Lupus is an immune system illness mostly affecting females. It is incurable and can affect any part of the body which is its biggest danger. Lupus can have a wide variety of symptoms making it difficult to identify and diagnose, it takes an average of 7.5 years for a patient to receive a lupus diagnosis in the UK. The two major symptoms are muscle and joint pain and extreme tiredness that won’t go away.
There are several factors that can trigger lupus such as a viral infection, sunlight, trauma, childbirth and strong medication. The day to day impact of lupus can vary greatly between patients with some not documenting any symptoms at all for a number of months and others being affected on a daily basis by joint pain, depression and exhaustion. This, along with the fact that the chronic illness is invisible can make it very difficult for a lupus sufferer to share and explain how they are feeling. Often, if people can’t see the affects of an illness, they just don’t understand it and this can be frustrating. It is helpful for lupus sufferers to maintain a positive attitude and to be completely open with family, friends and colleagues about the unpredictable nature of the illness and the factors which may trigger it.
Could one of your employees be suffering with something that you are unaware of, that is not always possible to see? You can’t really help someone if you don’t know what they are dealing with but you can and should ensure that your employees are provided with an environment in which they feel safe and comfortable to open up and discuss any issues they may be facing which could affect their work now or in the future.
We don’t always know everyone’s full story, but we should make it a priority to try. If you think you may have an employee struggling with an illness or any issues that could impact their work, please get in touch, we’d love to have a discussion about how we may be able to help you.
For more information on lupus, please visit https://www.lupusuk.org.uk/