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Date Submitted: 09/13/2012 09:49 AM

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Culture and disease: Lupus

Culture and disease: Lupus

A society’s attitudes toward health and disease are bound up closely with its culture (Parry, 1984). Culture is “that complex whole that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by men as a member of society (O'Neil, 2012). Whatever changes health care providers introduce, they should always take into consideration the culture of the patient. Culture is a powerful human tool for survival and also a fragile phenomenon (O’Neal, 2012). Sickness brings an entirely new dimension into society (Parry, 1984). Attitudes and practices in respect to the sick reflect its understanding and interpretation of the causes of disease (Parry, 1984).

Lupus is a disease that affects different populations, some more than others. It is a very serious disease that many people do not know exist. Lupus is often misdiagnosed and if left untreated can have fatal results. In this paper I will discuss what lupus is, what population is affected most, what causes lupus, cultural influences, treatment options, and health and wellness programs.

What lupus is

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health, 2011). Chronic means the disease will persist for a long time or is consistently recurring. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s own tissues are attacked by its own immune system (Langwith, 2011). When the body is in healthy condition, the immune system releases specific antibodies, a specific type of protein, that helps to destroy viruses and harmful bacteria the body. When the lupus disease develops, the body fails to distinguish between germ infected cells and healthy cells (Mukherjee, 2011). The immune system becomes confused and antibodies that are supposed to protect the body from foreign invaders, attack healthy tissue and organs (Hanger, 2003). These antibodies are called...