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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues because it confuses it for something foreign. Lupus (SLE) can affect various parts of the body like the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is characterized by the production of unusual antibodies in the blood.

Symptoms vary from person to person and these can periodically get worse that is flare up and then again improve. Some of the most common symptoms of lupus include painful or swollen joints (arthritis), unexplained periodic fever, and extreme fatigue. A characteristic red skin rash which is called the butterfly or malar rash may appear across the nose and cheeks of the patient. Rashes may also occur on the other parts of the face and ears, upper arms, shoulders, chest, and hands. Many people with lupus are sensitive to sunlight (called photosensitivity) and thus the skin rashes often first develop or worsen after exposure to the sun. People may also show signs of chest pain upon deep breathing, unusual loss of hair, swelling (oedema) in legs or around eyes, mouth ulcers etc. A phenomenon called the Raynaud's phenomenon may occur in some people where the fingers or toes become pale and purple from cold or stress.

While there's no cure for lupus, current treatments of SLE focus on improving the quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimising flare-ups. The treatments depend on how severe the symptoms are, whether the organs are affected because of it and how much the symptoms are affecting everyday life. For mild symptoms, the treatment mainly addresses to cure the flare ups and joint pains, lower fatigue and prevent the occurrence of rashes on the skin. Avoiding the sun is very important as exposure to sun rays enhance rashes on the skin. Use of sunscreens, covering the exposed portions etc can prevent direct hitting by the sunrays. Creams and drugs are also prescribed by the doctor to cure the flare ups and provide relief to the patient. For severe symptoms of lupus, the Corticosteroids are taken in higher dosage. Also, medicines which suppresses the immune system called immunosuppressants can be taken.

How is the treatment done?

In order to diagnose systemic lupus erythematosus and its severity, dermatologists or rheumatologists may prescribe physical examinations. Those exams include blood tests, such as antibody tests and a complete blood count, a urinalysis and a chest X-ray. These tests help to understand the extent of sensitivity to sun, extent of joint pain, fatigue, hair loss, hair thinning et cetera.

There is no cure to this disease, treatment can only help to lessen the symptoms and ease the pain. Treatment begins with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet. Further disease management includes medication such as anti-inflammatories and steroids depending on the type of symptoms and the severity. Medications include Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Antimalarial drugs, Corticosteroids and immune suppressants and biologics. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs include drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen that help to decrease joint swelling, joint pain, fever, and inflammation of the heart and lung linings. Every patient with lupus is given the antimalarial drug called Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) that helps lessen arthritis, fatigue, rashes, and mouth sores. Patients with serious or life-threatening problems of lupus such as kidney inflammation, lung or heart involvement, and central nervous system symptoms need corticosteroids and immune suppressants. These drugs are stronger than the earlier ones that suppress the immune system and include azathioprine (Imuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) et cetera. Belimumab (Benlysta), a type of biomedic can be used for the treatment of active mild SLE in adult patients.

Apart from the medical treatment, treatment also includes maintaining a proper diet, protecting as much from sun rays and definite self care.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person must immediately consult a doctor when symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus show up. People with symptoms of a heart attack like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting along with numbness, tingling, or weakness, fever etc call for doctor’s attention. Person with symptoms of rashes, fever, joint pain are eligible for the treatment of lupus.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus occur periodically. They keep occurring and disappearing only to flare up after a while. If the symptoms have occurred just once and do not follow a periodic pattern, then the person may not need any treatment. One time occurrence may be due to some allergic reactions or infection and does not call for medical assistance of lupus.

Are there any side effects?

Treatment of SLE and its medicines have an adverse effect on the body if used for a long time or taken in high doses. Medicines for lupus like NSAIDs can cause serious side effects like stomach bleeding or kidney damage. Side effects for antimalarial drugs can include stomach upset and, very rarely, damage to the retina of the eye. Corticosteroids, if used over a long period of time can cause side effects which include weight gain, easy bruising, thinning bones (osteoporosis), high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of infection. Immunosuppressants are known to cause liver damage, decreased fertility and an increased risk of cancer. Other possible side effects include nausea, diarrhea, allergy and depression.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the treatment, it is very important for each individual to take immense self care. Medicines and routine check ups must be followed as prescribed by the doctor. It is very vital to protect oneself from the sun rays. Wearing clothes with maximum coverage, sunglasses and masks can prevent the relapse of rashes and additional symptoms of SLE. Maintaining a healthy diet and taking adequate rests and doing exercises properly are some of the vitals each patient must take care of.

