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Airedale Hospital backs lupus awareness campaign
11:00am Sunday 28th October 2012 in News
They want people to know about Lupus and have put together an information display for staff, patients and visitors.
They say GPs and other health professionals may find it difficult to recognise the illness, as it can affect any part of the body and features symptoms which mimic other conditions.
This can lead to delays in diagnosis, making it harder to limit damage to organs such as the kidneys, heart, lungs or brain.
Dr Shabina Sultan, rheumatology consultant at Airedale, said: “We need to make sure that the public and health professionals know more about Systemic Lupus, so diagnosis can be made quickly and accurately to help prevent patients from suffering long-term damage and to improve their quality of life.”
Systemic Lupus is an incurable illness of the immune system. It causes the body’s defence mechanism to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream, causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other major organs.
A spokesman for Airedale explained: “Around 50,000 people are estimated to have Lupus in the UK and 90 per cent of these are female, mainly between the ages of 15 and 55.
“This makes it more common than leukaemia, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis – and these conditions share a number of similar symptoms.
“Symptoms to watch out for are a disorder resulting in the small blood vessels being over-sensitive to changes in temperature, discoloration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas, joint and muscle pain and extreme tiredness.
“Rashes, photosensitivity, anaemia, fever, hair loss, mouth ulcers, depression and headaches may all be part of the pattern of lupus.
“How lupus affects people can differ greatly – for some the disease can be mild and for others it can be life-threatening.”
l People can find out about the condition by visiting lupusuk.org.uk.