Take steps to care for your body if you have lupus. Simple measures can help you prevent lupus flares and, should they occur, better cope with the signs and symptoms you experience. Try to:
Nov. 18, 2014
- See your doctor regularly. Having regular checkups instead of only seeing your doctor when your symptoms worsen may help your doctor prevent flare-ups, and can be useful in addressing routine health concerns, such as stress, diet and exercise that can be helpful in preventing lupus complications.
- Get adequate rest. People with lupus often experience persistent fatigue that's different from normal tiredness and that isn't necessarily relieved by rest. For that reason, it can be hard to judge when you need to slow down. Get plenty of sleep at night and naps or breaks during the day as needed.
- Be sun smart. Because ultraviolet light can trigger a flare, wear protective clothing — such as a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants — and use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 55 every time you go outside.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise can help you recover from a flare, reduce your risk of heart attack, help fight depression and promote general well-being.
- Don't smoke. Smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and can worsen the effects of lupus on your heart and blood vessels.
- Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sometimes you may have dietary restrictions, especially if you have high blood pressure, kidney damage or gastrointestinal problems.
- Handout on Health: Systemic lupus erythematosus. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Lupus/. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
- Schur PH, et al. Overview of the clinical manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/browse/book/3-s2.0-C20100683209. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
- Schur PH, et al. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
- Schur PH, et al. Overview of the therapy and prognosis of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
- Haija AJ, et al. The role and effect of complementary and alternative medicine in systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America. 2011;37:47.
- Lupus. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Aug. 3, 2014.
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