• The Villages Mag

October is Lupus Awareness Month.

The aim of the month is to raise awareness of the condition, the varying symptoms that people with lupus can exhibit and its impact on the lives of the many people who live with it.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or Lupus, as it’s more commonly known, is an immune system illness that mainly affects females and can affect any part of the body. Lupus can cause inflammation to the joints, skin and other organs. There’s no cure, but symptoms can improve if treatment starts early.

Due to the variety of symptoms that lupus can produce, it often can take some time to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to some other conditions. The main symptoms people present with are, joint pain and stiffness, extreme tiredness and a rash, often over the face, but people may also get weight loss, sensitivity to light, swollen glands and poor circulation in the fingers and toes. Once it has been diagnosed, there are various medicines which can be prescribed to help control the symptoms.

There are also things you can do yourself to help with lupus.

  • Eating a balanced, healthy diet and ensuring you have lots of rest

  • Stay active with exercise such as walking or swimming

  • Reduce stress, which can make symptoms worse. Complimentary therapies, such as reflexology, can be really useful in this

  • Do not sit in direct sunlight, or if you have to go in the sun, wear a high factor sunscreen (50+) and a sun hat

  • If you smoke, stop smoking

Lupus UK www.lupusuk.org.uk, is a national charity and can give lots of information on living with lupus.

Karen – Cheshire Clinical Reflexology

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