Awareness key step in battle against lupus

Kathmandu, May 10

World Lupus Day was marked across the country today by organising different programmes.

The day is celebrated globally on May 10 with the aim of creating awareness of the disease. This year the day was marked with the theme ‘Lupus knows no boundaries’.

As per the data provided by National Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, of the 200 patients visiting the centre each day, 20 per cent of them are found to be suffering from lupus. The disease is more common among women.

“Nine out of 10 people who have lupus are women and the disease is most common among people between the ages of 15 and 45 years,” said Dr Shweta Nakarmi, consultant rheumatologist at the centre.

Fever, laziness, weight loss, appearance of butterfly shaped rashes, painful lumps, appearance of reddish and bluish rashes on hands upon touching water and upon exposure to cold, appearance of wound in palate and hair loss are some of the symptoms of the disease.

Lupus is also triggered by sunlight. “If we can start treatment early then we can save the patients from damage to lungs, kidneys and brain,” said Dr Nakarmi.

“In 90 per cent of the people suffering from lupus experience pain in joints. Therefore joint pain should never be ignored,” he said.

There are high risks for one to suffer from problems in kidneys and brain when s/he suffers from lupus.

“Lupus can cause serious kidney damage, affect brain and lungs. There are chances of developing inflammation of the chest cavity lining. People are also likely to lose their life when they suffer from lupus nephritis. Kidney disease caused by lupus may get worse over time and lead to kidney failure,” said Dr Nakarmi.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease caused by problems in body’s immune system and attacks normal healthy tissues. It results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and damage to joints, skin, heart and lungs.

However, awareness of the disease is still lacking among people in the country. “It is necessary to raise awareness of the disease among people,” added Dr Nakarmi.