Saint Lucia to observe World Lupus Day

Press Release:May is Lupus Awareness Month and Wednesday May 10th is international World Lupus Day.

The theme is Lupus Knows No Boundaries and seeks to highlight the fact that Lupus can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime, any age, any gender (even though women are 9 times more likely to have lupus than men).

Lupus is a serious, chronic, autoimmune disease which can affect any part of the body. While there is no established cause or cure for Lupus, knowing about it and detecting it and managing it early and appropriately can help us control its impact.

The St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association has been a voice for persons living with Lupus and related conditions since 1997. It continues to provide support and information to members and the general public to sensitize St. Lucians to the impact this disease has not only on personal lives but on communities and our country. As part of this, the association has planned a Lupus Seminar for Saturday May 20th from 8am to 1pm at the NSDC, in La Ressource, Vieux-Fort. Medical professionals will be sharing knowledge on different aspects of Lupus and the body including contributions from a Dentist, Internist, Cardiologist, Paediatrician, Psychologist, Physiotherapist as well as some leaders of the Viv Byen Self -Management program which the association continues to run island-wide. Members of the public as well as health professionals are encouraged to attend and gain valuable knowledge which will hopefully change their practice and management of Lupus patients for the better.

As part of recognition of World Lupus Day, everyone, everywhere is encouraged to wear something purple to show their awareness and support for persons with Lupus. On Friday, May 19th there will also be another opportunity to wear purple for lupus as we join with others worldwide for POP (Put On Purple) for Lupus Friday.

There are Lupus Awareness T-shirts available through the SLALA office and executive members for only $25. Members of the public are encouraged to take pictures of themselves wearing their purple along with the #worldlupusday, #slala4lupus and #lupusknowsnoboundaries.

IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT LUPUS:

Lupus is a serious autoimmune disease.

An estimated 5 million people worldwide have lupus and it develops more often in women.

Lupus is not a cancer.

Lupus can damage any organ or tissue both inside and outside of the body; however, the exact cause is not known.

Symptoms of Lupus can come and go, change over time making lupus difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include joint pain, skin rashes, overwhelming tiredness and fever that lasts for days or weeks.

Lupus is not contagious. You cannot “catch” it from anyone.

While there is no cure for Lupus, in most cases it can be managed successfully through early diagnosis ad expert medical care.

A specialist who deals with managing lupus is called a Rheumatologist.

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