First and foremost, I thank God that I haven't been in the hospital for a lupus flare lately. With lupus, I found myself in the hospital practically every year because I was always suffering from something that triggered the terrible symptoms lupus caused. For example, stress is a major factor to avoid if I don't want to have a flare up. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks itself, instead of fighting off infection the way that it should.
When that happens, a number of things can happen. Joint and muscle damage (sometimes permanent), hair loss, major internal organ damage, and external organ damage such as rashes on the skin. No one knows what causes lupus but it happens a lot among women of minority and childbearing age. There are small cases such as juvenile lupus and drug-induced lupus, and discoid lupus that leaves permanent scarring of the skin (like the singer/songwriter Seal) and other cases that may affect men are lupus nephritis (what entertainer Nick Cannon has) that affects the kidneys.
It's a known fact that people in the black community don't go for check ups unless something hurts really bad and when they get to the doctor, the situation may be beyond repair or on the brink of it. Sometimes we are the worst group of people that don't obey our doctor when it comes to our health. We'll start off okay but as soon as we take our medication and feel a little better, we'll stop the regimen and then we're worse off than before.
I'm sure that other races may experience the same thing so I'm not making this about that at all. I'm just pointing out what I know about my community, what I've seen in my own family, and what I've experienced. We as a people need to take better care of our health. It's too many black people in my age group (50s) that's passing away and that's pretty scary in my book, especially when I've just seen them or talked to them.
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Filed under: Health and Wellness