7 Tips for Newly Diagnosed Lupus Patients

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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If you’ve recently been diagnosed with lupus, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed. New terms, new tests, new medication, and new doctors force you into a whole new world.

Below are just a few lifestyle changes that might help you manage your lupus journey:

1. Educate yourself: Arm yourself with as much information as possible about lupus. This will help you quickly recognize any new symptoms so you can inform your doctor right away and have them treated.  The more you educate yourself about this condition, the easier it will be to live with it. Find reliable sources for information and try to keep up with lupus news, including clinical trials and emerging medications and therapies.

MORE: These lifestyle hacks will help anyone with a chronic illness

2. Eat well: Eating a well-balanced diet is a good idea for everyone, but particularly important for lupus patients.  Avoid high-fat, added sugar, and processed food. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, and whole grains.  Some lupus patients find relief from their symptoms by following a low-GI diet.  On the other hand, many lupus patients say alfalfa sprouts trigger flare-ups. Always drink plenty of water.

3. Do gentle exercise: Gentle exercise is recommended for lupus patients, especially activities such as walking and swimming. Yoga may also prove beneficial. However, it’s important not to overdo it — strenuous exercises such as running may be counterproductive if you’re not feeling well.

4. Rest as much as possible: Fatigue is a very common symptom of lupus so ensuring you get enough rest is important. Quality sleep is vital for overall health. If you feel tired during the day, take a nap if possible.  Don’t exert yourself too much if you are in the midst of a flare.

MORE: Five things to know about exercising with lupus

5. Avoid the sun: Many lupus patients react badly to the sun’s UV rays, so it’s important to stay out of the sun as much as possible. When you go out, wear a high-factor sunscreen and cover up with UV-filter clothing. Remember, the sun’s rays penetrate clouds and windows, too.

6. Educate your family and friends: Educate your family and friends about what it means to have an “invisible” disease. It’s important that they know why you feel terrible even when they think you look great. Family and friends will be able to support you and help you through the bad times.

7. Tackle depression: As with many chronic illnesses, lupus patients are more prone to bouts of depression. Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. Maintain a good support network of family and friends, and join forums and online groups for lupus patients who can understand what you’re going through. Participating in activities and socializing can help take your mind off your condition. Speak to your doctor if you feel depressed — never suffer in silence.

MORE: Five strategies to help manage lupus fatigue

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.