History of Lupus- What You Need to Know To Move Forward With Lupus

I always wondered why Lupus was termed, Lupus.  I want to share with you about the history of Lupus, Systemic Lupus, and Discoid Lupus and what you need to know to move forward in living your life with Lupus.

Going back to 460 BC, Hippocrates was the most influential figure in the history of Medicine. He described the severe red facial rash, which we now know as the “classic” symptom of Lupus.

Lupus means “wolf” in Latin which was coined by the physician Rogerius in the 1200’s who used it to describe the severe lesions on the face.  There are two conflicting theories on why it’s called Lupus.  One theory is that this distinctive butterfly rash resembled bite marks of a wolf’s attack and the other theory claims that the butterfly rash were similar to the distinctive marks on wolf’s face.

Lupus in the 1800s
Although research on Lupus in Western Medicine began in the 19th century, in mid-1800’s, a leading Vienneses physicians, Ferdinand von Hebra and Moritz Kaposi recognized that the symptoms of Lupus can extend beyond the skin into the organs.

The often interchangeably used term,  “lupus erythematosus” was first used by a French physician named Pierre Cazenave in 1851.

“Lupus” is the Latin word for “wolf,” and “erythema” is the Greek word for “redness” or “blush.”

As the understanding grew, Moritz Kaposi used the term “Discoid Lupus” in the mid-1800s to describe skin disorders.

Then Sir William OslerBetween 1895 and 1903 Canadian physician Sir William Osler wrote a report describing lupus erythematosus where for the first time it was recognized that the Lupus symptoms can include much more than the “classic rash”.

They found that the central nervous system, muscles, bones, lungs, and various organs can be affected by Lupus.  Dr. Osler also recognized that Lupus can be “Systemic” meaning that it can affect the whole body not just one part.  He also identified the tendencies for Lupus to flare and relapse over time.

Lupus in the 20th Century

It wasn’t until the 1920-30’s that the medical community began to define a disease progression of Lupus.   A huge medical breakthrough came in 1941 Dr. Paul Kelmperer coined the term “collagen disease”, which lead to Lupus as being classified as an “Autoimmune” Disorder.

Then in 1946, Dr. Malcolm Hargraves from Mayo Clinic published a description of the Lupus Erythematosus.  This was the turning point where it enabled Medical Doctors to diagnose the disease faster and with greater reliability.

In 1949, Dr. Philip Henchalso from Mayo demonstrated that a hormone, cortisone, can treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.   Cortisone then was used safely to treat SLE (Lupus) and RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis).

In 1950’s series of tests were developed that can test Anti-bodies which allowed Doctors and researchers to identify and define diseases more efficiently.  These tests are collectively called “fluorescent tests”, which detect the antibodies that attack the nucleus of the cells.  (Anti-Nuclear Antibody)

Further research development proved that the blood of Lupus patients has other antibodies present.  Some bound to DNA ( the genetic blueprint for itself) which lead to the test anti-DNA, which is now the best test to specify Lupus as the core disease.

More antibodies are tested in us Lupus patients today, however, those antibodies can overlap in a multitude of other Autoimmune Conditions.

There haven’t been specific medications to treat Lupus specifically until recently, Benlysta and other clinical trials are being conducted around the world.

To that, if you’re here on my site and reading this, we stand to Fight Lupus with awareness, education, and lifestyle changes.

We are the Rebels that don’t wait for answers but to get out there and search for better solutions.

Solutions that can help our bodies find balance within to begin to heal to ultimately function normally again.  That my friends are on us.

If you enjoyed this post, please help us spread the positive movement, our “CREATE HEALTH” movement to stand up to Lupus and start gaining CONTROL over our lives and bodies.

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