Lupus patients who suffered from bad childhoods marked by abuse or neglect are likely to suffer higher disease activity, compared to patients who had normal childhoods. According to a new study, persons who suffered abuse, neglect and other challenging situations in their childhood were more likely to suffer worse symptoms of lupus. In fact, patients who reported as many as 4 bad childhood experiences had twice the disease activity as those who did not report any negative childhood experiences. They were also likely to report higher levels of depression and poorer health.
In the study, which focused on 239 patients with lupus, 63% reported at least one bad experience during their childhoods. About 19% reported a minimum of four bad experiences. This indicates that stress since childhood can be a factor in determining the severity and frequency of lupus activity. The researchers stress the importance of easier access to mental health services for at-risk groups for bad childhood experiences, like persons from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition in which your body’s cells and tissues are attacked by your own immune system. It can affect your joints, kidneys, skin, bean, lungs, and heart. There is no complete cure for lupus, but its symptoms can be managed. Symptoms of lupus may worsen in severity over a period of times. A person with inflammation in his joints, for example, may find it difficult to perform tasks like lifting, carrying, or even raising his arms above his head to perform a manual task. Lupus can interfere with your ability to use your arms, hands, and legs effectively, which makes many types of jobs very challenging or impossible to perform.