Prof Gyaneshwar: Lupus likely to affect girls and women

Invited guests at the Lupus Foundation of Fiji launch at Novotel, Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

LUPUS is a condition that affects young girls who are at the peak of their reproductive capabilities.

Dr Rajat Gyaneshwar — Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Fiji National University — revealed this during the soft launch for the Lupus Foundation Fiji at Novotel Nadi last week.

“Within my own speciality of obstetrics and gynaecology, girls and women are more likely to pick up the condition and what concerns me is that it can make it difficult for them to get pregnant and when they do get pregnant, there is an increased chance of miscarriage,” Prof Gyaneshwar said.

“Lupus can also be very challenging for us in obstetrics and gynaecology because it is a condition that can cause blood to clot and pregnancies is a time when you want blood to move through the system freely and when there are risks, we have to intervene and our intervention has some issues and problems as well.”

The experienced Fijian gynaecologist, who had been in the medical field for the past 50 years, said one of the difficulties they encountered within their normal run of clinical practice was they did not see lupus cases on a regular basis.

He said lupus mimicked almost every disease that people could think of, so the important thing in managing somebody with a chronic disease of uncertain progression was to equip the family and the person involved to be able to deal with it.

Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue and its symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.

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