Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

One of your greatest challenges of living with vasculitis may be coping with side effects of your medication. The following suggestions may help:

  • Understand your condition. Learn everything you can about vasculitis and its treatment. Know the possible side effects of the drugs you take, and tell your doctor about any changes in your health.
  • Follow your treatment plan. Your treatment plan may include seeing your doctor regularly, undergoing more tests and checking your blood pressure.
  • Choose a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems that can result from your medications, such as thinning bones, high blood pressure and diabetes. Choose a diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats and fish. If you're taking a corticosteroid drug, ask your doctor if you need to take a vitamin D or calcium supplement.
  • Get routine vaccinations. Keeping up to date on vaccinations, such as for flu and pneumonia, can help prevent problems that can result from your medications, such as infection.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, can help prevent bone loss, high blood pressure and diabetes that can be associated with taking corticosteroids. It also benefits your heart and lungs. In addition, many people find that exercise improves their mood and overall sense of well-being. If you're not used to exercising, start out slowly and build up gradually. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program that's right for you.
  • Maintain a strong support system. Family and friends can help you as you cope with this condition. If you think it would be helpful to talk with other people who are living with vasculitis, ask a member of your health care team about connecting with a support group.
Oct. 08, 2014

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