Lupus is not the same as neonatal lupus. Anti-SSB/La or anti-SSA/Ro antibodies from the mother that damage the fetus are linked to this uncommon illness. The infant may have an eruption of the skin, liver issues, or low levels of blood cells after birth, but these symptoms usually go away entirely by six months without any long-term consequences. Congenital cardiac block, which results in a sluggish heartbeat, is the most dangerous symptom. Although extremely rare, this potentially fatal condition is more likely to affect newborns born to lupus-affected mothers.
Neonatal lupus is a rare congenital (existing at birth) and acquired autoimmune condition. Infants with the condition frequently develop a recognizable red rash or skin invasion. Congenital heart block, a disorder of the heart, is the biggest potential consequence. Infants who have congenital heart block may eventually need a pacemaker if the condition does not improve within the first few months of life.
Less common symptoms include liver disease, an erratically large head diameter (macrocephaly), low levels of the white blood cells that fight infection (neutropenia), red blood cells that help the body get oxygen, and platelets that aid in blood clotting (thrombocytopenia). Specific autoantibodies pass from a pregnant woman to her growing fetus over the placenta and cause neonatal lupus. These autoantibodies cause unidentified fetal tissue harm through an unknown mechanism.
Ro/La autoantibodies passively cross the placenta and produce neonatal lupus erythematosus. Extractable nuclear antigens (ENA) are the targets of these antibodies. Ro autoantibodies are strongly linked to the emergence of newborn lupus erythematosus cardiac symptoms. Neonatal lupus mothers do not always have the disease themselves. Women who have anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies may also have Sjogren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis, which are distinct rheumatic diseases.
Many times, women who have these antibodies may not exhibit any rheumatic disease symptoms (asymptomatic), only exhibit hazy symptoms like photosensitivity or changes in the color of their fingers in cold weather (Raynauds), which may suggest rheumatic disease, or may not experience any symptoms at all and only be identified as having an autoimmune disorder after learning that their infant has neonatal lupus.
The most prevalent sign of newborn lupus is a rash that looks like systemic lupus erythematosus and is made up of reddish, ring-shaped skin lesions. The rash normally appears during the initial few weeks after birth and disappears at some point during the course of the following few months. It is transient (temporary). Skin lesions can occasionally last throughout childhood. Most frequently, the face and head are impacted. When it is present, the raccoon’s eye pattern is a major indicator of this diagnosis.
Less frequently, the arms, legs, and trunk may develop the rash. Congenital heart block, a disease of the heart, is the most severe complication of neonatal lupus. It is unknown whether congenital heart block in neonates occurs as frequently as skin rashes. It is the most severe complication, and once the block is finished, it becomes a permanent condition that may be fatal. Despite being extremely uncommon, certain newborns with neonatal lupus may develop macrocephaly, or an excessively large head. A disorder known as macrocephaly is characterized by a child’s head circumference that is bigger than what could be expected given the child’s age and gender.
If parental antibodies, anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB, or less frequently anti-ribonucleoprotein are present in a newborn and any of the clinical symptoms occur without any other cause, neonatal lupus is diagnosed. Testing for antibodies in the mother and assessing for fetal heart block are both included in the screening. The use of general screening is not advised. When there is a higher risk of neonatal lupus, such as in people who are more inclined to have antibodies from autoimmune disorders or in people who have had previous pregnancies complicated by neonatal lupus, screening is typically conducted. Consider screening for the mother’s antibodies if a fetus develops a heart block. A fetal echocardiogram can be used to check for heart block.
Neonatal lupus is a persistent, auto-immune, constitutional illness that compromises the immune system. The immune system is influenced by a number of variables, including the environment, genes, the body, the mind, hormones, etc. Neonatal lupus patients themselves, not just the disease itself, are the primary focus of homeopathic treatments. Homoeopathy can provide symptomatic relief, and it is highly advised. It could be able to somewhat manage the underlying disease process, although there is yet no proof of this.
Neonatal lupus is treated according to the distinct symptoms that each patient shows. During the first few months of birth, cutaneous symptoms typically disappear spontaneously without any kind of treatment. To ascertain whether hematological or hepatic problems are also present in newborns with neonatal lupus, a thorough examination is advised. An EKG should be performed on infants who have the rash. However, those with additional neonatal lupus manifestations do not require ongoing cardiac monitoring if there were no indications of a heart condition during pregnancy or at delivery. Many infants with congenital heart block will require the implantation of a pacemaker. Periodic monitoring of heart function should be carried out in newborns with less severe cardiac disease in case a pacemaker is eventually required in youth.
Although lupus cannot currently be prevented, it can be managed once it has begun to manifest by avoiding flare-ups. Increased pain, fatigue, rash, fever, abdominal discomfort, headaches, and dizziness are all precursors to a flare-up. People with lupus can stay active, feel less pain, and visit the doctor less frequently by recognizing the warning signals early and maintaining good contact with them. Additionally, you can prevent photosensitivity issues by avoiding direct sunlight, wearing sun-protective clothes, and applying a potent UVA/UVB sunblock lotion. For individuals who are overweight or obese, losing weight is also advised in order to lessen some of the disease’s consequences, particularly when there is considerable joint involvement.