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Can systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) lead to kidney problems?

Q: I am 29 years old and suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) since the last 5 years. Now I am having chronic renal failure which is confirmed by the renal biopsy, which showed scarring of tissues. To sum it up she said that there is a 60% damage done. My BP is under control, salt intake is controlled, I have proteinuria (+++). I eat egg white, chicken soup and fish. I am on EPO once in a week also. Can I plan to get married? How serious is the disease? I am not getting any erection and end up with a damp response? Can this situation be tackled?

A:I note SLE has affected 60% of your kidney function. You still have 40% of good kidney function left and this is adequate to give you a reasonable life. If unfortunately there is further deterioration in course of time, you can have renal dialysis as a major option and you can have a good life on dialysis for several years. The best option however is kidney transplant but you need to be on the dialysis awaiting for a correct donor kidney. Life on dialysis is near normal and at the end of the day it is up to you to be positive and accept it if it comes to that. You can certainly get married if you have an understanding partner to help you with your treatment and diet. Please realise you have several years ahead of you and be positive. As far as your sexual dysfunction are concerned, I feel it to be more psychological due to your depression. Try and get help in this direction.

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