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Gugu Mhlungu and Resident GP and CEO of Proactive Health Solutions, Dr Fundile Nyati shines the spotlight on this chronic debilitating clinical condition called Lupus. May 10 is World Lupus Day, which is a serious life-altering, and fatal disease that requires in-depth understanding and support for the affected persons.

Lupus is a disease that can affect people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. The signs and symptoms mimic those of other diseases, making it hard to diagnose.

"Lupus is an auto-immune disease, so it is a disease or a chronic clinical condition where your own immune system may attack healthy tissues in various organs in the body so basically in simple language I would say the immune system goes rogue in your body".

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects many parts of the body. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks itself because it cannot distinguish between healthy tissue and foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

"And you start to see various tissues as invaders in the body and therefore create problems in any part of the body. It may affect joints, it may affect the heart, it may affect the brain and the spinal cord basically any part of the body so it's a very difficult clinical condition to diagnose because sometimes it can develop over a long period of time and somebody will just think they have arthritis and not think it is part of lupus. But in some people, it can develop you know very quickly focusing on one part of the body or in many parts of the body".

Lupus symptoms can show up in many ways and are often mistaken for symptoms of other diseases. This is why it can be hard to diagnose and is often called “the great imitator".

To find out more, listen to the full interview below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Lupus a chronic disease that imitates other illnesses: Lupus Awareness Month

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