Nation e-Edition

Lupus danger signs

Lupus danger signs Some of the participants in the seminar for newly diagnosed lupus patients.

Mon, September 13, 2010 - 12:00 AM

KIDNEY DISEASE and diabetes are two health threats of which lupus patients have to be wary.

Diabetologist Dr Colette George said some lupus patients were at risk of steroid-induced diabetes due to the nature of the disease.

“At some point in time many lupus patients need to be treated with steroids and, depending on the severity, may need to be treated in high doses. This can be antagonistic to the production and action of insulin,” she said.

George was speaking to the DAILY NATION yesterday at the annual Hope Foundation seminar for newly diagnosed lupus patients at the Amaryllis Beach Resort, Palm Beach, Hastings, Christ Church.

This was the first time George had spoken at the event, now in its 18th year.

She stressed this type of diabetes was not peculiar to lupus patients and could occur in anyone who required the use of steroids.

“Most people on steroids will not develop this type of diabetes. However, there are people who are predisposed to it coupled with Barbados’ high prevalence of diabetes sufferers,” she said.

George said the methods of treatment for steroid-induced diabetes included insulin, tablets or proper diet, depending on the severity of the disease.

She added this type of diabetes usually affected the post-prandial glucose level (after eating) instead of the pre-prandial level (before eating) in the morning. so she advised those with it to test themselves two hours after eating breakfast.

President of the Hope Foundation, Shelly Weir, said the seminar was a good place for those newly diagnosed with lupus to ask questions they could not ask during a regular doctor’s visit, as well as interact with those who had been living with the disease for a longer period of time.

Test strips

Nephrologist Professor George Nicholson advised lupus patients to use special “test strips” to check their urine for protein – an indication of kidney disease.

“Kidney disease when it begins is very silent while lupus has several symptoms. so it is important for patients to monitor themselves. Early detection is important,” he said.

Dr Cindy Flower, a rheumatologist, said there were 12 to 25 new lupus patients diagnosed per year and a total of around 2 300 registered people diagnosed with the disease up to 2009.

“For such a small island, this puts us third in the world in prevalence for the disease concerning reported cases,” she said.

Flower said lupus primarily affected black women of child-bearing age, being 14 times more common in women.

Lupus is an auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks healthy tissue. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. (CA)

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Posted by Paula Foster 4 years, 1 month ago
I am a newly qualified Nurse and I have researched diabetes for the past 6 years, I came to the conclusion that Diabetic patients needs educating about diabetes and how to control this disease, and to be made fully aware at all times of any available literature concerning Diabetes, with out education being available and making certain that patients understand the literature, it is very difficult for them to comply with the requirements for a healthy life.My vote is, it does not really matter what the onset of Diabetes maybe, I think educating patients is the answer and keeping them informed, patients should have a therapeutic, trust worthy relationship with those involved in their care and should be allowed to ask question concerning their illness at any given time.

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Posted by Fort. Lauderdale 4 years, 1 month ago
Paula congratulation to you on your acheivement. You're so right.. educate..educate.. educate. It is very important for these pts. to know the pros & cons., but unfortunately we don't have the time to talk to them. They spend so much time in the waiting area of the Dr.s office by the time you see the Dr., 2 2's, he finish with you & in thehosp setting the nurses are too busy/short of staff to teach. So each opportunity count when one can educate. I'm also glad that Lupus is getting attention because this is another Diagnosis that is missed or treated for something else.

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Posted by Wellness Life Coach 4 years, 1 month ago
Alternative medicine is the key to treating lupus and other auto-immune diseases. If steroids can cause the body "to be antagonistic to the production and action of insulin," then patients should be given alternative treatment methods. There are many natural protocols that are highly effective, without side effects. Unfortunately, most MD will not think outside of the box and it's up to the patient to ask what other choices are available to them. As Fort Lauderdale wrote, “educate... educate... education....” This is the first step in a long process of maintaining good health.

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