ICBAS - Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar

One Health — Once upon a time

Sometimes… love

Once upon a time, there was a hard-working and active young woman named Susana, and she seemed happy. However, with a very busy professional life, with a lot of stress and a huge weight of responsibility for her performance, Susana had no rest hours. Her love life was in the third plan and, over time, her boyfriend António was unhappy, and decided to call off the engagement. Susana suffered a lot with the end of the relationship, isolated herself in her world and increasingly felt the weight of professional responsibility. After a few months, she began to experience joint pain with inflammation, followed by red spots on her face that looked like butterfly wings, and then fever. She consulted several doctors until she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease. She started treatment with steroids and hydroxychloroquine, and improved, but she was obliged to receive regular medical care.

The bottom line

Autoimmune diseases are increasing in the western world. Daily stress, noise pollution and life events, such as the one suffered by Susana, can be the “trigger” for the awakening of an autoimmune disease.

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