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Dangal Actor Suhani Bhatnagar Dies due to Dermatomyositis: Causes and Symptoms of the Disease


New Delhi, February 18, 2024: The untimely demise of Suhani Bhatnagar, the talented young actor who portrayed the role of young Babita Phogat in the blockbuster movie “Dangal”, has left the nation in shock. Suhani, aged just 19, succumbed to a rare inflammatory disease known as Dermatomyositis. Let’s delve into the details of this tragic loss and understand more about the condition that claimed her life.

What Is Dermatomyositis?

Dermatomyositis is an uncommon autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the skin and muscles. Here are some key points about this rare condition:

  1. Causes:
    • The exact cause of dermatomyositis remains unknown, but several factors may contribute:
      • Viral Infections: It may result from viral infections affecting the muscles.
      • Autoimmune Response: The body’s immune system can develop autoantibodies against its own muscles and other tissues.
      • Environmental Factors: These include exposure to UV radiation and air pollutants.
      • Medications: Certain drugs, such as statins used to reduce cholesterol, may trigger dermatomyositis.
      • Underlying Malignancy: In some cases, it is associated with underlying malignancies.
  2. Symptoms:
    • Dermatomyositis manifests with:
      • Muscle Weakness: Primarily affecting the shoulders, upper arms, hips, thighs, and neck.
      • Distinctive Skin Rash: Often purplish and found around the eyes, cheeks, chest, or upper back.
      • Joint Pain and Swelling
      • Inflammation of Heart and Lung Muscles
      • Swelling and Inflammation in Blood Vessels
      • Difficulty in Swallowing and Breathing: If left untreated, it can affect swallowing and respiration.
  3. Diagnosis and Treatment:
    • Early diagnosis is crucial for managing dermatomyositis.
    • Medical professionals use a combination of clinical evaluation, blood tests, muscle biopsies, and imaging studies.
    • Treatment involves:
      • Immunosuppressive Medications: To reduce inflammation.
      • Physical Therapy: To maintain muscle strength and function.
      • Monitoring for Malignancies: Especially in patients with weight loss.
      • Prompt Management of Respiratory and Swallowing Issues.

Suhani Bhatnagar’s Battle

Suhani was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on February 7 and tragically passed away on February 16 due to medical complications related to dermatomyositis. Her family revealed that, although she had shown symptoms two months prior, medical professionals diagnosed the disease only ten days before her demise.

The loss of this young talent serves as a stark reminder of the importance of awareness, early detection, and timely intervention in managing rare diseases like dermatomyositis. Our hearts go out to Suhani’s family during this difficult time.

May her soul rest in peace. 🙏

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