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Women's Health + Lupus Awareness Month



May has the distinction of being both Women’s Health Care Month and Lupus Awareness Month. And for us at NW Kidney Council, every month is kidney month.


We want to take some time to draw attention to how kidney disease affects women and can affect those with lupus. In particular, lupus is a disease that disproportionately affects women and can intricately intertwine with kidney health.


Kidney disease might not always be at the forefront of women's health discussions, yet it's a significant concern. Statistics reveal that kidney disease affects approximately 195 million women worldwide, with chronic kidney disease (CKD) being more prevalent in women than in men. While various factors contribute to this gender disparity, including hormonal differences, socio-economic factors, and access to healthcare, the reality remains clear: women are at a heightened risk of kidney complications.


One of the conditions intricately linked with kidney health is lupus, an autoimmune disease that affects millions globally. While lupus can affect anyone, it predominantly targets women, with around 90% of lupus patients being female. This autoimmune condition can affect multiple organs, including the kidneys, leading to lupus nephritis, a severe and potentially life-threatening complication characterized by inflammation of the kidneys. To learn more about lupus, we encourage you to check out our Partner Profile with Greg Dardis, director of programs at Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus (KFL).


The correlation between lupus and kidney health underscores the importance of holistic approaches to women's healthcare. Women living with lupus not only navigate the complexities of managing their autoimmune condition but also must prioritize kidney health as part of their overall well-being. Regular monitoring, lifestyle modifications, and effective communication with healthcare providers are pivotal in managing both lupus and its renal implications.


The impact of lupus on women extends beyond physical health. The emotional and psychological toll of living with a chronic illness cannot be understated. Women with lupus often face challenges in maintaining their quality of life, managing symptoms, and coping with the uncertainty of their condition. Support networks, educational resources, and advocacy efforts play a crucial role in empowering women to navigate these challenges and live fulfilling lives despite lupus.


In light of Lupus Awareness Month coinciding with Women's Health Care Month, it's imperative to amplify the voices of women affected by lupus and kidney disease. By raising awareness, fostering understanding, and advocating for improved healthcare resources and support services, we can strive towards better outcomes for women living with these conditions.

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