HEALTH: Nurses back Lupus campaign

RAISING AWARENESS: Dr Hanu Reddy, consultant, Dr Shabina Sultan, rheumatology consultant, Kelly Hayes-Head, clinical nurse specialist and Linda Sigsworth lead rheumatology nurse (s)
RAISING AWARENESS: Dr Hanu Reddy, consultant, Dr Shabina Sultan, rheumatology consultant, Kelly Hayes-Head, clinical nurse specialist and Linda Sigsworth lead rheumatology nurse (s)

AN incurable illness has become the subject of a new national campaign that is being backed by rheumatology nurses at Airedale Hospital.

An information display has been put together for staff, patients and visitors, so more awareness can be raised of Lupus disease. Around 50,000 people in the UK are estimated to have Lupus, and 90% of these are female.

GPs and other health professionals may fail to recognise the illness as it can affect any part of the body and has many symptoms which can mimic other conditions. This can lead to a delay in diagnosis and the start of vital treatment to contain the disease.

Systemic lupus is a condition in which the body’s defence mechanism begins to attack itself through an excess of antibodies in the blood stream, causing inflammation and damage in the joints, muscles and other major organs.

Discoid Lupus is usually a condition of the skin, but patients can rarely develop systemic lupus.

Symptoms to watch out for are Reynaud’s, a disorder resulting in the small blood vessels being over-sensitive to changes in temperature, discolouration of the fingers, toes, and occasionally other areas, as well as joint and muscle pain and an extreme tiredness that won’t go away.

Rashes, photosensitivity, anaemia, fever, hair loss, mouth ulcers, depression and headaches may all be part of the pattern of lupus.

Visit http://www.lupusuk.org.uk for more information.