Once again, while perusing the internet, I came across something about lupus written by the press that is inaccurate. Today’s lie comes from a story about Selena Gomez and her round face appearance at the Academy Awards. The reporter stated that Selena was either pregnant or was in a lupus flare. She stated that she knew it was one or the other because, “The pop singer’s Grandpa confirmed that Selena does indeed have Lupus last year, which is a rare disease in which your bodies’ own immune system attacks itself. And, being bloated and puffy is one of the disease’s trademark symptoms.”
Lies, lies, and more damned lies. Being bloated and puffy is not one of the disease’s trademark symptoms. Being bloated and puffy from taking steroids to try and control the disease is a trademark or side affect of taking steroids, but is not a symptom of the disease itself.
I make this distinction because there is already too much misinformation about lupus floating around and anytime the record can be set straight, it needs to be.
Lupus patients often rely on information they glean from the internet. Though this isn’t always the best place for them to get information, it’s often the first place they go. To make it worse, reporters are supposed to have the facts and then check those facts before using the facts in any reporting they do.
I ask if those who write for the entertainment industry should be held to lower standards than those who report the news. Isn’t entertainment news still news?
Joints may swell in lupus patients. Even feet and hands may swell. But the trademark oval, also known as ‘moon face’, is attributable to the medicine prednisone. When taken in large doses or for long periods of time in an attempt to bring the lupus under control, a ‘moon face’ is almost guaranteed. Notice I used the word, almost. Nothing with lupus is guaranteed.
Lupus affects every person in a different way. Additionally, every drug taken for the treatment of lupus can affect the person taking the drug in a different way.
When will the lies stop? When will the facts be what is reported? Stop frightening people with lies and half truths. If you want accurate information about lupus or any disease, go to the right source and stop all the rumors and misinformation about a devastating disease.
From the life and mind of Wanda M. Argersinger
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