How to Prevent and Treat Lupus Flares

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks healthy tissue. Since lupus affects different areas of the body, there are various symptoms, including joint swelling, rashes, chest pain, fatigue, and light sensitivity. According to Medical News Today, there are a number of ways to help prevent and treat the flares associated with this complicated disease.

MORE: Important lupus symptoms you should know. 

There are measures you can take to help prevent flares from occurring:

  • Be careful in the sun. As many patients suffer from light sensitivity, it’s important to always use a good sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF).
  • Make sure to eat a well-balanced diet. Look for foods low in sugar and salt.
  • No smoking! Smoking can excerabate some of the lupus symptoms and affect overall health.
  • Stay active. Low-impact exercises are important to help prevent atrophy and osteoporosis. Try walking or swimming.
  • Maintain regular contact with doctors. Be honest about your lifestyle and factors that could affect your condition, like poor diet, minimal exercise and taking medications irregularly.

After diagnosis, the doctor will put together a treatment plan based specifically on the patient’s needs. The main goal is to reduce lupus flares, lessen symptoms and prevent organ issues and other complications associated with the disease.

A patient is normally prescribed medication to tackle symptoms such as swelling and pain, and to help support the immune system, balance hormones and prevent or reduce damage to joints.

Specific medications include steroid creams to treat skin rashes and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), a chemotherapy drug, to treat aggressive forms of the disease, particularly types that affect the kidneys.

Although there is no evidence to prove that alternative therapies can be effective in the treatment of lupus, special diets, nutritional supplements and homeopathy can help reduce the elevated stress levels that come with living with a disease like lupus.

MORE: Things you need to know about living with lupus. 

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.