Lupus: Why It Threatens Pregnant Women The Most
The disease possesses severe threats to both the mother’s and fetus’s lives
18 September 2017
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – simply known as Lupus – has become an A-list disease in terms of prominence; ever since the American pop queen Selena Gomez revealed she was, and still is, struggling with the disease.
However, the aforementioned disease targets another different celebrity list, represented by and large in women, and mothers!
A host of relatively new studies, one conducted at Ohio University, indicated a connection between Estrogen – female sex hormone – and the autoimmune disease. Hence, women are far more likely to develop lupus, and similar autoimmune disorders (psoriasis, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.)
Autoimmune disorders happen when the immune system can’t tell the difference between the foreign invader – viruses, bacteria, and germs – and the body’s healthy tissues. Thus, our defence mechanism starts attacking itself, and floods the body with inflammatory proteins, causing pain and damage in several parts and organs of the body.
Lupus can target skin, bones, muscles, blood, heart, lungs and kidneys. Causing damages and lesions like: thick, red scaly patches on the skin, deformities of the hands and feet, anemia, pericarditis, and chronic renal impairment.
However, lupus can cause the most serious damage to women if developed while pregnancy, as it may possess severe threats to both the mother’s and fetus’s lives. The autoimmune disease also sets the stage for serious postnatal complications for both mummy and baby in nearly 50% of the developed-while-pregnant cases.
Having lupus before pregnancy does NOT affect the chances of conceiving, however, it is advised to consult a medical specialist before considering becoming pregnant.
Advice for Pregnant Women Fighting Lupus:
1- Visit your doctor constantly to follow up with both your baby’s health and yours.
2- Keep track of your blood pressure levels, as pregnant women struggling with lupus have higher chances of developing Eclampsia.
3- Watch out for protein levels in one’s urine.
4- Look out for the fetus’s development stages.
5- Keep a healthy, balanced diet, to avoid gaining weight while pregnant.
6- Watch out for lupus symptoms, like: swollen joints, fluid retention, skin rashes, and hair changes.
7- Quit smoking, and stop drinking alcohol.