a. What is lupus nephritis?

Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney caused by SLE. When kidneys are inflamed, they fail to function properly and can cause protein leakage. more than 50 percentage lupus patients develop nephritis. Based on the intensity of nephritis it is further classified.

b. Body symptoms:
Urine – foamy and dark urine
High blood pressure
Increase in body weight,
Swelling – ( especially in extremities like feet, ankle, hands and eyelids)
Increased urination especially at night
blood in the urine, sometimes blood in the stool
May or may not be associated with fever

c. Diagnosing methods
Urine test – test for proteinurea, 24Hour Urine Protein
Blood test – GFR test, Creatinine
Imaging tests like ultrasound
Kidney(Renal) Biopsy

D. Treatment options
Drugs to prevent blood clots
Drugs to maintain blood pressure

Treatment may vary from person to person based on the intensity of the disease.
If both the kidneys fail, dialysis and kidney transplant is recommended.

E. Suggested Diet
Low salt intake
Low protein intake
No Red meat
Low water intake (only if prescribed)

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Lupus cerebritis

Lupus cerebritis is a rare condition in which lupus affects the brain/Central Nervous System. Antibodies may be created in the blood which attacks the nerve cells or the blood vessels that feed them. It may sometimes interrupt the blood flow to nerves.

Body symptoms

  • Confusion, brain fog (clouded thinking), memory problems and difficulty in expressing their thoughts, depression
  • seizures (fits)
  • Headaches, dizziness, vision problems
  • Movement disorders like tremors
  • Inflammation in blood vessels of the brain and stroke can be very rare complications

Diagnosing methods

  • CT scan, MRI scan
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) for seizures
  • Lumbar puncture for infections
  • EMG/NCS (electromyelogram/nerve conduction study) may be used to evaluate neuropathy.
  • Cognitive function test for memory impairment
  • MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) and DSA (Digital Subtraction Angiography) for CNS vasculitis

[Side effects to the drugs given for lupus can also mimic symptoms of lupus cerebritis.]

Treatment options

  • Steroids are the mainstay drugs in the treatment of lupus cerebritis. Chemotherapeutic drugs, Mycophenolate mofetil, Rituximab are also given according to the severity of the disease.
  • As the main symptom of lupus cerebritis is headache, medications to alleviate headache will be given by the doctors
  • If seizures develop, anti-epileptic medications will be given.
  • Antidepressants are given for depression symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

  • Yoga; especially pranayama
  • Meditation
  • Right Nutrition
  • Counselling and Psychotherapy
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