DHEA for Lupus
Lupus, it’s called an autoimmune disorder. It causes inflammation of various parts of the body including skin, joints, blood and major organs. Doctors say more people have lupus than AIDS, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and sickle-cell anemia combined. A new study of a natural drug may bring patients relief from their pain.
It was right before college graduation and a year before meeting her husband that Darnell wasn’t feeling well. “I was running a fever, had joint pain, felt like I had the flu constantly,” says Darnell.
She was diagnosed with lupus. Her immune cells turned on her own body.
Rheumatologist, Darnell’s doctor. “A number of decades ago the mortality rate from lupus was considered to be fifty percent.”
With the use of anti-inflammatories and steroids like prednisone, the mortality rate has dropped to five percent. Yet the side effects of the drugs are often intolerable. “I was having a hard time sleeping, felt jittery. You did not feel like a normal person while you’re taking that,” says Darnell.
So Darnell joined a study of an experimental drug called GL-701. It is a purified form of the natural hormone DHEA. In a study of 381 patients, 66 percent of patients responded to GL-701. Flare-ups were more than 24 percent lower in patients taking GL-701 compared to those on the placebo.
“Their arthritis improved. Second, fatigue improved, and patients were able to decrease prednisone when they were on prednisone,” says Dr.
Darnell says getting off prednisone completely was great for her. “Things seem to be on an even keel,” she says. Now even simple tasks like typing are no longer painful.
Patients say the side effects of GL-701 were minimal and included acne and excess hair growth. While you can purchase DHEA supplements in health food stores, there’s not a guarantee of what’s actually in the product.