Living with lupus can have a profound effect on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. You may have recently been diagnosed with lupus, or you may have been living with it for years. Either way, you are likely to have experienced mental and physical problems such as difficulty concentrating or sleeping. You are also likely to have felt emotions such as grief, fear, anxiety, and depression.
These feelings are common. Understanding where they come from can help you develop techniques for...
Periods of time when you have lupus symptoms are called
flares or relapses. Periods of time when your symptoms are gone are called
remissions. On occasion, lupus develops and progresses rapidly. Flares and
remissions can occur abruptly, unexpectedly, and without clear cause. There is
no way to predict when a flare will happen, how bad it will be, or how long it
will last. When you have a lupus flare, you may have new symptoms in addition
to those you have had in the past.
Children can get lupus, though
it more commonly develops in the teen years or later. Lupus in children appears
to be more severe than in adults when vital organs, such as the kidneys and
heart, are involved. This may be due to age-related differences in the disease,
a child's stage of development, or differences in access to treatment.
Some people with lupus lead a less active lifestyle than do people
who do not have lupus, due to the fatigue, joint pain, and decreased aerobic
capacity caused by the disease.2, 3 Aerobic capacity is the ability to do exercise such as
walking and swimming that pumps oxygen to your heart and muscles.
Most people with lupus are able
to continue their usual daily activities. You may find that you need to cut
back on your activity level, get help with child care, or change the way you
work because of fatigue, joint pain, or other symptoms. You may find that you
have to take time off from daily activities entirely.
with lupus can expect to live a normal or near-normal life span. This depends
on how severe your disease is, whether it affects vital organs (such as the
kidneys), and how severely these organs are affected.
Medicines used to
treat moderate to severe lupus have side effects. It can be difficult to tell
what problems are part of the natural course of the disease and what problems
are due to effects of medicines used to control the disease.
the past, lupus was not well understood. People who had lupus died younger,
usually of problems with vital organs. Now that the disease can be treated more
successfully, life expectancy with lupus has increased significantly. Up to 90%
of people with lupus live at least 5 years after diagnosis. Nearly 70% live at
least 20 years after diagnosis.1
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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