10th May is a dedicated World Lupus Day. On this day focus is given to increase awareness regarding Lupus disease. Lupus i.e SLE [Systemic Lupus Erythematosus] predominantly affects young females and sometimes children also. In this disease body’s defence system mistakenly attacks its own body organs. It can present in many different ways and are mistaken for symptoms of other diseases. It may take weeks to months to diagnose this disease. Patient can have mild symptoms like joint pain, facial skin rash to serious conditions like kidney failure, stroke. Hence its very critical to diagnose and treat it promptly to avoid organ damage. Symptoms of SLE disease may not be present at one time hence its very important to correlate prior symptoms for diagnosis. Sometimes SLE disease can occur in other family members also. A single positive blood test cannot label few symptoms as that of SLE. It requires proper symptoms, basic and special tests to diagnose as SLE.
Basic care like sun-protection, exercise, proper diet cannot be neglected. Newer medical treatment especially biological drugs have improved outcomes of this disease. Steroids of low dose and short duration can bring quick recovery so no need to be scared of. Hygiene is very important because infection can complicate treatment and may prove to be life threatening. Medicines has to be modified during pregnancy hence doctor has to be well informed about it. Lupus patients can have healthy pregnancy and delivery with close monitoring. There can be intermittent episodes of increased disease activity which can be managed with drug modifications. In view of multiple body issues, long treatment duration these patients require emotional, social, financial support so that they can continue their fight against the disease.
Overall, SLE is a great mimicker which can confuse us so it should be always be under suspicion. Young female having joint pain with or without other symptoms should raise possibility of SLE. Good compliance with medicines is very important because treatment can be of long duration.