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Michael Jackson and Lupus: Part I

By Regan
 
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Please visit Regan at www.BeatLupus.com and www.ReganMizuno.com (her musician site). Regan's goal is to help raise awareness about lupus for a cure through music and advocacy. Thank you for your support.

Holy Smokes. You know, I did not know that Michael Jackson had lupus. A friend of mine, Dr. Christine Dumas, recently pointed me to a press release by Dr. Deepak Chopra, who announced on June 27 that Michael had lupus.

I was shocked to learn this. And it’s funny – just one evening before learning this information (and after hearing some reported details of Michael’s passing), my mother was surmising that perhaps Michael Jackson had lupus. I considered that. He did, after all, have hair loss, he apparently suffered from fatigue and extreme pain, and it seemed as though his body and his organs simply gave out. “Nah,” I thought. It can’t be – he would have said, we would have known, etc.

And then I came to find out that is exactly what he had.

Knowing this, I now have to wonder, why didn’t he come out and say he had it? Well, it turns out he never really hid the fact he had lupus. I read a 2003 article about his presence at a lupus L.A. fundraiser and that the media had disclosed his lupus several years ago in many different publications.

But it never made headline news. Was the world not ready to hear it? Did we not understand (or care to understand) lupus? Did people brush it off or simply feel disbelief? Did we simply not know of the nature or gravity of lupus?

I think all these scenarios were present. Before I was diagnosed, I really didn’t know much about lupus either. And after I was diagnosed, I was in denial. Yikes!

Please see next article: Michael Jackson and Lupus: Part II.

copyright Regan Mizuno 2009, Harmonics Engineering Services, LLC, all rights reserved.

Regan is a singer/songwriter and lupus advocate. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is currently working on a book about lupus. You can contact her at www.BeatLupus.com and www.ReganMizuno.com (her music site). Regan's goal is to help raise awareness about lupus for a cure through music and advocacy. Thank you for your support.

Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
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June 6, 2013 - 3:02pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Yunita

Thanks for your question - from our Encyclopedia, here are some signs and symptoms of Lupus:

Symptoms vary from mild to extremely severe and debilitating. In some people, only part of the body (for example, the skin) is affected. In others, many parts of the body are affected. Though symptoms can be chronic, they usually flare up and subside intermittently.

Common symptoms include:

* Swollen and/or painful joints
* Fever
* Skin rashes over areas exposed to sunlight (especially on the nose and cheeks)
* Extreme fatigue

Other symptoms may include:

* Hair loss
* Chest pain, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
* Kidney inflammation
* High blood pressure
* Anemia or other blood disorders
* Sensitivity to sunlight
* Raynaud's phenomenon
* Ulcers in nose or mouth
* Swollen glands
* Headaches
* Dizziness
* Seizures
* Stroke
* Inflammation of the heart, heart vessels, or membrane surrounding the heart
* Blood clots

Click here for our main Lupus page http://www.empowher.com/condition/lupus

Does this help you?

July 11, 2009 - 5:07pm
Yunita

I m student in medical college.i just now know that michael jackson had lupus.
How is spesific signs of lupus?
Thanks to answer

July 11, 2009 - 4:45pm
alysiak

Let me quote from the Lupus Foundation:

The idea that lupus is generally a fatal disease is a big misconception. In fact, the prognosis of lupus is much better today than ever before.

Regan - you are among the 10-20% of patients with serious, debilitating conditions, while I'm among the 80-90% of patients who are able to control our condition. You're an example of the reasons why we need to raise awareness of this mysterious disease!

Yes, there is no cure, only treatments that we can only hope will work.

I hope you do live a long and happy life - without any more serious attacks!

July 9, 2009 - 5:52pm
Regan

Further to my previous comments (this is Regan), this disease commands our attention. It is serious. But it can be treated. To do that, we need to stress the importance of research dollars. The Lupus Research Institute is one of many organizations proving that a lupus cure is in our future. Young women need to be assured a cure. I don't want any other young person to have to go through the same treatment I'd experienced. We also need to stress the importance of a new drug. No new drug has been FDA approved for lupus in more than 50 years. This disease is complicated, can be debilitating and life-threatening, and is more prevalent than MS and AIDS combined. That is why I am writing. We need to and can find help. So much good has come of research funding already, and I am a poster-child of early diagnosis. So there is good reason for people to donate and be aware of this significant disease. Lupus is a worthy adversary. Its patients need help. Please help me raise awareness.

July 9, 2009 - 7:30pm
alysiak

Well, I don't know if we really do know that's "exactly" what he had, considering he must have had a host of health issues. Lupus isn't really life threatening, except in rare or unusual cases; other complications that arise from a compromised immune system can lead to life threatening conditions.

My SIL didn't die because she had lupus. She died because her immune system had been so badly damaged by lymphoma, breast cancer and other issues.

My pediatrician had lupus, but it was also lymphoma that took her because of her damaged immune system, and some other conditions that arose during her treatment. Unfortunately, her body reacted negatively to the medications used to try to control those other conditions.

I have lupus, and I plan on hanging around for a very long time. :))

July 9, 2009 - 4:30pm
Regan (reply to alysiak)

Hi Alysiak! Nice to hear from you again :) You're right - we don't know and I am not suggesting that lupus was the cause of Michael Jackson's death. I know that in many cases lupus is not directly blamed for a lupus patient's death. But in many cases it is. All reputable lupus information sources state that lupus can be life-threatening. It was for me. Please refer to http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/149257.php
This article begins by stating that, "Most women likely can describe warning signs and health risks associated with breast cancer and heart disease, but according to a recent online survey relatively few are aware of another potentially fatal disease that disproportionately strikes young women between the ages of 15 and 44. The disease is lupus." The article continues, "Lupus develops when the immune system goes out of balance, causing it to become destructive to any major organ or tissue in the body, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, and joints. Its health effects include heart attacks, stokes, seizures, and organ failure." Lupus was indeed life-threatening in my case. Had my kidneys not been treated swiftly and heavily, I may have been a victim. I'm just finishing my article talking about my lupus now - I will have it up this evening. Please check it out - my disease required chemotherapy. I had a severe attack, enough to end my life, but thanks to early diagnosis and the right treatment, I not only survived but am thriving. Of course lupus patients, even the ones hit very hard, can live to be ripe old ladies! Here's to wrinkles! Here's to research and a cure! Thanks! Best, Regan

July 9, 2009 - 4:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

It's one of those things I think somebody told me, but never really paid much attention to. I always thought he somehow bleached his skin. Now I feel bad.

July 9, 2009 - 3:34pm
Regan (reply to Anonymous)

Goodness - don't feel badly - we all are in the dark about the details of his illness - it's such a personal thing, to decide to share or not to share this kind of information with the world. But I guess I did feel the same way you do - he had an even more difficult and complicated life than I'd realized.

July 9, 2009 - 3:46pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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