Young people can also develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Six years ago, 25-year-old Ndapanda Sakaria was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, after close to a year of being sick.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disease. In this case, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.
“I was diagnosed prior to going to China in 2011,” said Sakaria, a fourth-year medical student at a university in Shanghai. At the time, Sakaria was studying microbiology at the University of Namibia (Unam). In the beginning of 2011, Sakaria applied for a scholarship to China and “forgot about it”.
“I continued with my Unam classes, but then I got really, really sick and I didn’t know what was happening,” she related. In the mornings, she would experience sharp pains in her feet. “It felt like I was stepping on needles,” is how Sakaria described the pain. She also noticed that her hands would stiffen, but she would eventually feel better as the day progressed. “Sometimes I would have these big bumps that came from nowhere on my joints,” she added.
Each time she sought medical attention she would recover, but the same symptoms would crop up not long after completing her medication.
“I just stopped going to the doctors, because it was pointless. I refused antibiotics because I felt like these people have been giving me antibiotics and these things kept coming back,” she reminisced.
She had to stop attending school in 2011. “It got to a point where I couldn’t go to school, because I was sick and I was going through medical tests. There are no specialists here in Namibia,” she noted.
“The body is attacking itself. It cannot differentiate between self and non-self. It attacks the synovial fluid in the joints. That’s why you get stiff, because that fluid gets eaten away by the body itself,” Sakaria explained.
Read full article: Battling with rheumatoid arthritis | New Era Newspaper Namibia
|Read Full Article: Battling with rheumatoid arthritis | New Era Newspaper Namibia|