As World Lupus Day is being observed on Sunday, Dr Uma Chakravadhanula, dermatologist at KIMS Hospital explains about the causes and treatments of this incurable disease and throws light on the care to be taken for managing Lupus in this interview.
Can you explain about Lupus?
Lupus is an auto-immune disease where body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks its own healthy tissues. As a result severe inflammation occurs in the tissues leading to the disease. Normally Lupus affects parts like joints, kidney, blood, lungs, heart, skin, among other parts. If it affects skin red rashes are formed on the skin.
What are the causes of Lupus?
As I said it occurs due to immune system’s hyperactivity which results in damage of body’s healthy tissues. Mostly it is due to genetic reasons and it occurs in middle age in majority of the patients. There are no environmental or lifestyle causes which lead to lumps but they may aggravate the situation.
What is the treatment available?
Lupus is treated by steroids and immuno suppression drugs. Even stem cell therapy is used at times, but stem cells have to be taken from the bone marrow of the patient, to be effective. Though advance treatments are available for treating lupus it cannot be cured completely. It can only be managed and controlled from further spreading to other organs.
How prevalent is lupus in our region?
When compared to western nations prevalence of Lupus in India is lesser. We receive about five to ten lupus complaints every month. There is also not much awareness about lupus, which has to be improved.
What care has to be taken by those affected with Lupus?
As Lupus cannot be cured permanently patient should be diligent in making sure that it does not aggravate. Treatment routine should be followed without fail or break, once Lupus is diagnosed. Lupus patients should not be exposed to sun.