June 9, 2021
Enrico Costabile is sharing his story during Men’s Health Month to encourage others to avoid avoidance.
“It’s better to ask and rule it out than to let it go untreated for too long. As men, we normally shrug symptoms off, but with lupus it can be a life-or-death situation like it nearly was for me. Get checked out before it is too late.”
While diagnosed in 2017, Enrico may have had lupus since he was 15. His symptoms were weight loss, extreme fatigue, headaches, joint pain, and stomach issues. People thought it had to be depression, anxiety, drug use. But Enrico knew it wasn’t any of those things and that something just wasn’t right.
After suddenly experiencing severe nausea and drastic weight loss, he saw the gastroenterologist he had seen since childhood and was diagnosed with the bacterial infection in the digestive tract called h pylori. After being treated with an antibiotic, the stomach problems seemed to be solved.
But when Enrico came back several months later with the same issues – nausea and more weight loss, the doctor was concerned. He had a hunch that the cause could be an autoimmune issue and referred Enrico to a rheumatologist – the type of specialist who most commonly treats lupus. His blood work came back and confirmed the diagnosis – it was lupus. While Enrico is feeling better, he is now struggling with controlling his blood pressure.
“There will always be days,” he says.
Enrico supports scientific discovery as the best route to relief. “Lupus research is vitally important to me because I’m tired of being afraid of when the next flare is coming or how bad it will be. I turned my fear into purpose and became a huge advocate for the Lupus Research Alliance.”
Enrico’s message is especially fitting during Men’s Health Month, the moment men are urged to be proactive about their own health. He hopes to inspire others to get diagnosed and to get involved. “Maybe one day you will shine a light on men with lupus like I have. Use your anger and use it for good. Help me, help others!!