We’re bringing back our Cannabis for A Cause campaign for Lupus Awareness this week. Now through Friday, May 15, all medical patients will receive 15% off at all Urbn Leaf retail locations (excluding oz and ½ oz) OR Free delivery (in San Diego or Grover Beach) on orders of $60 or more.
63% of Americans (when polled by the Lupus Foundation of America) have either never heard of Lupus or they do not have any knowledge past the name. Take a second to think. Does this include you?
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an auto-immune disease that affects around 1.5 million Americans. It’s difficult to diagnose, even tougher to treat, and an ongoing battle to live with. Lupus hits home for us as our family members, friends, and staff members have been affected by the disease.
What is an auto-immune disease?
To break it down simply, your immune system normally guards against germs like bacteria and viruses. When it senses these foreign invaders, it sends out an army of fighter cells to attack them. Lupus patients’ bodies send out these signals constantly even when there is no immediate threat, meaning, that your body is in a state where it is trying to heal its own healthy tissues.
There are four major forms of Lupus:
- Systemic – Accounts for almost 70% of cases, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the more severe cases cause inflammation in the nervous system, kidneys, and the brain.
- Cutaneous – Affects the skin, causing rashes across the body.
- Drug-Induced – An acute form brought on by taking a certain prescriptions, usually disappears once medication is stopped.
- Neo-natal – When the mother passes on Lupus antibodies in the womb (these symptoms usually go away for life after the baby is birthed and a few months old).
Common signs and symptoms of Lupus:
One of the major symptoms related to Lupus is inflammation. Not only does someone with Lupus live with chronic body and joint pain, but it can also affect their major organs and impair them physically (rashes, hair loss). Effects can range from mild to life threatening for severe cases.
The most common lupus symptoms (which are the same for men and women) are:
- Extreme fatigue (feeling tired all the time)
- Pain or swelling in the joints
- Swelling in the hands, feet, or around the eyes
- Low fevers
- Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent light
- Chest pain when breathing deeply
- Many people with lupus also have problems that affect their skin and hair, like:
- A butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
- Sores in the mouth or nose
- Fingers and toes turning white or blue and feeling numb when a person is cold or stressed
Who is at risk?
According to the Lupus Foundation of America 90% of people living with Lupus were mostly women of childbearing ages (15-44). They also found certain racial groups like African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders were more susceptible. Along with people who had a family history of Lupus.
As you can see, Lupus affects a wide range of individuals with a variety of symptoms.
Is there a Cure?
While there is still no cure, there are a ton of ways to manage pain. With cannabis becoming legalized in more states, it’s no surprise Lupus patients are wondering if medical marijuana can provide relief.
Unfortunately, more research is needed to say if cannabis can truly help Lupus patients.
How can you help?
As we mentioned early over 60% of Americans have never heard of Lupus, so the first way you can help take action is by spreading the word. Start sharing information about Lupus to your social platforms. If you know someone with Lupus, see if they will share their story with you so you can understand firsthand. Get involved with your local Lupus organization and see how you can participate in their next fundraiser or share out their content.
Education is key – together we can help raise awareness about Lupus and maybe even help someone ‘feel good’ during their toughest times.
For more information regarding Lupus visit Lupus.org.