World Lupus Day Date in the current year: May 10, 2022

World Lupus Day World Lupus Day is observed annually on May 10. It was created to raise awareness of a chronic autoimmune disease that affects millions of people of all over the world and is very hard to diagnose due to its varied symptoms.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to simply as lupus, is an autoimmune disease in which healthy tissue in many parts of the body is mistakenly attacked by the body’s immune system. Many people are aware of the disease’s existence because it was frequently mentioned on the popular medical drama television series House M. D., but much fewer actually know anything about it.

Lupus is one of several medical conditions that have been nicknamed “the great imitator” or “the great masquerader” because their symptoms are varied and nonspecific, which makes them easy to confuse with multiple other diseases and hard to diagnose. Common signs and symptoms of lupus include extreme fatigue, joint pain or swelling, swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, mouth ulcers, hair loss, and the so-called butterfly rash over the nose and cheeks.

Lupus can affect various organs and systems of the body, including the skin, muscles and bones, blood, heart, lungs, kidneys, central or peripheral nervous systems, eyes, and reproductive organs. According to statistics, 87% of all lupus patients report at least one major organ impacted by the disease.

The cause of lupus has not been identified yet; the disease is thought to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Factors that are believed to increase the risk of lupus are vitamin D deficiency, sunlight, smoking, female sex hormones, and certain infections.

There is no known cure for lupus. The treatment involves preventing flares and prolonging periods of remission, as well as reducing the duration and severity of flares. Treatment can include medications (corticosteroids, anti-malarial drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, intravenous immunoglobulins) and lifestyle changes.

Lupus typically manifests itself between ages 15 and 45, affecting women of childbearing age more often then men. Life expectancy is lower among people with lupus, although with modern treatment lupus patients survive over 15 years. The disease significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the most common cause of death of people affected by lupus.

World Lupus Day was established in 2004 by the World Lupus Federation that unites lupus patients organizations to improve the quality of life for all people living with the disease by advocating on their behalf, as well as raising global awareness about lupus and educating people about the disease.

The main focus points of the observance are the need to improve the access of lupus patients to quality healthcare, the development of research into the causes and cure of the disease, and the importance of early diagnosis and proper management of lupus.

To observe World Lupus Day, wear a purple awareness ribbon or at least something purple, spread the word on social media using the hashtag #WorldLupusDay, and/or donate to a lupus patient organization.

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International Observances

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World Lupus Day, international observances, awareness days, World Lupus Federation, autoimmune disorder