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What is Lupus?


What is Lupus?

May is Lupus Awareness Month, so we are joined Nephrologist, Dr Trevor Gerntholtz. He will be breaking down what exactly is Lupus and how one may contract it. Dr Gerntholtz currently works at the Rondebosch Medical Centre, where he is a kidney specialist, and he trained at Wits University and UCT.

Lupus is a rare disease that effects one’s kidneys, it is believed that there are around 5 million people around the world who currently suffer from it. Of those 5 million, 90% of suffering from it are women. When someone suffers from Lupus has an immune system deficiency were it cannot distinguish between healthy blood cells and foreign viruses. This results in antibodies also being formed against against the healthy blood cells, this causes damage and inflammation to certain body parts.

These types of antibodies are called auto-antibodies, with the most common type that develops being antinuclear antibody (ANA), as they react with nucleus of the cells. The auto-antibodies circulate through the blood and can attack the DNA in certain cell’s nucleus. All of this can cause damage and swelling to one’s joints, kidneys, skin, heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Lupus is not contagious, and can either be mild or life threatening to one’s life.

Website: www.healthline.com

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