Neonatal lupus is an uncommon condition, occurring infrequently in babies born to mothers with lupus. Mothers of babies born with neonatal lupus typically carry antibodies to Ro/SSA or La/SSB. Understanding what is neonatal lupus and what causes neonatal lupus are vital in working to identify and responsibly treat the condition.
What Are Symptoms of Neonatal Lupus?
Infants born with neonatal lupus have varying symptoms, which may be present at birth or appear over the first few weeks of life. Symptoms include:
• Skin rash or lesions
• Liver abnormalities
• Low blood cell counts
• Cardiac problems, including cardiomyopathy and heart block of varying severity
How Is Neonatal Lupus Treated?
In many cases, symptoms of neonatal lupus resolve on their own. The condition can then be monitored throughout the first few months of life, or longer if needed. Relatively minor interventions — like using steroids, or avoiding sunlight — may be prescribed.
Heart block is the most dangerous potential effect of neonatal lupus, and in severe cases, infants may need to have a pacemaker installed to effectively manage the condition.
Can CBD Treat Neonatal Lupus?
Because lupus is an autoimmune disorder, some individuals may wonder whether CBD might be effective in treating some of its effects. While CBD as a treatment for lupus has not been heavily studied, CBD appears to exhibit some immunosuppressive effects, and so there are reasonable grounds to consider use of CBD for autoimmune disorders (like lupus). Likewise, CBD has demonstratable anti-inflammatory properties, and so CBD for inflammation may also be an effective treatment, at least in part, and somewhat ameliorative in individuals suffering from lupus.
However, CBD should not be employed as a treatment for neonatal lupus. It is important to remember that neonatal lupus is not truly lupus, but an associated condition that must be evaluated by a medical professional. Moreover, women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding — even if suffering from lupus — should avoid using CBD for treatment, as the effects on a fetus or breastfeeding newborn are not well understood and may be harmful.
Ultimately, effective treatment of lupus in mothers and neonatal lupus in infants should be done in consultation with a medical professional.