Poonam Mehta’s husband makes this comment with glee, “Poonam refuses to let me sit at one place for long. It’s as if she wants to do so much in a day. You ask her to slow down and she retorts – I have been burdened with pain for so long and now that I am free – let me live! All we can do is marvel at her new vigor and attitude.”
58 year old Poonam Mehta is an example of a patient who unnecessarily suffered for 25 years due to LUPUS. She was diagnosed and is now receiving treatment for an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. This results in symptoms such as pain, swelling, and damages joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.
“I had pain all over my body. It started with the hands, spread to the legs and the arms. I took many pain killers, consulted numerous orthopaedicians but got no relief. Many a times my family would get irritated. I couldn’t explain that I had this continuous feeling of my energy being drained. I couldn’t go out, stay out for long and above all my family was fed up with my continuous complaints,” shares Poonam.
According to her husband, “She would feel tired and lazy all day long. She was unable to perform routine household jobs. We consulted some renowned doctors and even opted for naturopathy, homeopathy and ayurveda. Despite all our efforts Poonam’s condition didn’t improve.”
While sharing her pain with her close friends, she came across Dr Indrajit Agrawal’s reference.“My friend told me that he is a senior doctor who has returned to India after practicing for over two decades in the UK and he has been able to treat few of her acquaintances, “ shares Poonam.
Dr Indrajit Agrawal, HOD – Rheumatology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon in the first consultation concluded that she has LUPUS after listening to Poonam’s plight.
“We were dumb struck! It’s a disease that we hadn’t even heard of. We were scared until Dr Indrajit explained to us about LUPUS and the lack of public awareness, and physician insight associated with the same ,” shares Poonam.
According to Dr Indrajit,“Lupus affects females more often. At present the data shows women to men ratio is about 11:1. Lupus may occur in males or females at any age, but it is the young women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are most likely to first develop symptoms of the disease. LUPUS is rare and point prevalence for this disease is about 3.2 per 100000 in India and hence the awareness about Lupus is limited. The common signs and symptoms of Lupus are – Achy and painful joints, prolonged fatigue, skin rashes, anemia, butterfly shaped rash on face, photosensitivity, unusual hair loss , purple fingers and mouth ulcers, to list a few. Different manifestations of the same disease often baffles clinicians with other diseases like TB. ”
For the last 4 months, Poonam has been following a strict medical regime prescribed by Dr Indrajit. You ask her how she feels today, she smiles and says, “As new as ever!”