How long does it take to recover?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a disease that keeps recurring and is known to have no cure till yet. However, medicines are available that help to remove the flare ups and prevent them from recurring. Also, medicines which help to treat joint pain, chest pain et cetera are used over a period and SLE is brought under control. There is no definitive time period as treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. Severe life-threatening ones require a longer time for treatment, sometimes with surgeries while mild ones can be cured by taking medicines for the required time span.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Treatment of lupus is a cost incurring procedure. It approximately ranges between Rs. 2,00,000/- to Rs. 10,00,000/- .

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune disease and is known to have no permanent cure. This disease can only be treated so lower the pain in the joints, chest and other parts and also to lessen the rashes or flare ups on the skin.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternative treatments also include medicines and therapies which aim at keeping the disease from progressing. These alternative treatments include stem cell transplantation and biologic treatment. Also, home remedies can help cope up with lupus. Learning stress management, getting enough rest and proper skin care can help to prevent worsening of the condition.

Safety: High Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: High Price Range:

Rs,2,00,000- Rs 10,00,000

Popular Health Tips

How Does Lupus Nephritis Affect Your Kidneys?

DM - Nephrology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Nephrologist, Delhi
How Does Lupus Nephritis Affect Your Kidneys?

Most people believe kidneys to be organs solely responsible for the filtration of blood and production of urine. But the truth is that the kidneys perform a host of vital functions in the body which include regulation of blood pressure, blood volume, and blood Ph. Around half of the individuals affected by lupus suffer from kidney problems, and the most affected part is the glomerulus whose function is filtering substances from the blood.

Effects of lupus nephritis on the kidneys
Lupus itself doesn’t lead to kidney infection or inflammation. But lupus nephritis, which is the Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) that affects the kidneys and the medications used for treating the condition tend to suppress the immune system. It makes the person affected with lupus vulnerable to the infections of various types. It is one of the most severe conditions of that could be encountered by a person wherein the immune system starts attacking various parts of the body as they would tackle a disease.

Lupus nephritis makes the kidney unable to remove the waste materials effectively from the blood. This leads to loss of control over the amounts of fluids regulating in the body. As a result, an abnormal amount of waste can build up in the blood resulting in edema or swelling.

When left untreated, these conditions can cause scarring along with permanent damage to the kidneys and end-stage renal disease. When a person has end stage renal disease, he or she needs regular filtering of the waste products of the body with the help of a machine. In severe cases, a kidney transplant may be required to ensure that at least one kidney is working properly.

Individuals who are susceptible to developing lupus nephritis:
A person with lupus may see the symptoms of lupus nephritis within 5 years and the people aged between 20 and 40 years are most vulnerable to it. In some common instances, it is seen that lupus nephritis is leading to unexplained weight gain along with swelling and puffiness in different parts of the body such as ankles, hands, eyelids, legs, and feet. During the first stages, these symptoms are often ignored which causes worsening of the condition. The urine may also become frothy or foamy with a reddish tinge in it. It is estimated that about 40 percent of children having lupus would develop kidney complications. Lupus nephritis may also cause increased urination, blood in the urine and elevated blood pressure.

