Hair Show Weekend With K. Michelle And Nelly

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K. Michelle recently shared on Twitter that she was diagnosed with lupus, which the singer says “devastated” her.

But what exactly is lupus? What does it look like and what puts you at risk? Better yet: How does this disease specifically affect Black women? No worries: We got you! Here’s what you need to know now.

What Black Women Need To Know About Lupus was originally published on hellobeautiful.com

1. What You Need To Know About Lupus Now!

What You Need To Know About Lupus Now!

K. Michelle recently shared on Twitter that she was diagnosed with lupus, which the singer says “devastated” her.

But what exactly is lupus? What does it look like and what puts you at risk? Better yet: How does this disease specifically affect Black women? No worries: We got you! Here’s what you need to know now.

2. What Is Lupus?

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system attacks its own body tissue and organs. According to the Mayo Clinic, this disease can bombard your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

3. But Why And How Does One’s Body Attack Itself?

But Why And How Does One’s Body Attack Itself?

Normally when your body feels that its being “invaded” by an infection, your immune system creates antibodies to protect you. But with lupus, your body doesn’t know what’s healthy tissue and what’s an invader and so it just attacks whatever it wants.

4. Are There Different Types of Lupus?

Are There Different Types of Lupus?

There are four types. 1) Systemic Lupus erythematosus: The most serious and common form of lupus. This type harms the skin, mouth, kidneys, brain, lungs and heart. 2) Cutaneous lupus: Lupus that mainly affects the skin. 3) Drug-induced lupus: This type of Lupus is caused by medications, but goes away when you stop taking your prescribed medication. 4) Neonatal lupus is a rare condition in which the mother’s antibodies affect the fetus.

5. How Common Is Lupus?

How Common Is Lupus?

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that there are currently 1.5 million people in the U.S living with lupus with roughly 16,000 cases diagnosed each year.

6. What Are Its Symptoms?

What Are Its Symptoms?

Lupus can look different in different people, but common symptoms include: Pain or swelling in joints; Muscle pain; Fever with no known cause; Red rashes, most often on the face; Chest pain when taking a deep breath; Hair loss; Pale or purple fingers or toes; Sensitivity to the sun; Swelling in legs or around eyes; Mouth ulcers; Swollen glands; and serious fatigue.

7. How Easy Is It To Diagnose?

How Easy Is It To Diagnose?

Because there is no one test to detect lupus, it could take months or years for a doctor to diagnose you. They could use the following to see if you have it: Looking at your medical history, giving you a complete exam, administering blood tests and providing a skin and/or kidney biopsy.

8. Can Lupus Kill You?

Can Lupus Kill You?

Sadly it can. It usually kills roughly 10-15 percent of those who suffer from it. But here’s the good news: Thanks to advanced treatment that helps with reducing flare ups and preventing and healing damage to organs, people with lupus are living longer and controlling their disease better than before.

9. Black Women Bear The Brunt Of The Lupus Epidemic

Black Women Bear The Brunt Of The Lupus Epidemic

While gender, family history and genetics are huge risk factors for lupus, so is race. African-American women are THREE times more likely to develop the disease than white women. Also, Black women are more likely to develop the disease at a younger age and tend to have more severe symptoms than white women.

10. Other Black Celebs With Lupus

Other Black Celebs With Lupus

K. Michelle isn’t alone in having this disease. Grammy winner Toni Braxton, “America’s Next Top Model” Mercedes Yvette, singer Seal, and rapper Trick Daddy have also suffering from a form of this serious chronic inflammatory disease. So does Nick Cannon, who suffers from lupus nephritis, a potentially life-threatening auto-immune disease affecting his kidneys.

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