Lupus affects one in 1,000 Indians. It is an autoimmune condition that may affect any system in our body. An autoimmune disease means that one’s own immune system, which should protect us from germs and diseases, starts attacking healthy cells in our bodies.
It involves multiple systems and has a varied spectrum of symptoms which are different in different individuals.
This year with the help of the South Indian Medical Student Association, Indian Rheumatology Association and LTI, on the occasion of World Lupus Day on May 10 and Lupus Awareness month, there will be a walkathon for the second time in Bengaluru.
The walkathon will see the presence of Dr Dharmanand, the President of IRA, Vachasamrita Saiju, co-founder of Lupus Trust India, Suzanne Sangi, the patient leader of Lupus Karnataka Support Group and other supporters.
It will take place on May 15 at Lalbagh West Gate from 8 am to 10 am.
What are the symptoms
It may range from general symptoms like lymphadenopathy, fever and repeated infections to developing specific symptoms such as arthritis, butterfly rash and ulcers.
The disease onset may be in the age group of 12-45 years affecting women or young girls more than men. A person with Lupus typically has at least four of these 11 symptoms: serositis, oral ulcers, arthritis, photosensitivity, blood disorder, renal (kidney) disorder, anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), immunological dysfunction, neurological, malar rash, and discoid rash.
Other symptoms include intense fatigue/tiredness, breathlessness, gastrointestinal problems (low appetite, vomiting), nausea and headaches, tremors/shaking, Myalgia (extreme muscle soreness and aches), hair loss, teeth pain.
The patient usually approaches a general physician first and from there is guided to their primary doctor who is a rheumatologist. Rheumatologists are physicians who are experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones.
Patients are expected to visit the rheumatologist from as often as once in three to six weeks to at least once in six months, with the regular blood work up and other tests advised by the treating doctor. Lupus is not a curable condition but a one that is manageable to be able to lead a near normal life.
The basic medicines used are biologics, immunosuppressants, chemotherapeutic agents such as Hydroxychloroquine, Cyclophosphomide, Rituximab, Steroids, and Mycophenolate. Side effects include nausea, headache, fatigue, decreased bone density, cataract, retinal holes, and ulcers in the stomach.
The disease increases the chances of a person contracting infections as well as the drugs used to treat it. Hence, along with the primary drugs, patients need supplements which help deal with the side-effects.
A holistic approach is the best way to tackle the symptoms and flares. Recent research has proved that following an anti-inflammatory diet or at least a clean and wholesome diet consisting of high fibers, fresh fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants and nutrients keeps the disease activity in control.
Any form of exercise such as mild cardio, yoga, meditation, body weight routines on a regular basis has also improved the quality of life of many. It is a chronic condition which cripples a person not only physically but also mentally, socially, emotionally, financially and vocationally.
In India, as of now, Lupus is not listed as a ‘critical illness’ by insurance companies, nor recognised under the ‘Persons With Disabilities Act’ as it is in many countries including the US and the UK among others.
Patient support group Lupus Trust India (LTI) is a public charitable trust, established to support patients who are financially backward and fall under the below poverty line category. The Trust also facilitates their treatment and rehabilitation. It was founded by Lupus patients in Kerala and joined by affected people from all over India. They have been holding various activities on social media and in-person such as sharing patient stories, Q&A sessions with doctors, walkathons and patient group meet ups in order to provide cost-effective treatment, spread awareness about this condition, provide information about medication and lifestyle solutions.
One can visit their website at: https://www.lupustrustindia.org/
The Key Role of Trustworthy Babysitters in Balancing Work and Family Life
Are you a busy parent in constant pursuit of the elusive work-life balance? We know firsthand how overwhelming and challenging it can be to juggle professional commitments while still having quality time with your children.
That’s why we’re here to discuss an essential ingredient that unlocks the secret to harmony: trustworthy babysitters.
What Characteristics Parents Should Look for When Choosing a Babysitter?
Parents should look for a few key characteristics when choosing a babysitter. A good babysitter should be patient, responsible, and reliable. They should also be comfortable with children and have prior experience caring for them.
Besides, the babysitter must be able to communicate effectively and follow directions well. The babysitter should be someone the parents can trust to care for their children in their absence.
Strategies for Parents to Establish Reasonable Anticipations
As a parent, finding babysitters you can trust to care for your children is vital. However, it is also important to establish reasonable expectations for your babysitters.
