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Do you have lupus? Your ancestor was a real survivor

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

The Black Death – or bubonic plague – devastated whole swaths of the human population in Europe, Asia and Africa during the 14th century. New studies indicate that the living population of the world today is still experiencing echoes of that time in the form of increased susceptibility to certain autoimmune disorders, including lupus.

In other words, if you have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or the related condition of rheumatoid arthritis, you probably had an ancestor who actually caught and survived the plague. That hyper-reactive autoimmune system that causes problems for you today may have actually given your ancestors a better shot at survival in the past.

That may be a small comfort, but it could also lead to new treatments

The newest studies on the subject, which show that certain autoimmune disorders may be adaptive responses to illnesses in the past that get coded into human genetics, are not the first of their kind. Geneticists think that there are more connections between autoimmune disorders and triggers throughout human history waiting to be discovered.

This is important because autoimmune disorders are still poorly understood. Nobody is 100% certain why some people have autoimmune systems that simply go haywire, and that can make them hard to control and treat. The more medical science understands how the “faults” in human genetics happen, the closer they get to finding an “off switch” that can give patients real relief.

In the meantime, it’s important to recognize that SLE can be very debilitating. If you have lupus and you’re no longer able to work, applying for Social Security Disability benefits may provide the financial security that you need. Seeking legal guidance can help you assert your claim as successfully as possible.