Lupus is a lifelong disease that can affect many aspects of daily life, but with proper management, people with lupus live healthy, productive lives. If you’re newly diagnosed with lupus, it can take time and patience to learn how to control your symptoms, prevent flare-ups, and minimize the impact of lupus on your quality of life.
Lupus is a condition in which the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and organs. The condition can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as achy joints, fever, fatigue, and hair loss.
When it comes to successfully managing lupus, a rheumatology specialist is your greatest asset. Here at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center, rheumatologists Nathaniel Neal, MD, and Rebekah Neal-Kraal, MD, provide top-quality and compassionate rheumatology care you can rely on. We have extensive experience helping patients best manage lupus.
While there’s no cure for lupus, treatment can improve your quality of life. Managing lupus starts with lifestyle modifications. In this blog we discuss some steps you can take to prevent and control your symptoms.
Living well with lupus starts with learning about the disease and how it may affect you. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to manage flare-ups. We recommend taking a proactive role in your care and forming a collaborative relationship with your rheumatologist. It’s important to recognize symptoms and understand your triggers.
Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the skin, causing skin rashes and sores. Sunlight commonly causes rash flare-ups in people with lupus. That’s why it’s important to protect your skin when going outside.
You can protect your skin by wearing hats, sunglasses, and shirts with long sleeves. You should also wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as well. And you should be especially vigilant if you go out when the sun is at its strongest, which is 10am-4pm.
Because your skin makes vitamin D from sun exposure, talk to your provider about whether you need to take a vitamin D supplement.
Stress can have a negative impact on your body. It can weaken your immune system and worsen symptoms of lupus. And while you can’t avoid stress completely, you can take some steps to balance stress with some stress-relieving activities, such as listening to relaxing music, going for walks, and meditating.
You may also find it helpful to talk with others who have the disease. Many people with lupus find that joining a support group can make dealing with the disease less stressful.
Lupus lowers your immunity, putting you at a higher risk of developing infections. Take steps to protect yourself from infections by staying current on all of your vaccines. Practice good hand washing hygiene and avoid going around people who are sick. Contact your doctor if you develop any signs of infection.
Lupus flare-ups can make you feel tired, but it’s important to remain active. Low-intensity exercise can help keep your joints and muscles flexible and improve your overall well-being. Low-intensity exercise won’t trigger flare-ups or aggravate your body. In fact, it will help to strengthen your bones and muscles. If you aren’t sure where to start, try walking. It’s an excellent, low-impact activity.
Your provider can help you make the right changes to manage lupus and live well. A healthy lifestyle is a good way to combat lupus and minimize flare-ups. Our team is here to help you with all aspects of managing lupus. To get started, book an appointment over the phone with Valerius Medical Group & Research Center today.