May 10th was World Lupus Day. So today, we wanted to highlight the disease so that we can get the word out.
Linda Ruescher, author, public speaker and Lupus advocate is our guest today. Linda actually has Lupus as well.
How many people in the US have Lupus?
1.5 Million people in the US.
What is LUPUS?
An auto-immune disease in which your body mistakes other body parts are toxins and invaders and tries to kill them. Lupus doesn’t have one particular body part that it targets. It can go after any part of your body.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose because:
Lupus is like having a never-ending flu. The symptoms are the same, and the body reacts in the same way.
After 38 years undiagnosed, Linda was diagnosed in 2003. She is treated today with immune-suppressing drugs. She also takes a chemotherapy drug. It is important to know that Lupus is not cancer. The reason chemo drugs are used is because the side effect of weakening your immune system is desirable for Lupus patients.
Lupus primarily affects women in their child-bearing years.
UVA/UVB light can cause flares, so Lupus patients should stay out of the sun.
If you are on Medicare, and IV infusion would be covered under Medicare Part A.
Linda’s book, The 100 Questions and Answers About Chronic Illness. was written after she exhausted the reading of all the other books and getting peeved that she couldn’t find the information she needed.
You can find her book on amazon.com, and in the paperback and Kindle versions.
•Fatigue and fever
•Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
•Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose
•Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity)
•Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud's phenomenon)
•Shortness of breath
•Headaches, confusion and memory loss
If you have 3 or more symptoms, see your Dr. If you aren’t getting anywhere with your Dr, then go see a Rheumatologist (or get a referral to one).
www.rheumatology.org - find a Dr. by zip code
Lupus Foundation of America - www.lupus.org
Lupus Florida - www.lupusflorida.com
Contact Linda Ruescher:
On Twitter: www.twitter.com/chronicillness
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/Linda Ruescher
Do you have questions or feedback? I’d love to hear it!
I may answer one of your questions on the air!
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Find out more information about Medicare on Diane Daniel’s website!