Lupus is an autoimmune disease, a condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks otherwise healthy tissue in the body. It’s estimated that at least 5 million people have lupus and about 90% of those cases are cisgender women.
What Manages Lupus?
While there is no cure for lupus, there are plenty of things you can do to improve your condition and lower your risk of a flare-up. Learning how to manage your lupus comes down to understanding what triggers your flare-ups and making changes to your lifestyle that minimize those risks. You can also manage your case by making improvements to your overall health.
Here are some tips for managing your lupus…
11. Watching Your Stress
Your stress levels have a direct impact on your lupus flare-ups. Stress has a way of eating into our overall health, and lupus is no exception. Watching your stress levels can therefore be a great way to keep your lupus in check.
Why Watching Your Stress Helps Lupus
Lupus is an autoimmune disease and stress can weaken the immune system. In other words, too much stress or chronic levels of stress throw our immune system off balance. This can lead to more frequent and more severe lupus flare-ups.
One of the biggest causes of stress can be your job…
10. Making Changes to Your Work
The jobs we go to every day can be having a negative impact on our health. This is especially true for people who manage chronic conditions like lupus. Fortunately, your work environment can be fine-tuned to help you better manage your condition.
Why Making Changes to Your Work Helps Lupus
People with lupus can benefit from being able to control how they work. Specifically, a few changes like having the flexibility to work from home, changing how you sit or stand, or lowering your work-related stress during a flare-up can help.
A great way to start to manage your condition is to talk to the people you care about…
9. Talking With Your Family
Our family and friends form a vital part of our lives. They are there for us when things go wrong, and we need to make sure they understand our conditions. By educating your family and friends on lupus, you will be helping them to better help you.
Why Talking With Your Family Helps Lupus
Many people have misconceptions about lupus, including the incorrect belief that it is contagious. Helping the people close to you have a better understanding of lupus will mean that they can understand where you are coming from when you talk about your condition. When your family and friends understand your condition, they can be there when you need them most.
Making changes to our workplace and educating our families can be complicated, but you can make simple dietary changes today…
8. A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is great for our overall health; there is almost nothing that can’t be improved by changing to a healthier meal plan. Your doctor can help you make dietary changes that will benefit your lupus and your health in general.
Why a Healthy Diet Helps Lupus
A poor diet can bring down our overall health. This includes our immune system, joints, and skin; these are all areas of the body that lupus affects the most. Having a healthy diet gives your body the best resources to work with when it comes to managing lupus.
There are some specific changes you can make to help with your condition…
7. Low Fat and Low Calorie Diets
The standard medications for lupus have the potential side effect of weight gain. While these medications might be part of your approach to lupus, the weight gain they cause can make flare-ups worse. A diet that counteracts this weight gain can help with your condition.
Why Low Fat and Low Calorie Help Lupus
Diets that are low in both fat and calories can help you manage your lupus. Even if you are not experiencing weight gain as a side effect of your medication, helping to prevent weight-related problems like joint pain can also help you better manage this condition.
When it comes to lupus, it can often be the case that we are not getting enough of the right kind of foods…
6. Vitamin D
People who live with lupus have to control their exposure to the sun more than most. This means that their bodies will be getting less vitamin D. Now, vitamin D is vital to our health and if you are not getting enough sun, you need to make up for lost vitamin D.
Why Vitamin D Helps Lupus
This additional vitamin D helps you by preventing some of the secondary health effects of lupus. This not only improves your overall health, but helps prevent disorders that can make lupus worse, such as brittle bones. Keeping your lupus managed, after all, is also about helping yourself prevent other conditions that can make flare-ups worse.
There are a few ways you can get to relax in the sun while still managing your lupus…
5. Sun-protective Clothing
If you want to get out and get some sun, lupus can hold you back. After all, the sun transmits more than just fun days at the beach. Namely, the sun’s rays contain hazardous UV radiation which can cause sunburn, skin cancer after long exposure, and make lupus flare-ups more frequent.
Why Sun-protective Clothing Helps Lupus
When you’re out in the sun, you can help lower your odds of a flare-up by wearing clothing that protects you from the sun. This includes long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, and clothing that covers the legs. Loose-fitting clothing can also help you feel cool on hot days while still getting protection from the sun.
If sun-protective clothing would cramp your style, then you can always rely on sunscreen…
Sunscreen helps prevent the sun’s UV rays from penetrating the skin. This not only stops sunburn, but can also lower your risk of cancer and help reduce the occurrence of lupus flare-ups.
Why Sunscreen Helps Lupus
Much like sun-protective clothing, sunscreen keeps your skin safe from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Sunscreen is great for protecting areas that are harder to cover like the ears, hands, and neck. At the end of the day, managing your exposure to sunlight is all about protecting your skin.
You can combine these at-home remedies with prescription medication to help manage your lupus…
Steroids can replace hormones in the body. This class of medication therefore has wide-ranging potential, from birth control to helping people with chronic conditions manage their flare-ups. Steroids are a common medication for people who have conditions that are sensitive to inflammation.
Why Steroids Help Lupus
Lupus causes inflammation in the joints, which leads to pain and difficulty moving. Steroidal medications work by stimulating hormones in the body that reduce this inflammation. As such, steroids can be an excellent medication for reducing some of the most challenging aspects of living with lupus.
Another medicinal option is immunosuppressive medication…
2. Immunosuppressive Medicine
Immunosuppressive medicine works by keeping your immune system in check. Normally, we need our immune systems working at 100 percent, but for people with autoimmune disorders, it is often beneficial to slow down the immune response.
Why Immunosuppressive Medicine Helps Lupus
Immunosuppressive medicines work by keeping the immune system in check. Since lupus is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking its own tissue, these drugs prevent the immune system from causing further damage.
It takes a lot of work to manage a chronic medical condition. One of the biggest secrets to success? Make time for yourself…
1. Make Time for Yourself
When we have to manage a chronic medical condition, our lives can become centered around our health. While this might be necessary, it’s important not to lose ourselves to our conditions. Making time for yourself is part of taking care of your health.
Why Making Time for Yourself Helps Lupus
This management strategy is a combination of a few things we’ve already discussed. It’s about relieving stress, staying fit, and keeping your spirits up. Don’t forget about the things you love to do and what makes you happy. This will help you stay motivated and remind you that you’re not managing lupus to fight this chronic condition; you’re managing lupus to enjoy your life.
Lupus can be difficult to manage. However, by working with your doctor and trying out these at-home remedies, you can help reduce the frequency and severity of your flare-ups. Try keeping a journal that tracks your condition, for starters. This will help you to see which of these management strategies helps the most and give you the best chance of keeping your lupus in check!