Click the video above to listen to this week’s Lupus Q&A! The questions and answers are also posted below if you prefer to read 🙂
Adizah Noor: I’ve recently had hives and they come and go, is it a flare?
No, hives are a way for your immune system to tell you that it’s reacting to something that it doesn’t like. Whether it’s a food irritant or chemical, it’s hard to know exactly what it’s reacting to.
The thought is that through small offenses over time, the immune system becomes triggered. If it’s prolonged enough, and you as a host are not strong enough in your ability to defend against this trigger, then your immune system becomes dysfunctional, leading to an autoimmune condition.
Most people think autoimmunity is an overactive immune system, but it’s a dysfunctional or broken immune system that’s going against its own. So having hives tell us nothing more than the fact that you are coming into contact with something that is not agreeable to your immune system.
Now, that’s not to say this could be a trigger for your immune system to rev its engine up in a way that will become a flare, but in and of itself, hives usually aren’t a common indicator for flares.
Katy Young: What does SLE stand for?
Systemic Lupus Erythromatosus. Systemic means it affects every system in your body. Lupus is wolf in Latin. And eythromatosus means red. As for the origin of Lupus, this condition was coined the term Lupus because the facial rashes looked like the bite of a wolf.
Cynthia Hildreth: Do Lupus symptoms get worse? And how long does one have them?
Severity of symptoms depends on many factors, including genetic disposition, susceptibility, lifestyle, stressors, triggers, etc. Some get mild symptoms and they go away, while others are debilitated and bedridden, with Lupus affecting all organs.