9 Tips to Help Self-Manage Your Lupus
Taking good care of yourself is essential if you have lupus, it will help you avoid flares and when they do occur, help you better manage them. If you learn to read your body’s warning signals, it’ll be easier to control your symptoms.
We’ve put together a list of nine tips that can help you self-manage your lupus, based on information from arthritis research UK:
Smoking is bad for everyone, but it’s particularly bad if you have an autoimmune disease. Smoking thickens the blood and causes arteries to narrow; leads to long-term lung damage; creates respiratory and coughing problems; and increases blood pressure. If you’re struggling to quit smoking, seek professional help.
There may be some foods that trigger your lupus and while everyone is different, try eating a balanced diet that is high in fiber, whole grains, fruit and vegetables, omega-3s, and lean protein, and low in salt, saturated fats and trans fats. When possible, try to eat organic and avoid processed foods.
There will be days when exercising simply isn’t an option because of pain and fatigue, but when possible, try to exercise on a daily basis. Yoga, walking, and swimming are all gentle exercises that will help your joints and make you feel better. Exercise is also good for fighting depression.
Exposure to Sunlight
Lupus patients tend to react badly to sunlight, and may suffer from rashes if their skin becomes exposed. If you have to be outdoors during sunlight hours ensure you’re wearing thin, loose clothing that covers your skin and apply a high-factor sunscreen. Because you’re not being exposed to sunlight, you might find you’re deficient in vitamin D. Speak to your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements.
Rest is important when you’re experiencing flares, so ensure that you don’t overdo it and rest if you’re tired. Take a nap if possible and ensure you get good quality sleep each night.
Stress is unavoidable for most of us, but there are ways that we can reduce the stress in our lives. Exercise and rest will help to counterbalance the effects of stress on our bodies, along with taking time out to do something you enjoy (read a book, go to the movies, etc.). Try to avoid stressful situations and people who stress you out.
Some lupus patients have found relief in complementary therapies such as essential oils, reflexology, meditation or acupuncture, particularly those who suffer from joint pain. Even if they don’t bring about pain relief, they will help you to unwind and relax, which will help to lower stress levels.
Winter is a time of colds, coughs, and flus, so speak to your doctor about vaccinations to help avoid any winter bugs. Because your immune system is compromised, you’ll need to stay away from people who are ill.
Lean on friends and family when you’re struggling, and ask for help. Having a chronic disease can often make you feel lonely and isolated. Join a local support group if there’s one nearby, or join online groups where you can share experiences with others like you.
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.