bacterium or any infectious agent. Hence, it cannot be transmitted from one person to another. It could, however, pass from mother to fetus. Therefore, there is vertical transmission of the disease, but not a horizontal one.
Number Five: Women with this disease should not conceive lest it may cause birth defects
More than 50% of women with this disease deliver healthy and normal babies. Proper medical care and prevention of flares can greatly reduce the chances of birth defects or sick babies. Or very rare occasions have women with System Lupus Erythematosus given birth to babies who later developed this condition, and half of them also had a heart defect.
Number Four: Aspartame can cause this disease
The Lupus Foundation of America has recently found this claim to be completely untrue.
Number Three: Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy cause lupus relapses
A study at John Hopkins University found no correlation between this disease and oral contraceptives. And in 2002, Dr GS Cooper found that hormone replacement therapy had no effect on its development or flare up.
Number Two: It only affects women
Though a great majority of patients are female, it can happen to men too. This disparity is yet to be explored and comprehended.
Number One: One can die from this disease
If lupus cases are caught early and treated aggressively, it cannot lead to death. But some severe cases have known to cause renal or heart failure, both of which can be fatal.