Overlooked and Underrepresented: The Need to Bring Lupus to the Forefront
Last updated: September 2022
Oftentimes people are fast to talk about their support for other health issues. Health issues are important and talked about consistently. Think about it, you see commercials for specific health issues about the disease itself or the medicines to help symptoms. How many times have you seen a commercial about lupus? Better yet, how many people can you say really know about lupus? Although lupus affects approximately 1.5 million Americans,1 it doesn’t get as much push or attention. We know lupus is important, yet it remains in the background as opposed to other health issues.
What can we do to raise more awareness?
It’s important to bring lupus to the forefront. I believe this can be done by working with doctors to inform the public about lupus symptoms and its effects. By making a conscious effort to work with lupus organizations to inform the public about what lupus is and the need for effective research for a cure can truly make a difference.
Greatest risk of lupus being underrepresented
In many cases, it seems that those at higher risk for lupus know little to nothing about the disease. This can be seen as an issue when many do not understand or know of lupus symptoms. In addition to not knowing the symptoms, healthcare may not be available to adequately treat lupus.
What can we do to bring lupus to the forefront?
Even though lupus awareness month has passed, that doesn’t have to be the end of awareness. It’s still very important to spread lupus awareness all year round. This can be done in several ways as listed below.
- Stay well educated about lupus and share what you learn and know with others.
- Raise your voice about lupus.Tell your story so others will know that lupus is real in your life.
- Talk to your doctor about how they can help you share information. This can show your doctor how invested you are in your own care by asking for assistance to share with others.
- Use social media to get the word out about lupus.Social media is an easy and quick way to put lupus in the face of those that may not know or understand what it is.
- Be honest about how you feel and make sure you accept help when needed. It is important for your closest supporters to be able to assist you. If you always wear the mask, no one will ever understand the depth of lupus.
Anything that you do to bring lupus to the forefront makes a positive impact in the fight to find a cure. Everything helps to heighten awareness and bring attention to lupus and its effects on those who fight daily.
Finally, May was lupus awareness month, but it isn't just for 1 month. For lupus warriors, the fight is 24/7/365 days a year and heightened awareness, in my opinion, should follow. Working consistently to bring awareness will dramatically remove the "invisible" illness label and bring so much knowledge to those around the world.
How are you most likely to respond when someone offers you unsolicited advice about your lupus?