Lupus Awareness Month

4th May 2016

Lupus is a chronic and inflammatory medical condition that affects the body’s immune system’s normal functioning by making it attack the healthy tissues and organs in the body. Lupus can cause inflammation in various organs and tissues of the body such as the joints, kidneys, skin, blood cells, lungs and the heart. Lupus can be quite difficult to diagnose correctly as most of its signs and symptoms are similar to several other medical ailments. At times, some people are genetically more vulnerable towards contracting this disease that may be easily triggered by certain drugs, infections or even sunlight.

The commonly seen signs and symptoms are large in number and each case exhibits unique combination of the symptoms in every patient. These symptoms may occur suddenly or develop gradually over a period of time. The symptoms may be permanent or even temporary in duration. Most cases of lupus are distinctive with the symptoms occurring in episodes (called as ‘flares’) when the signs are more pronounced. The common symptoms of lupus include fever, fatigue, joint pain, stiff joints, swollen joints, butterfly-shaped rash covering both cheeks and the bridge of the nose, skin lesions may appear (worsen) with exposure to the sun (photosensitivity), Raynaud’s phenomenon that includes the fingers and toes turning bluish white with prolonged exposure to cold or stress, shortness of breath, headache, dry eyes, chest pain (angina), confusion and memory loss even.

Although the causes for the development of lupus are not yet known there are certain risk factors that are known to increase the chances of developing lupus in the person. Lupus, most likely develops due to a combination of several specific environmental factors as well as genetics. It has been observed that people with a genetic predisposition are more vulnerable towards developing lupus as it can be easily triggered by an environmental factor. Some of the potential triggering factors for lupus may include exposure to sunlight (photosensitivity), infections and certain medicinal drugs such as anti-seizure medicines, blood pressure medications and antibiotics.

Lupus can spread and affect other healthy organs such as the kidneys, which can suffer serious damage (even renal failure). Brain and the central nervous system are also affected by lupus and can result in headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, behavioral changes, seizures or even stroke. The blood and the blood vessels may face problems such as anemia, increased risk of bleeding or blood clots. The lungs may also suffer from an inflammation of the chest cavity lining (also called pleurisy) that can result in breathing difficulties. The heart is also affected as it can cause the heart muscles to become inflamed and increases the risk of heart attacks. Lupus is also known to increase the risk of infections, cancer, bone tissue death (avascular necrosis) as well as several complications during pregnancy.

The diagnosis of lupus is somewhat difficult as the signs and symptoms vary with individual cases. The diagnosis of lupus includes a combination of several types of diagnostic tests such as blood and urine tests, checking for signs and symptoms as well as a complete physical examination. Imaging tests such as chest x-ray may reveal abnormalities in the lugs and an echocardiogram produces real-time images of the heart while it is beating.

Treatment for lupus depends on the signs and symptoms. Determining how the signs and symptoms should be treated and what medications to use will require a careful discussion regarding the advantages and risks with the doctor. As the signs and symptoms flare and subside, the patient and the doctor may find the most-suitable treatment for the patient.

Medications are used initially to control the signs and symptoms displayed in cases of lupus. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat pain and swelling as well as the fever associated with lupus. Anti-malarial medications can also help in treating the symptoms of lupus. Certain corticosteroids can also be used to counter the swelling from lupus. Immunosuppressant medications help in comparatively more serious cases of lupus.

Travcure is the best and most popular option for foreign patients seeking efficient lupus treatment in India. Travcure is connected to the world’s largest network of global-standard hospitals and clinics in India that covers all its major cities. These are highly-equipped tertiary care multi-specialty hospitals and clinics that are managed by India’s most trusted and experienced medical professionals and specialists. Travcure offers each individual patient with a truly bespoke treatment package for getting the best and most efficient lupus treatment in India at the most affordable cost to the patient.

Our network assures you highest international standards

JCI and NABH Accreditations