If you have lupus, it is imperative to consult with a nephrologist. Testing a sample of the urine can help in showing the problems in the functioning of the kidneys. Your doctor will advise you about the diagnostic tests that can help in determining whether the disease has progressed to severe levels and start with the treatment process accordingly.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Popular Questions & Answers

Dear Sir, I am aged-45, Female, Weight-29 kg, from Bangladesh. I am suffering from MCTD Disease from 1999. At present I am under supervision of two doctors: One doctor is from Kolkata India, Dr. Asim Kumar Pal, MD, FICA (USA), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Edin), FRCP (London). Peerless Hospital & B.K.Roy Research Center Kolkata India, Since 1999 every year 3 times, and another doctor is from Bangladesh Professor Dr. Syed Atiqul Haq MBBS, FRCP, FCPS, MD, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka, Since 2006 every year 3 times. I am taking medicine methotrexate weekly since 1999 but last two years I am not taking this medicine. I also take Nidipin SR. Apart from these two medicine. I take some other medicine for short period of time recommended by my doctors. I also took steroid (Prednisone) medicine for last 9 years but not regularly. I took this medicine once in every four/six month. As a side effect of this medicine my femoral head’s blood supply stops and doctor suggested me for surgery. I did this in Apollo hospitals, Delhi. In every three months I do some diagnostic test (TC, DC ESR, AST, SGOT, Urine R/A, Chest X ray PA view, etc ….)all the reports are normal. At Present my problem are: •I can’t eat anything normally. If I try to eat it cramp in my stomach and starts beating. •Fever at least ¾ time in every month. •Whole body pain.\ •I Can’t grip my hand. •I Can’t seat alone on the floor for last 5 years. •Gastro problem. •Always cough Can I have treatment in your hospital? I request your suggestion.

Allergist/Immunologist, Chennai
no it seems like a rhumatological problem. you are in good hands. please follow the medications prescribed by yout doctors. also discuss with doctors if newer biologicals can be used.

RNP/sm intensity is 1, sm intensity is 1, RO-52 intensity us 17, SSB intensity is 1, PM-scl is 2, JO-1 intensity is 1, ds-DNA is 2, control CO is 88.

Homeopath, Raebareli
Dear user kindly forward the reports and symptomatic details as of now for proper treatment and management support. For now take a dose of Rhus tox 30 it will act in the main disease itself but do not repeat further till analysis is done reviewing your reports once you forward along with details. Tc.

What is the meaning of ANA +ve. What is treatment available for it and how does it cost.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
General Physician, Ghaziabad
ANA is a type of antibody test usually positive in auto immune disorders some types of arthritis, vasculitis etc. But the titre of the test makes it significant. It can be positive in low titres like 1: 40 or 1: 80 in the general population without any disease as well. So the report has to be clinically corelated and cause for positivity has to be found out to treat it.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Allergies of Respiratory System
Hi, my name is Dr Anupama Mehta. I am a homeopathic consultant. I've been practising homoeopathy for the last 16 years and presently I am based in Gurgaon. Today i'll be speaking to you about the allergies of respiratory system and allergy in the condition when our body reacts abnormally to a substance which is considered harmless for most people.

The substance can enter our body through our eyes, nose, mouth or skin. When the substance enters our body it triggers an allergic reaction mediated through the IgE antibodies. This causes the release of the chemicals which cause inflammation like histamine and this can cause various symptoms like skin rashes, headaches, itchy runny nose, swelling, nausea or diarrhea among the few. The more severe allergic reactions are anaphylaxis and this can be life-threatening. The respiratory energies are caused by house dust mite, potions or the air pollution or pets or mold. While these do not usually cause anaphylactic reaction, they can cause very troublesome some tools which can seriously affect a person's quality of life and his health.

The most common allergy is due to aero allergens are rhinitis which can affect the nose. The asthma, which affects the lungs or they may occur together or really they can be eczema on alta carya affecting the skin. The respiratory allergies can be seasonal like the hay fever which is caused by Pollen or it can occur throughout the year in the cases when it is caused by indoor allergens. The most common symptoms are itchy or runny nose, congestion of the nose, sneezing. It is given coughing or tightness of chest, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, itchy and inflamed eyes, itchy skin rashes and sinuses headaches, poor concentration and disturbs. Most allergic asthma is seen in children and only the mildest cases of allergic asthma will disappear by poverty. In case this person continue to have difficulty after stability the causal agent of asthma mostly becomes the infection.

The best way to avoid the allergy is to avoid allergen but in most cases of respiratory allergies the allergen is either unidentifiable or unavoidable like you can't avoid going to office. The children have to go to school. They have to play in the park so what can you do. You can wear masks, you can avoid your funny pet at home. You can use the humidifier with your AC, wash your bed linens at least once a week or stay indoors during peak all in time. Steam inhalation is also won best way to elevate the system. I often advise my patients to make steam inhalation a habit at least twice a week. The single step goes a long way in warding off potential episode.

