May 4, 2018

9 Ways to Improve Life with Lupus

With symptoms like fever, fatigue, headaches and joint stiffness, having lupus can make everyday life a challenge. However, it doesn’t mean you have to hold back from living your best life. Learning how to manage the daily challenges that come with lupus is the key to creating a quality life. Here are nine ways to improve life with lupus.

Reduce stress.

Reducing stress in our lives is easier said than done, but for those who suffer from lupus, it’s essential. Stress can trigger and exacerbate lupus flare ups and while stress isn’t something that can be always controlled, what we can control how is how we react to it. Using relaxation techniques such and meditation, self-hypnosis and yoga can be very helpful in managing stress. Keep a stress diary so you can track situations that cause stress and try to avoid them. In addition to managing and tracking, be sure to surround yourself with people who ease your stress rather than contribute to it.

Exercise regularly.

Regular exercise has special benefits for people with lupus. In addition to helping alleviate stress, consistent exercise can help reduce joint stiffness, fight away depression, protect your heart and boost muscle strength.

Eat healthy.

What you put into your body has a huge impact on how it operates, especially for those with lupus. Create a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Reduce salt intake and avoid red meats. Make smart and well-balanced choices and remember moderation is key.

Get quality rest.

Fatigue is one of the common lupus symptoms, and one of the most difficult for lupus patients. Set a goal for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Keep in mind that just because you get into bed at a specific time to get those seven hours, doesn’t mean you are actually getting a full nights rest. Make sure you’re following the proper steps during the day to help you fall and stay asleep for a quality nights rest. Also, allow yourself time throughout the day for rest and relaxation if needed.

Be sun smart.

Too much sun can cause lupus symptom flares so be extra careful when venturing outside. Cover those exposed areas with at least a 30 SPF sun block. Try to avoid sun when it’s at its strongest and if possible wear protective clothing and accessories such as a hat and sunglasses.

Make healthy choices.

Bad food choices aren’t the only toxic thing that causes lupus flares. While cigarettes are dangerous for everyone, they are especially dangerous for those with lupus. Smoking can speed up and worsen the disease. Limiting alcohol intake is also a good idea as it can interfere with some drugs used to treat lupus.

Work through the fog.

Lupus can affect your memory leaving you feeling confused and frustrated. This lupus fog can be scary, but don’t let it stop you from living your life. To reduce these situations, keep an organized planner with you at all times. Use your planner to schedule all your appointments and keep essential contact information. Set alarms, utilize post it notes, and ask for reminders.

Seek support.

Support groups are a great way to help you find comfort and advice while trying to navigate life with this disease. Studies have shown that support groups can help improve mood, provide coping skills, and reduce pain. To find a support group in your area, go to the Lupus Foundation of America website.

Find quality treatment.

Lupus changes over time and everyone responds to treatment differently. As such, caring for patients with lupus requires vigilance and attention to detail. The goal of treatment is to limit inflammatory injury to tissues, using a broad range of therapeutic options. Find a good doctor like those at Carolina Arthritis. We will work closely with you to figure out the best course action for you and your illness.

Although most people with lupus require regular doctor visits and must take medications, a healthy lifestyle has a huge impact on the disease and needs to be the foundation on which medical intervention is built. If you think you or a loved one may be showing signs of lupus, please contact Carolina Arthritis today to schedule an appointment with one of our rheumatologists.