This is a more socialogical look at the question, what is lupus disease?
History: when first being recognized, lupus was associated with the bite of a wolf by thirteenth century physician Rogerius. The name Lupus means wolf in Latin.
In 1872 the disease was recognized to be either systemic or disseminated by Moriz Kaposi. He was believed to have identified the two forms, systemic lupus erthematous and discoid lupus.
In 1948, researcher Hargraves discovered that LE cells (lupus erthematous cells). LE cells are white cells that devour other cells. One notable feature of the LE cells are the undigested nuclei or nuclei of undigested cells. When the devouring took place, it was not complete. LE cells may not be present in all patients with lupus.
Diagnosis: a lupus diagnosis is determined by clinical symptoms, blood and skin tests. Blood tests are used to identify the various autoimmune antibodies.
It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans and as many as five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. So, what is systemic lupus erythematosus? Looking at statistics can help further define lupus.
Although it can affect both men and women, 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with lupus are women. Lupus most often appears between the ages of 15-44.
Systemic lupus makes up approximately 70 percent of all cases of lupus.
Of those with systemic lupus, half have or them have a major organ affected, such as the kidneys, brain, heart and or lungs.
Cutaneous lupus(only the skin is affected) afflicts approximately 10 percent of all lupus cases.
Drug-induced lupus afflicts about 10 percent of the lupus cases. It can be caused by high doses of certain medications.
Drug-induced lupus symptoms are similar to those of systemic lupus. For most, the symptoms go away when the medications are discontinued. About 20 percent of those suffering with lupus have a parent, brother or sister who already has lupus or may develop lupus.
Children who have parents with lupus have a 5 percent risk of developing lupus.
Lupus is more prevalent among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
Lupus is least common among Caucasian women.
Although most people with lupus live normal lives, it is estimated that 10-15 percent of people diagnosed with lupus will die prematurely due to complications from the disease.
It is estimated that the annual cost of lupus, including care costs and lost wages totals almost $21,000.
In one pre-Obamacare survey, one out of every four who have lupus get their health care through a government-sponsored program, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Complete or partial wage loss was experienced by two of three suffering with lupus. They were no longer able to work full time because of the complications of lupus.
One in four with lupus receive disability payments.
In one survey, it was found that over half of those suffering from lupus were dealing with lupus up to four years before getting the appropriate diagnosis.
These same people saw three or more doctors before getting the correct diagnosis.
Almost half of those who were in the study got their diagnosis from a rheumatologist (medical doctor who treats diseases of the connective tissue).
Four of ten lupus patients are treated by three or more doctors, and take six or more medications to treat symptoms of the disease.
While not recognized by our health care system, many have followed the treatment protocol outlined by Dr. F Batmanghelidj and have ended the suffering. As more people try the treatment, the question, "What is lupus disease?" may some day be a question about the past...."What was Lupus disease?