Any treatment for allergy would be effective only if we treat the allergy rather than alleviating the symptoms only because each exposure would bring back the symptoms and sometimes increased severity. The antihistamines which are usually used to treat allergy only to alleviate and mass the symptoms but they do not prevent their progression. But homeopathy on the other hand seeks to cure the allergy itself. Being honesty approach to health and disease homeopathy has to build immunity. It also helps to be relief in acute attacks of energies while helping to cure the allergy from the root. In case of asthma homeopathic medicines can bring up to dilation make it easier to breathe and bring out to fly. some homeopathic medicines which are effective and give similarities are arsenic album ABM creeper bryonia bromium hipersilve justitia and sambucus nigra but for cure of your allergy you must visit your homeopathic consultant who will after the case is taking prescribe a constitutional medicine for you to help cure your allergy. Compliance and persistence with homeopathic treatment help in efficient results. If you know if you wish to know more about the allergies of the homeopathic treatment you can contact me through or visit my clinic.

My clinic in south city 2, Gurgaon.

Thank you. Best of health to you.
Play video
Digestive And Immune System
The digestive system is responsible for your overall well-being. It breaks down the food you eat into essential nutrients that help repair cells, stimulate growth, and give your body energy.
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Non-Surgical Hair Replacement System
Hi, this is Sonia Sharma from Looks Forever. Today I m going to discuss something which is very different from non-surgical hair replacement system, from transplantation and for all kind of hair related problems.

Person who don t want to go for non-surgical hair replacement system or transplantation or any kind of a surgery or any kind of a treatment, they can go to the scalp micro pigmentation. This is the new and advanced technology which is actually a medical hair line tattooing which we start doing with the help of this pen. This is very nice technology in which you can gain your proper hairline and there is a fibre kind of a thing which we will just tattoo in your proper area of the baldness. This will help you out to camouflage the proper hairline. If you had any kind of a burn or any kind of rashes or any kind of alopecia or patches or whatever you can say. So, you are able to camouflage all these kinds of patches with the help of this micro pigmentation.
We have introduced these kinds of a thing because nowadays people are not so much interested in that kind of a thing, they don t want a much hair, they want a very genuine, a very natural kind of a hairline. So, that they can be bald as well. They can give a bald look with a grooming effect.

So, what exactly scalp micro pigmentation is doing is just giving you a groomed effect. This can be used by male, by females or any kind of a patient who just wants to camouflage their baldness or a few patches if you are having in your head.

This is the best and latest technology what the Looks Forever is going to introduce. So you can come here and we can give you if you don t want hair or patches and you want a very great kind of a bald look, we are able to give you these kinds of effects. Which is very much give, give you a youthfulness. This treatment is basically done within 3-4 sessions and each session will take three to four hours, a single session will be there and after each session, you have to take 3 to 4 weeks of a difference so that it will be camouflage properly.
There are three to four shades we are having so that we can give you different shades because we know your follicles are not in the same colour, same quality. So, this will you a very realistic look. So, you can go, even your friends, your family, they will not be able to recognize that you are using any kind of a different thing and this is a very latest one and having a permanent effect. So, you can, whatever you want to go for that and this will give you a 3D effect. So, that anybody who is seeing will be going to recognize that there is any a little bit of fibrous baldness over there and there are a few fibres in your head. So, that you can go in the public very confidently.There is nothing at all, this is very good for your hairs and this is very realistic. So please go through this, scalp micro needling. This is the pen which is not going to hurt you and it will hardly take two to three hours.

Visit Looks Forever, this is our best technology we are going to give you soon and better results.
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Non Surgical Hair Replacement Systems
How Non Surgical Hair Replacement systems are performed?
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Healthy Reproductive System
Hi friends, I am Dr Ekta Singh, Gynaecologist in Noida. Aaj hum baat karenge ke reproductive tract ki care kaisi karni chahiye, kyunki aap jaante hai prevention is always better than cure.