Some tips for establishing reasonable expectations for babysitters include:
- Set clear expectations: Sit down with your babysitter to discuss bedtime routines, dietary preferences, and any necessary medications.
- Allow flexibility: While clarity is vital, also provide room for your babysitter to use their judgment and feel comfortable in their role.
- Trust their expertise: Once expectations are set, trust your babysitter’s judgment as a professional caregiver to avoid undermining their authority and creating discomfort in their role.
Determining a Fair Payment Plan
Determine your babysitting budget, factoring in your income and family size, while researching local rates. Account for the babysitter’s experience and qualifications, giving preference to those recommended by trusted sources.
Engage in open negotiations with your chosen babysitter. This aims to find a mutually agreeable arrangement that accommodates both your budget and their needs.
Tips on Finding Trustworthy and Compassionate Caregivers
When seeking a caregiver for your child, to ensure you find the right fit:
- Seek recommendations from trusted sources such as friends, family, and neighbours who may have suggestions for caregivers in your area.
- Conduct online research to review feedback and check references to gauge candidates’ qualifications and experience.
- Request references and contact details from the caregivers’ previous employers or families they have worked with.
- Trust your instincts and ensure you feel at ease with the caregiver, ensuring they are someone you can entrust with your child’s well-being.
Being able to trust your babysitter means you can have peace of mind knowing your child is safe and cared for.
Spending some time researching online reviews or asking friends and family for recommendations will help you find the perfect fit so you can feel more at ease while juggling work commitments in today’s hectic world.
Facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home
THUNDER BAY — St. Joseph’s Care Group and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit have declared a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak at Bethammi Nursing Home, part of the St. Joseph’s Heritage complex on Carrie Street near Red River Road.
The respiratory outbreak at the 112-bed facility was declared effective Sept. 15 but only announced publicly on Monday.
No details were provided with regard to the number of people affected to date.
Restrictions are now in place for admissions, transfers, discharges, social activities and visitation until further notice.
Alberta COVID hospitalizations up 73% since July: health minister
Three weeks after the start of the school year, Alberta’s health minister provided an update on the spread of airborne viruses in the province.
Adriana LaGrange also said more information about flu and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines will soon be released.
“Now that we will be spending more time indoors, we need to make doubly sure we are following proper hygiene protocols like handwashing and staying home when sick,” LaGrange said. “It also means respecting those who choose to wear a mask.”
Global News previously reported that influenza vaccines will be available on Oct. 16 with the new Moderna vaccine formulated to target the XBB.1.5 variant likely to be available at around the same time. On Sept. 12, Health Canada approved the use of the Moderna vaccine.
“More information on immunizations against respiratory viruses including influenza and COVID-19 will be available shortly,” the health minister said.
LaGrange said there have been 28 cases of influenza and five lab-confirmed cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since Aug. 28.
“This is consistent activity for this time of the year,” the health minister said in a statement.
The end of August or the beginning of September has typically marked the beginning of flu season for provincial health authorities.
LaGrange also provided an update on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the province.
From Aug. 28 to Sept. 8, there were a total 92 new hospitalizations and three ICU admissions, bringing the total to 417 in hospital and seven in ICU, a 73 per cent increase of COVID hospitalizations from the last reported info.
On July 24 – the last update to the province’s COVID data dashboard – there were only 242 in hospital.
“Sadly, five Albertans died during that period due to COVID-19,” LaGrange said.
LaGrange said the reporting dashboard is being refreshed to include RSV, influenza and COVID-19 data, work that was originally expected to be completed on Aug. 30. The latest data on the province’s influenza statistics dashboard is dated July 22.
“This work is currently underway and will be available in the coming weeks,” LaGrange said.
She said data for the dates between July 24 and Aug. 27 will be available when the new dashboard goes online.
Amid more hospitals continent-wide reinstating masking requirements in the face of increased hospitalizations, the health minister made no mention of any such moves for Alberta hospitals. Acute care COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta jumped from Sept. 5 to 12, with 146 per cent more healthcare workers and 55 per cent more patients testing positive for COVID.
LaGrange stressed the “collective responsibility” to prevent the spread of airborne viruses like COVID and influenza.
“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the anxiety that comes with sending your children back to school. I want to reassure you that Alberta’s government has the health and well-being of all young Albertans top of mind,” the health minister said.
–with files from Meghan Cobb, Global News
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