The month of May brings awareness to children with lupus and adults. Lupus in children tends to be a lot more aggressive than it is to adults. So what exactly is lupus? It is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including, skin, joints, and organs. According to lupus.org, chronic means that the signs and symptoms can last longer than six weeks and often for many many years. Your immune system is there to help your body fight off viruses, bacteria, and germs. Your immune system creates antibodies to help protect from these, “invaders”. For lupus patients your immune system cannot tell the difference between these invaders and your body’s healthy tissue. As a result, the antibodies your immune system normally creates become autoantibodies and attack and destroy healthy tissue. So these antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage to various parts of the body.
5 million people in the world are affected by lupus and 16,000 new cases are reported each year. 10-20% of people with lupus are diagnosed as children or teens. Children that have lupus are more likely to develop kidney disease (lupus nephritis). Lupus kidney disease is a serious issue that cause permanent damage to the kidneys, and can even be fatal. This is why it is so important to bring awareness to Lupus, treatment can help, but lupus cannot be cured.