Graft vs. host disease is a complicated condition that may occur after a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. This condition does not occur in the case of autologous i.e. when people receive their own cells. It only occurs in the case of allogeneic i.e. when a person receives bone marrow tissues or cells from a donor. It is a rare condition as the tissue and cells from the potential donor are checked to see if they suit the recipient or not. The chances of GVHD are 30% to 40% if the recipient and donor are related, 60% to 80% when the donor and recipient are not related. You must look out for signs like dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, muscle weakness, vaginal dryness, weight loss, joint pain and shortness of breath if you have just gone through a bone marrow or stem cell transplant.
You must consult a doctor as soon as the symptoms start becoming painful or annoying and start causing a hindrance in your daily routine. Do not ignore the signs as GVHD can cause damage to different organs of your body and there is also a risk of severe infections. Several lab and imaging tests will be done to diagnose the problems being caused by it. A biopsy of the skin and mucous membranes in the mouth or other parts of the body will help in determining GVHD. After the bone marrow or cell transplant, you will be prescribed with medications to suppress the immune. In most cases, your doctor will suggest you to continue with the same drugs until he thinks that your GVHD is in control. In some cases, prednisone (a steroid) may be prescribed.
If you have had bone marrow or stem cell transplant, you must look out for signs like dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, muscle weakness, vaginal dryness, weight loss, joint pain and shortness of breath. Do not ignore these signs. Some cases of GVHD are known to damage the liver, lungs, digestive tract or other body organs.
You are likely to experience slight discomfort after bone marrow or cell transplant. Do not panic and take every sign to be that of GVHD.
Many of the medications you are prescribed with may result in kidney or liver damage. You will be monitored regularly to keep these conditions in check.
You must make regular appointments with your doctor and keep a check on the health of other organs in your body. Consume the medications as advised by your doctor and take all the necessary precautions.
The time period of recovery will depend on the severity of your condition.
One session of consultation with your doctor may cost between ₹900 and ₹1300. In most cases, the same immune suppressing drugs are prescribed again. Therefore, the cost of medication will be the same.
Most cases of GVHD get treated permanently.
There are no alternatives to this treatment.