Winter and Lupus: What to Know

Lupus can affect just about any part of the body. It affects different people in different ways, which is something that can make lupus hard to diagnose. Technically speaking, lupus is an inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its own tissues. Often times, those suffering with the disease don’t have any visible symptoms. This is also the reason lupus has been deemed an “invisible illness.”

While anyone can get lupus, according to the CDC, about 9 out of 10 lupus diagnoses are women ages 15-44. Symptoms present themselves in what are called ‘flares,’ and come and go periodically. Treatment for lupus is usually focused on pain management and preventing damage to major organs.

Cold winter months can be hard for anyone dealing with an autoimmune disease, like lupus. Temperature extremes can affect some people dealing with lupus. Tracking patterns when it comes to your symptoms can help you to realize if cold, wet weather is a trigger for you.

Joint and muscle pain are extremely common for those dealing with Lupus because of inflammation in those areas. In the winter, this pain can be brutal. Hot and cold packs, warm showers, and baths are all good things to help ease pain.

One of the most common ways to identify someone with lupus is by something called a ‘butterfly rash.’ This scaly rash typically appears on the bridge of the nose and extends down over the cheeks. Rashes are also common on the next and chest. Most people with lupus will experience that their rash will be worse seasonally, depending on the person. Many people with lupus notice the rash flaring up more in the fall and winter months.

Stamford Therapeutics Consortium is currently enrolling in studies for those seeking potential new treatment options for Lupus. Study participants who qualify and participate are seen by board-certified physicians and other medical professionals and have access to new medications before they are available to the public. Compensation is also available for time and travel expenses. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.