Each week, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) follows up with almost 100 individuals showing signs of lupus, said an official highlighting that the disease is not rare.
“We would like to emphasise that lupus is not as rare as people may believe. Each week, we follow up with almost 100 individuals showing signs of lupus. Out of these patients, two to three are hospitalised due to the disease,” said Dr Abdul-Wahab al-Allaf, senior rheumatologist at HMC.
To highlight World Lupus Day and create awareness of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a serious and disabling auto-immune disease, HMC recently organised a series of events for staff, patients, and the local community.
As part of the events organised to acknowledge the day, HMC clinicians attended a symposium to discuss lupus, its symptoms, and diagnosis and treatment options. Patients and their caregivers have been invited to attend a networking event today to raise awareness of the disease. The event is meant to ensure patients are in communication with their healthcare team and know that early diagnosis is crucial to preventing long-term consequences of the illness.
Dr Samar al-Emadi, head of Hamad General Hospital’s Rheumatology Section, said according to international figures, an estimated 5mn people worldwide have lupus. It is thought to be most common among women of childbearing age. “Lupus could be very challenging to treat during pregnancy and it can lead to both mother and foetus losing their life.”
Dr al-Emadi has established a specialised clinic to look after pregnant women living with lupus and their foetus. The clinic is thought to be the first of its kind in the Middle East. Since its establishment, the clinic has been recording excellent outcomes among patients.
“The exact cause of lupus is not known. However, its symptoms can come and go over a long period of time. The symptoms also change over time making lupus difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include joint pain, skin rashes, overwhelming fatigue, and fever that last for days or weeks,” Dr Abdel Rahiem Saim, senior consultant rheumatologist at HMC explained.
He noted that early diagnosis and expert medical care is essential for better health outcomes.
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