Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Black To Life… For A Healthier You

November 6, 2013 by  
Filed under Health, Highlights

Care and caution can make all the difference

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES

For information about examinations, please contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640, or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.

It is said that the autoimmune disease lupus most commonly occurs in women during their childbearing years. Also, research shows that African-American and Latino women receive the diagnosis more often than any other group.

Women who have been diagnosed with lupus, and who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, should know that most women with lupus have healthy babies. Nevertheless, there are risks to consider.

First, you should avoid getting pregnant until your lupus is under control for at least six months. This is especially true for lupus-related kidney disease, because pregnancy places additional stress on the kidneys. Having an active kidney disease can cause problems in pregnancy.

Along with keeping yourself healthy during pregnancy, you must review all your lupus medications, and ask your doctors about possible side effects for your unborn child. Some of the lupus medications are safe to take during pregnancy; you just need to investigate which ones. Drugs that should not be taken during pregnancy include methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, leflunomide and warfarin. There are some drugs that you may need to stop taking months before even trying to conceive. You need to understand that if you have lupus, you are a high-risk pregnancy — and you need to identify an obstetrician that specializes in high-risk deliveries.

Some women have reported improvement of lupus symptoms during pregnancy. Nevertheless, 30 percent of women have flare-ups during pregnancy. It has been reported that periods of increased disease activity occur most often during the first months after delivering a baby.

Studies show that one out of every three women with lupus delivers preterm (having the baby before completing 37 weeks of pregnancy). Some of the symptoms of premature labor are: backache; pelvic pressure; leakage of blood or clear fluid from the vagina; abdominal cramps; and contractions occurring every 10 minutes or more.

Women who are pregnant and have lupus should get plenty of rest, plan for a good night’s sleep, take breaks for rest throughout your day and always avoid alcohol or smoking. They should also avoid excessive weight gain — and, if necessary, have their doctor provide a referral to a dietitian.

If you experience unusual symptoms, speak to your doctor or contact us at Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. You can also visit our offices at 700 Shadow Lane, Suite 165 (first floor), Las Vegas, NV 89106.

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