9 Tips to Live Well With Lupus
Lupus is a very complex and chronic autoimmune disease that can affect anyone, anytime, in many different ways. To help you live better with the disease, we’ve put together a list of nine tips. (source: EverydayHealth website):
1. Reduce stress to reduce flares.
A sudden worsening of lupus symptoms is called a flare. Stress can trigger and exacerbate your flares. To avoid triggering flares with stress, try to relax and let go of the things that worry you the most.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone whether sick or not. For lupus patients, it can be even better. Exercise helps maintain weight and regain muscle strength. But lupus patients should avoid high-impact exercises if they experience joint pain. A regular program of low-impact exercise, such as swimming or walking, can help reduce stress, build strength, and improve movement.
3. Eat healthy.
Build your diet around lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. For protein, stick to fish and poultry instead of red meat. Also make sure you get plenty of calcium for bone and joint health. If fluid retention or high blood pressure is a problem for you, reduce your salt intake.
4. Get some rest.
One of the most troublesome lupus symptoms is fatigue. It affects as many as 80 percent of people with the condition. Lupus-related fatigue has also been linked to a lack of exercise, another concern. Get at least seven hours of sleep every night and allow time for rest during the day. You might even want to take a short nap when possible, but don’t spend all day in bed.
5. Avoid the sun.
Two-thirds of people with lupus have increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light due to sun exposure. When selecting a sunscreen, choose a minimum of SPF 30 and broad-spectrum coverage for both UVA and UVB protection. Remember, damaging rays can penetrate clouds, windows, and clothing.
6. Get yourself some vitamin D.
A research review of the effect of vitamin D on lupus, published in 2013 in the journal PLoS ONE, identified 10 studies that found that a decrease in vitamin D levels was associated with an increase in lupus symptoms. You can get the benefits of vitamin D from food and supplements. The sun also provides vitamin D, but the sun can do more harm that good for lupus patients.
7. Don’t smoke.
Smoking can be linked to increased inflammation, heart disease and cancer. In addition, smoking increases the risk of hardening of the arteries, called atherosclerosis, and people with lupus are already at a higher risk than people without lupus.
8. Avoid alcohol.
Drinking alcohol responsibly is usually not a problem for people with lupus, but there are some situations in which you need to use caution. Alcohol can interfere with some drugs used to treat lupus, such as methotrexate — it may be less effective if you drink alcoholic beverages.
9. Find support.
A support group, whether online or in person, can be a valuable source of advice and comfort. The Lupus Foundation of America might help you find a support group in your area.
Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.