What is Lupus disease? What are the symptoms of Selena Gomez’s illness?
elena Gomez has celebrated her 30th birthday wearing a glamours sheer Versace gown while partying the night away with friends, and sharing snaps to her social media accounts.
Among the attendees at the star-studded event was the Wizards Of Waverly Place star’s good friend Francia Raisa, who famously donated one of her kidney’s to Selena, who suffers from lupus.
In 2018, the star took to Instagram to reveal that she had undergone a secret kidney transplant over the summer after a battle with lupus.
Sharing an image of herself and her friend on a hospital bed, she opened up about her experience with the disease, explaining that the transplant was: “what I needed to do for my overall health.”
Gomez, who was 25 at the time, was originally diagnosed with the disease at the age of 23. The star took a break from her career to deal with mental health issues stemming from her diagnosis.
The NHS describes Lupus as a “complex and poorly understood” condition, with many still in the dark about what the disease is, its symptoms and its treatment.
Yes despite this, according to Lupus UK, around 50,000 people in the UK have the condition.
Here, Dr. Steve Iley, Medical Director at Bupa explains everything that you need to know about lupus.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is a complicated condition; there are different types and people often show different symptoms on different parts of the body. As such it’s often misunderstood by the general public.
Generally speaking, the term lupus will refer to systemic lupus erythematosus – or SLE – which is one of the more serious forms of the condition.
SLE can exhibit different symptoms, and some people will experience them more severely than others. The three most common are fatigue, swollen or painful joints, and skin irritation or rashes, particularly around the hands, wrists or face.
Other symptoms can include a fever, swollen glands, headaches or migraines, and stomach pains. Of course, these can be caused by a number of issues, so it’s important that you speak to your doctor who’ll be able to make a diagnosis.
Other types of lupus will just affect the skin.
How can you catch lupus?
SLE is an autoimmune condition, meaning it’s not contagious and can’t be passed from one person to another. Instead, it’s caused when antibodies from the immune system mistakenly attack healthy cells or organs.
Experts still aren’t entirely certain why this happens, but it is widely agreed that there are multiple causes. Some of these are genetic – so if your siblings have lupus, it’s more likely that you’ll experience it too – while others are in our control. Lots of experts believe that smoking increases your chances.
The condition can also be affected by changes in hormones, from pregnancy or puberty for example, so it’s most prevalent in women of childbearing age.
How can it be treated?
Lupus can generally be diagnosed by blood tests from a doctor.
While there’s currently no cure for SLE, there are medications available to manage its impact such as anti-inflammatories, or medicines that suppress your immune system. By using these, many people are able to successfully manage the condition to limit the impact their day to day lives.