Empowering patients


Patient Stories


Natasha Marakova

Natasha Marakova

Natasha Marakova, an OB-GYN Resident, was diagnosed with Lupus as a pediatric patient at age 12. 

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Diagnosis: Lupus

I was diagnosed very early on as a pediatric patient, when I was 12, which is pretty atypical for Lupus patients. They are usually diagnosed in their 20's or so. My main complaints at the time were the pretty stereotypical malar rash, or the butterfly rash. There were pretty consistent laboratory findings as well.

What I struggle with most is my Lupus flares, which for me are characterized as severe fatigue and joint pain. The level of fatigue I get is overwhelming, almost non-functional.

Treatment: Steroid tapers; Benlysta

I've been on Steroid taper throughout college and my residency. And just recently started on Benlysta, which is a new medication specifically for Lupus.


Follow Up

I do still feel tired a lot, but that could be my busy schedule. But overall doing well.

I change my diet sometimes, when I don't feel well. I was told the best I could do was an anti-inflammatory diet but it's kind of hard to adhere to. The best I could compare to is the whole 30-diet which is avoiding red meat, dairy and anything processed at all, which is more challenging to do in the hospital lifestyle.

I don't participate in sports anymore, sadly. But I do try to exercise at home.