California woman who was diagnosed with lupus when she was 12-years-old and
subsequently suffered from drug-induced obesity underwent a life-saving gastric
bypass surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics about a month ago.
is now using the case of Jena Graves as an example to warn others that
sometimes taking steroids to cure one problem, may lead other problems that
actually can be worse.
Graves, who is now 19, was a healthy and active girl when she was diagnosed
with lupus seven years ago.
to Stanford, she was given high doses of a steroid drug that helped contain the
disease and its symptoms, but which also caused her to gain more than 150
pounds over five years.
is an autoimmune disease in which the human immune system becomes hyperactive
and attacks healthy tissue.
to the medical center, this is not a unique predicament, and millions of
Americans suffer from drug-induced obesity, which creates additional physical
and mental trouble for the people already dealing with these diseases and
result of her obesity, Graves who is 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighed 268 pounds
at her heaviest and developed a number of other conditions and diseases.
felt uncomfortable going out in public. I felt people staring at me and heard
them making comments. My friends slowly stopped contacting me," Graves
says. "While most people my age were dating and going to the prom, my life
consisted of lab tests, and my closest friends were the nurses drawing my
of Bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics John Morton operated on
Graves in May in order to reverse the effects of the drugs, and Graves has lost
over 40 pounds since the surgery.
also been able to stop taking a majority of the 30 medications she was on prior
"It was bad enough news that Jena was diagnosed with lupus, but
then to become morbidly obese because of the medicine used to treat her disease
was tragic for her future development," Morton said. "I've seen this
happen to a number of other patients - not just those taking steroids, but also
those taking antidepressants and insulin. However, I am so pleased that we are
able to provide Jena and patients like her with a procedure that can reverse
obesity-related illnesses and therefore make it easier to manage underlying
Thursday, August 21 2014 5:17 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:17:08 GMT
The state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling that says that damages to be paid to part-time state employees who were wrongfully denied health benefits has to take into account more than just actual out-of-pocket costs.More >>
The state Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's ruling that says that damages to be paid to part-time state employees who were wrongfully denied health benefits has to take into account more than just actual out-of-pocket costs. More >>