First of all, hume apna proper hygiene maintain karni chahiye private parts ki. For that water wash is good enough. Soap ka regular use karna is not good actually. And then jab humare menses aate hain, then we should change our pads in every 3 to 4 hours, and we should practise safe sex practices. Aap jaante hai bahut saare sexually transmitted diseases hai, jese ki, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes, Syphilis etc. So there are barrier methods that you can use. Then you have, Contraceptive care, ya fir hum ise birth controlling method bhi kehte hai, jo ki humein use karna chahiye.

Kabhi kabhi, hum regularly use karte hain emergency contraceptive ka, that is not good. Not a healthy practice. There are barrier methods such as IUCT, jisse Copper T kehte hain, ya birth controlling pills hote hain jo aap regular basis pe letey ho, that are healthier alternatives.

And then, aap ko shayad pata ho, that every lady should do and know breast self examination. Humein aapne har mahina after menses, every month, we should select a date, after our menses, we should do, aapne breast ka self examination karna chahiye. Jab hum bath le rahe hotey hain, uss samay with soapy hands, with three fingers we should do the breast self examination. And then, aapne shayad Pap Smear ka naam suna hoga. Pap smear is a test jisse hum apne uterus ke mouth ka test karte hain. Womb ke mouth ko hum cervix kehte hai. Woh healthy hai ya nahin, woh ek chhote se test se, jab aap OPD mein jaate ho, aapne gynaecologist ke paas, ek simple test hai, woh aap le saakte ho, karwa sakte ho, Liquid based cytology kehlate hai. Agar hum sexually active hai, lag bhag, sexually active huye hume 3 saal huye hai toh hum karwa sakte hai. Hume shuru karwa dena chahiye, every 3 years mein ya 5 years mein, ya humari umaar 21 years se zyada hai, to hi. Aur agar humare umaar 35 years se zyaada hain, toh ek Human Papilloma Virus test hota hai, woh bhi bahut zaroori hai karana.

Iske alava kuch general advices hai jo aap follow karenge toh bahut achha hoga. Jaise, simple, humein paani dher saara peena chahiye. Aap jaante hain humaare blood mein, kareeb 50 to 60% water content hota hai. Ye water humare body ke har cell tak nutrition pahuchata hai, aur toxins remove karke urine ke raaste yeh remove karte hai. Toh water aapka lena, kareeb 3-4 litre lena is very good. Depends ki agr summer hai toh thoda zada pani lijiye, winter mein thoda kam bhi chalega.

And then, high fibre diet, nutritious diet humein lena chahiye. Woh diet, jisme minerals, vitamins zyada hai aur fibres hai. Yeh aapke constipation ko rokegi aur nutrition pahuchayegi body mein.

Then, oxins avoid karna chahiye. Aajkal bahut saare advanced bachhe hain, smoking karte hain, alcohol is a status symbol, and drugs. These are actually not good at all. Other toxins jo hum bahut zyada use karte hain, jse ki:

Microwave ka use, that is not good.
Plastic wares mein hum khaana paakate hai microwave ke andar.
Hum bottles le jaate hain plastic ki, usse car mein rakhkhe rakhkhe garam ho jaate hain and that water is really dangerous.
And then aapko exercise, regular exercise is very good. Lekin aap agar gym mein bahut intense exercise karte ho, that is sometimes, not very good.
Swimming, walking, is all good.
And iske alava, last but not the least, humein positive thinking karni chahiye.
Jaise aap jaante hain, stress is absolutely, absolutely unhealthy for us, for our health. And agar aapko lagta hai ki kahin koi abnormalities nazar aatey hai, toh aap apne gynaecologist se mil sakte hain. Aur agar kuchh bhi nahin nazar aatey hain to sb normal hain, toh bhi aap ek routine check up ke liye apne gynaecologist se mile toh aap apne health ko leke sure ho sakte hai.

Aur agar aap mujhse consultation lena chahte hain, toh aap Lybrate se le saakte hai. Otherwise you can come to my clinic, which is situated in Noida, 61 sector, C 20.

Thats all, Thank You. Bye.
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