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Our team at Age Care Bathrooms has personally observed the impact of lupus and wants to ensure that this condition is given the recognition it deserves.
Lupus is a disease that affects people of various ages, including babies. And, while lupus is uncommon, it is thought that up to 50,000 people in the UK have it.
Lupus is the Latin word for wolf, and the disorder was named after this because it causes a severe rash on the face, which was thought to look like a wolf bite. Lupus occurs when the immune system malfunctions and produces autoantibodies that attack the body’s own tissues.
Symptoms of lupus: The most common symptoms of lupus are chronic fatigue and generalised inflammation in the body, which often causes painful and aching muscles and joints. This can result in immobility issues and walking difficulties. Some of the other symptoms of lupus are hair loss, light sensitivity, headaches and brain fog.
Many lupus patients also report ongoing symptoms of depression and anxiety, with close to 90% of lupus patients saying their symptoms affect their quality of life and ability to do the things they would like to.
Causes of lupus: It is not known what exactly causes lupus, although factors such as a viral infection, strong antibiotics or other medications, childbirth, menopause and trauma are all associated with lupus. Lupus also affects women in far greater numbers, with 90% of lupus patients being born biologically female.
Long-term health with lupus: Diagnosis and treatment are almost always delayed due to early signs of lupus being misdiagnosed as other disorders. Untreated active lupus can cause irreparable damage to the skin, kidneys, heart, lungs and brain, leading to long-term health problems. Even with treatment, lupus can cause a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, osteoporosis, cataracts, kidney problems, cardiovascular problems and anaemia.
Lupus and mental health: Lupus patients frequently experience depression. Establishing whether this is a direct result of having lupus or if the symptoms of depression developed due to experiencing a long-term challenging condition can be difficult at times.
Depression Support and Online Resources
There are people you can reach out to if you’re feeling depressed. We have put together some helplines and resources below; please don’t struggle alone.
All of the below helplines are open every day of the year and exist to support anyone who is having difficulties with their mental health.
- Samaritans: call free on 116 123 – [24/7]
- SANEline: call 0300 304 7000 – [4.30pm to 10.30pm]
- National Suicide Prevention Helpline: call 0800 689 5652 – [6pm to midnight]
- CALM: call 0800 58 58 58 – [5pm to midnight]
- Switchboard: call 0300 330 0630 (support staff all identify as LGBT+) – [10am to 10pm]
Webchat and text services
Raising Awareness of Lupus
It is likely there are a lot more people with undiagnosed lupus who dismiss the symptoms, such as walking difficulties or mobility issues, and just “put up with” it. Creating awareness of this disorder and encouraging people to ask for a lupus diagnosis, which can be done via specific blood tests, is crucial.
There are various medications that can help to ease the symptoms of lupus and improve quality of life. At Age Care Bathrooms, we know that living with lupus can be challenging and that lupus symptoms generally have a lasting effect on general health and wellbeing.
Get Involved with the Lupus UK — The Virtual 31 Mile Challenge
Why not participate in this enjoyable online challenge during Lupus Awareness Month? Complete a total of 31 miles of walking, running, wheelchairing, cycling or skating throughout the month! Raise more than £31, and you will receive a free t-shirt to help raise awareness of lupus without needing to say a word — sign up here.
Other Ways to Raise Awareness
You can use a variety of resources from Lupus UK to assist in spreading knowledge about lupus. The entire selection — which includes bookmarks, flyers, posters, stickers, badges and more — is offered without charge here.
A Message from the Age Care Bathroom Team
We understand that living with lupus can be extremely painful and that mobility issues can impact quality of life. Age Care Bathrooms is a family-run business, and we have years of interacting with countless customers who have lupus and other illnesses that limit movement and make accomplishing normal things challenging.