DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE As you know, it’s important to make the most of the time you spend with your doctor to ensure you get answers to all your questions, and to provide the information your doctor needs to properly assess and manage your symptoms. This guide is designed to help you do just that by […]
“I am the Butterfly, and i will do everything in my power to keep the Wolf leashed…” Even if it means saying NO! Saying no is a personal dilemma for me. I just really have a hard time saying it. I have an issue with letting people down and feeling like I can’t do things, […]
October 16, 2015
selena gomez (Photo: Anthony Harvey /Getty Images)
When pop star Selena Gomez took a sudden break from performing in 2014, the tabloid gossip mill went into hyper-drive. Selena was in rehab. Selena was jealous about Justin Bieber’s paramours. Selena was pregnant or trying to be. Selena had substance abuse problems.
In the first half of 2015 Gomez revealed the real reason she had taken a break from her fans: She was being treated for lupus.
Gomez’s announcement brings new awareness to this autoimmune disease, which affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Despite the number of well-known people who have had lupus — including singer Seal, actress Kristen Johnston, director/producer Nick Cannon and Lady Gaga, who says she is “border-line positive” for the disease — lupus is not that well known.
Lupus strikes about nine times more women than men and is much more prevalent in women of color, according to the Lupus Foundation of America. Most people get it when they are between 15 and 44, but it can strike at any age.
Systemic lupus accounts for about 70 percent of all cases of lupus and affects a major organ, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain, in about half of these cases. Lupus that attacks only the skin accounts for an estimated10 percent of lupus cases. Lupus caused by high dosages of medications or a type that involves another connective tissue disease make up the rest.
Although there’s no cure for lupus yet, the right drug of combination of drugs may be able to keep the disease under control. Drugs most commonly used to treat lupus include steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, antimalarials and chemotherapy drugs (the latter are usually reserved for severe cases of lupus that attack major organ systems). Uncontrolled, the disease may lead to kidney failure and can be life-threatening.
See a doctor right away if you suspect you may have lupus. The disease can be hard to diagnose — it’s sometimes called “the great imitator” because the symptoms resemble those of so many other diseases, from arthritis to Lyme disease to diabetes. Here are the most common symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic and the Lupus Foundation of America:
A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose
Joint pain and swelling
Swelling in the feet, legs, hands and/or around the eyes
Skin sores that get worse with sun exposure
Fingers and toes that turn white or blue in the cold or when you’re under stress
Abnormal blood clotting
Chest pain upon deep breathing
Headaches, confusion and memory loss
Shortness of breath
Unusual itching, nausea, vomiting, leg swelling and chest pain (symptoms of kidney problems)
“We all make choices whether to reveal our lupus”
On average, it takes nearly six years for people with lupus to be correctly diagnosed after they first notice symptoms. In a survey of members by the Lupus Foundation of American, most people with lupus reported they were coping well with their disease and that their friends and family were understanding and supportive. Pain, lifestyle changes and emotional issues were the hardest things they had to contend with, they said.
Gomez was diagnosed with lupus several years ago but chose to keep it quiet until recently. MTV contributor Christine Miserandino, who has had lupus since she was 18, was excited when Gomez went public with her diagnosis. “After I heard the news about Selena, I just wanted to reach out to her and hug her,” she told MTV News. “We all make choices whether to reveal our lupus or not. Selfishly, I’m thankful she did. This will help millions of new patients get diagnosed faster.”
Gomez, who has been a UN ambassador since she was 17, has told reporters she’s ready to carry on. “My heart hasn’t changed,” she told USA Today. “I care about people…and I love my fans. My fans are the only thing that’s been consistent in my life.”
Diana is an award-winning writer and editor with more than 20 years’ experience in magazine, video, book and digital journalism, with a specialty in health coverage. She was a longtime writer and news editor at the Center for Investigative Reporting; has written for publications from the Washington Post to the Times of London syndicate; and has served as a senior and/or consulting editor at Time Inc. Health, Hippocrates, HealthDay News Service and Reporting on Health. She was also editor in chief of Consumer Health Interactive, a national health and medical web site, and has reported on finance for Blueshift Research and PBS Frontline. Before joining SafeBee, she was editor of Bioenergy Connection, a national magazine about bioenergy at UC Berkeley. Her favorite safety tip: Wear a bike helmet.
Hello, its been a couple of days since I have posted. Not to make excuses or anything but I haven’t been feeling all that great. I have said before that I want this to be a real experience with you guys and that this is my life blog. With that being said, Tuesday I went […]
1. On Your Back, Arms At Sides
We already know that sleeping is one of the most important things we do. Yes, we need some sleeping time to be able to be ready for next day, but is not just that simple. We also need to sleep in a good position because it has impact on our health. Let’s take a look to eight common sleeping positions and what they do to our body.
This is the best position if you care about your neck and spine, as long as you don’t use too many pillows. But, on the other hand, this kind of sleepers tend to snore much more than the rest, and sleep apnea is strongly associated with this kind of sleeping position.
2. On Your Back, Arms Up
This one is also called the “starfish position”, and is a good one too for your back, whether you have your arms around the pillow or not. You can also prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakout by sleeping like this. However, like the first position, this one can result in snoring and acid reflux problems. Also, having your arms up can hurt your shoulders because it puts pressure on nerves.
3. Face Down
This one is good for your stomach, it can improve digestion. But, on the other hand, as you can’t breathe through your pillow, you’ll have to be tilting your face in one direction or the other. So, this will put a lot of strain on your neck and can also cause you back pain, because the curve of the spine is not
4. Fetal Position
This is probably one of the worst sleeping positions. I know, being curled into a ball with your knees drawn up and your chin tilted down might be comfortable, but avoid this! It can do a number of your back and neck! Plus, it could restrict deep breathing. On the other hand, if you are a snoring person or you are pregnant, this position will help you.
5. On Side, Arms At Sides
When you sleep on your side with both arms down, the spine is best supported in its natural curve. This will help back and neck pain and the sleep apnea. But, it can also contribute to skin aging due to gravity. Facial wrinkles and sagging breasts can appear.
6. On Side, Arms Out
Obviously, it has many of the same benefits as the one we’ve just talked about. However, any side sleeping can cause shoulder and arm pain because of the restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves. This could get worst by having your arms out in front of you.
7. On the Right Side
Side-sleepers can make a difference by choosing the right side. This side can worsen heartburn, while sleeping on the left side can put strain on internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach (minimizing acid reflux). Usually, when a woman is pregnant, her doctor recommends to sleep on the left side, since this can improve circulation to the fetus.
And here’s a proper sleeping position! It’s highly likely that you can improve your sleep with less pain, with a supplementing pillow on your body.If your back hurts, put the pillow under the arch of your spine. You can also place it between your knees, or under your hips to support the joints. Try all this positions, which one works better for?