Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus, is a disease in which the immune system essentially attacks itself, causing inflammation and damage to the body’s cells and tissues. This type of self-attack is called a systemic autoimmune disease. With lupus, there is extra danger of antibody-immune complexes reacting violently and causing additional damage. This is called Type III hypersensitivity.
The heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and nervous system are all common targets of lupus. The effects of the disease can be unpredictable, often occurring in periods that alternate with normal health. Symptoms of lupus can be widely varied and difficult to diagnose. The disease is sometimes referred to as the “great imitator” because its victims’ complaints are of signs usually recognized as symptoms of other diseases. Chronic lapses of fever, fatigue, joint pain and malaise are typical signs, as is a temporary loss of cognitive function. Other possible signs include headaches, blood clots, chest pain, mouth ulcers and urinary difficulty.
Genetics are considered to play a role in the development of lupus, but it is most often attributed to environmental factors, such as infection, exhaustion, abundant stress, certain antibiotics, or ultraviolet rays. It is not a contagious disease and cannot be “caught.” Whenever received, it causes internal suffering, making the immune system confused as to which body tissues are healthy or unhealthy, which leads to the attacking of everything.
Although there is no actual cure for this illness, it can usually be carefully managed with various treatments from a rheumatologist or other specialist. There are rare cases of fatality, but mostly only in weaker individuals with a rough medical history.
The following six-minute video provides an overview of lupus, its symptoms and health effects, and how the Lupus Foundation of America may help you or your loved one:
Lupus and Disability
If you have lupus, it is possibly causing you debilitating pain that keeps you from work and other everyday activities.
If lupus keeps you from being able to perform full time work, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
Mr. Ortiz has handled numerous disability claims involving lupus. Call Mr. Ortiz today for a free case evaluation of your Social Security disability or long term disability claim. Contact his office at 850-898-9904.