8 facts about lupus
Selena Gomez puts auto-immune disease in spotlight
It wasn't rehab for drug addiction or a mental breakdown after her break-up with Justin Bieber that caused Selena Gomez to step out of the spotlight in December 2013.
In an interview with Billboard published October 8, she reveals that her time her away was a consequence of scary health scare, following the diagnosis and subsequent treatment for lupus.
Fortunately, Gomez is doing well. Her lupus is in remission and she is set to appear in an upcoming movie and her newest album, Revival, will be released October 9.
Here are 8 facts about lupus that will help you understand the disease and explain it to your children if they ask:
- Lupus is a disease where your body’s immune system (which usually helps you fight off infections) starts to attack your own cells (it falls into a group of diseases call auto-immune diseases).
- Symptoms of lupus vary from person to person but can include: fever, swollen/painful joints, facial rash, tiredness, body swelling, sun sensitivity and mouth ulcers.
- Lupus is diagnosed through a combination of symptoms and lab testing. It is often difficult to make because it can look like many other disease s and there is not one specific test to confirm or deny the diagnosis.
- Lupus is not a contagious illness. The exact cause is not known but is thought to be a combination of hormones, genetics and environment.
- Lupus most commonly affects women 15-44 years of age but can affect younger children and boys as well.
- When severe, lupus can cause anemia. It can also cause excessive blood clotting which can lead to strokes and other complications.
- Pediatric specialists known as rheumatologists treat lupus in children.
- Treatment of lupus includes use of medicines to treat inflammation, steroids, anti-malarial medications and occasionally stronger medicines, which are used to decrease the activity of the immune system.
For more information about lupus, you can read more from the Lupus Foundation of America at lupus.org.
*Photo from SelenaGomez.com.
Get to know Justin Smith, M.D.
Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician in Trophy Club and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's checkupnewsroom.com. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” open now. Click to learn more. To make an appointment, call 817-347-8100.