Toni Braxton Leaves Hospital After Lupus Flare

Singer Toni Braxton was hospitalized over the weekend for a flare-up of Lupus.

The “Un-break My Heart” singer discussed her battle with the disease in November 2010, while accepting a Woman in Achievement award from the 8th Annual Lupus LA Bag Ladies Luncheon. An uncle had previously died of complications of  Lupus, and her brother also shares the diagnosis.

The current hospitalization was by blood clots and complications relating to Lupus.

Toni Tweeted that she was going home today:

What is my risk of Lupus?

Anyone can get lupus. But 9 out of 10 people who have it are women. African American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. It’s also more common in Hispanic/Latino, Asian, and American Indian women.

Both African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more symptoms at diagnosis (including kidney problems).

They also tend to have more severe disease than whites. For example, African American patients have more seizures and strokes, while Hispanic/Latino patients have more heart problems. We don’t understand why some people seem to have more problems with lupus than others.

Lupus is most common in women between the ages of 15 and 44. These are roughly the years when most women are able to have babies. Scientists think a woman’s hormones may have something to do with getting lupus. But it’s important to remember that men and older people can get it, too.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, relatives of people with lupus have an approximately 5-13 percent chance of developing lupus. However, only about 5 percent of children will develop lupus if their mother has lupus.

How do I know if I have Lupus?

The Lupus Foundation of American has a symptoms checklist .

Do you have the any of the following signs or symptoms?

1. Achy, painful and/or swollen joints for more than three months.

2. Fingers and/or toes become red or blue, or feel numb or painful.

3. Sores in your mouth or nose that lasted more than five days, or sores on your skin that would not heal.

4. Anemia, a low white blood cell count, or a low platelet count.

5. Redness or rash in the shape of a butterfly across your nose and cheeks.

6. A fever over 100° F for more than a few days.

7. Photosensitivity, a reaction to sun or light that causes a skin rash to appear or get worse.

8. Chest pain while taking deep breaths.

9. Protein in your urine, or swelling in your legs and ankles on both sides at the same time.

10. Persistent, extreme fatigue and weakness for days or weeks at a time, even after plenty of sleep.

11. Seizure or unexplained confusion that last for more than an hour.

12. Blood clot(s).

13. Heart attack or stroke.

14. Miscarriage(s).

15. Sudden, unexplained hair loss.

If you answer the questionnaire on their website, it will give you a printable form you can take to your doctor to discuss your risk.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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