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Men Get Lupus Too

Posted Oct 09 2009 10:01pm

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease, affects mostly women. Like breast cancer, men aren’t usually brought into the equation when people discuss diseases like lupus. But they should, because although the disease is the same, it may show a bit differently and it may be more difficult for a man to be diagnosed, simply because it’s not on the radar.

Here’s the breadown:

  • Before menopause (around age 50), 90% of people with lupus are women
  • After menopause, 75% of people with lupus are women

That’s still a lot of men who may have the disease.

silhouette of a crowd There is some disagreement among researchers and doctors about how different lupus is in men. Studies of men aren’t large enough to be able to make effective comparisons between men and women, but a few things have come up:

  • Lupus-caused arthritis is similar in both men and women
  • Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) may be more common in men
  • Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE) may also be more common in men
  • Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE) is more common in men, but this could be because the medications that could cause DILE are often for illnesses that are more common in men than in women
  • There seems to be more severe kidney, nerve, and blood vessel disease in men
  • Disease severity doesn’t differ between men and women
  • Men who develop lupus later in life seem to have lower levels of testosterone

So what are the symptoms of lupus?

If you have any of these symptoms and haven’t been able to get a diagnosis, perhaps you could discuss the possibility of an autoimmune disease, like lupus, with your doctor. Since symptoms vary wildly depending on what part of the body is affected by the lupus, it’s entirely possible that two people with the disease have differing symptoms ( MedLinePlus ):

  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • General discomfort, uneasiness or ill feeling (malaise)
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pleural effusions
  • Pleurisy (causes chest pain)
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Skin rash — a “butterfly” rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose affects about half of those with SLE. The rash gets worse when in sunlight. The rash may also be widespread.
  • Swollen glands

Other symptoms could include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood disorders, including blood clots
  • Blood in the urine
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fingers that change color upon pressure or in the cold
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Nosebleed
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Red spots on skin
  • Skin color is patchy
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Visual disturbance

There is no cure for lupus, but there are treatments to treat the symptoms.



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Post from: Blisstree

Men Get Lupus Too

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