Did you know that lupus can affect your kidneys? If you have lupus, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk for lupus nephritis and how to protect your kidneys for as long as possible. How much do you know about lupus and the kidneys?
What is lupus nephritis?
Lupus nephritis is permanent kidney damage caused by lupus, an autoimmune disease. Lupus nephritis happens when your immune system attacks your kidneys. Your kidneys are vital to life – they filter your blood and remove waste and extra fluid from your body. When your kidneys are damaged, they do not work as well as they should.
Who is more likely to get lupus nephritis?
9 in 10 people with lupus are women.
Lupus is more common in Black women.
About 50% of adults with lupus develop lupus nephritis.
Lupus nephritis typically occurs in people aged 20-40 years.
Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans are more likely to have lupus nephritis than whites.
of adults with lupus
develop lupus nephritis.
Stay looped in on your kidney health.
Get your kidney function tested regularly. If lupus nephritis causes permanent damage to your kidneys, your kidneys may stop working completely. This is called kidney failure. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. The only way to know if your kidneys are damaged is to get tested. Finding and treating lupus nephritis early can help prevent serious damage.
It takes a village
Because lupus can affect many different parts of your body, the lupus treatment team includes different health care professionals. Keeping everyone on your team looped in on your health is important.
You are your kidneys’ best advocate.
Know your risk for lupus nephritis. Find out what you can do to protect your kidneys. Be engaged with your healthcare. Speak up to get the tests, treatment, and care you need.
“I’ve always been a fighter. I’m the type of person that believes that no is not an option, but at the same time, sometimes fighters get wounds."
-Della, diagnosed with kidney failure caused by lupus
Everyday life can be overwhelming, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like lupus nephritis. Are you dealing with stress, anxiety, or fatigue? There are steps you can take each day to take care of your mental health.