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Lupus and limb damage?

By Anonymous February 4, 2009 - 5:18pm
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A family member died last night from Lupus. She had been going through serious treatment the past few months, including the amputation of both feet. How does Lupus eventually lead to limbs needing to be amputated? My understanding is that it attacks organs, not limbs.

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Hello, Anon:

I'm so sorry about the loss of your family member to Lupus. I am a Lupus patient, myself.

Lupus strikes people differently. Your family member might have had other conditions that were aggravated by Lupus, as Lupus compromises the immune system, thereby making it difficult for the body to recover from illness or injury. Because it is an autoimmune disease, the body can't differentiate between antigens, the bad cells, and its own good cells. That's what causes the body to begin attacking itself.

I have a sister-in-law who has been fighting a serious case of lupus for several years, now, and is constantly in and out of hospital for one infection or another. But, she also has a family history of heart disease and cancer.

My grandfather suffered quietly from lupus for over half his life. Eventually, he died from complications of colon disease related to lupus. I also have that predisposition, so I have to be very conscientious about my GI health.

I also have arthritis associated with lupus, that is not degenerative, while also suffering from degenerative Rheumatoid Arthritis. But, I'm a marathon runner and keep my joints healthy by running.

Bottom line is that almost anything could have contributed to your family member's condition, in addition to the lupus.

Please feel free to ask your questions here.

For more information on lupus: Lupus Foundation of America

February 4, 2009 - 9:34pm
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