New Jersey readers may be interested to learn there is a support group, called The Lupus Foundation of South Jersey, which holds monthly meetings in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The group is designed for those affected by lupus, and friends and family members are also welcome.
Lupus causes the immune system to produce antibodies that attack the body's own healthy cells and tissue. The autoimmune disorder, which affects about 1.5 million Americans, can be devastating. In patients where the disease is systemic, almost every organ in the body can be affected, resulting in total-body symptoms like joint pain, tissue inflammation, fever, fatigue and weight loss.
Unfortunately, the cause of the disease is unknown. As a result, doctors can only treat its symptoms. Yet many find its symptoms so unmanageable that maintaining their existing work schedules becomes impossible. In some patients, steroids might ease pain and inflammation, although that medication might cause serious side effects that are sometimes worse than the disease. Other patients might be prescribed medication that suppresses their immune system, also known as anti-rejection drugs. In many cases, those diagnosed with the disease have to drastically change their lifestyle, including eating and work habits, in order to cope with symptoms.
Many workers affected by lupus find it difficult to maintain their employment. Not surprisingly, lupus is one of the diseases specifically listed in the Social Security Administration's listing of impairments. However, the SSA often requires technical documentation to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. An attorney can ensure you submit a successful SSDI benefits application.
Source: Shore News Today, "Lupus support group," Sept. 19, 2012
- Our firm handles situations similar to the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our New Jersey Autoimmune Disorders page.