Lupus Awareness – What Is It? How You Can Prevent Flare Ups


lupus purple ribbon awarenessThis month is Lupus Awareness month, we are dedicated to bring you the information you need to help reduce flare ups so you can live a happy, healthy life!  Because you are a unique individual, and Lupus can affect each person differently all information we share with you may or may not work for you.  Below we’ll be discussing exactly what Lupus is, and how you can take small steps to reduce flare ups.

What Is Lupus?

Lupus occurs in the body’s immune system, it’s a chronic inflammatory condition that attacks your body’s organs and tissues.  It can affect your skin, blood cells, heart, kidneys, lungs and joints. Below is a list of common symptoms, if you experience any of these it may be a good idea to see your doctor.

Symptoms

  • Over the cheeks and nose a butterfly like rash appears
  • Joint stiffness, pain and swelling
  • Lesions on the skin that appear after sun exposure
  • Lesions worsen upon skin exposure
  • Pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Feeling tired
  • Eyes that are abnormally dry
  • Toes & fingers exposed to cold turning blue or white, this can happen during stress as well.

Though there is no cure for Lupus, there are ways to manage it.

What Can I Do To Prevent Flare Ups?

Sun exposure is a definite aggravating factor when it comes to Lupus.  Ultraviolet light actually triggers your Lupus symptoms and they can either be mild or quite severe.  It’s a good idea to wear sunscreen every time you’ll be out in the sun.  Using something natural that’s free of chemicals should lessen skin irritation and keep you protected.  It’s recommended that an SPF 50 is used for those who suffer with Lupus.

In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing to reduce sun exposure should lessen your chances of a flare up.  A large hat, shirt that covers your shoulders and arms and pants are a good idea.  If it’s summer, you can use something like the Sun Shrugz which allows you to wear a bathing suit while giving you added protection over your shoulders and arms.  If you’ll be spending the day outdoors, try bringing a sun shade that you can sit under to lessen UV exposure.

A healthy lifestyle can also reduce your risk of flare ups.  Regular exercise not only helps you from your next flare up but will aid you in recovering from a current flare up. Add lots of fruits, whole grains and vegetables to your diet as this helps with keeping the inside of you working like a well oiled machine.

 If you smoke, you may want to quit.  It can increase your flare ups and because Lupus affects your heart and smoking increases heart disease, as if there weren’t enough other reasons to quit! We highly recommend “Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking” almost everyone I know who has packed-up puffing, and stayed a non-smoker read this book, best of all you have to keep smoking while you read so there is no time like the present 😉

Get plenty of rest; most people who suffer from Lupus are excessively tired.  Getting a full 8 hours of rest each night and a nap during the day will help you with persistent tired feelings.

Do you suffer from Lupus?  What are some of the steps you take to keep your flare ups at bay?

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About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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5 Responses to Lupus Awareness – What Is It? How You Can Prevent Flare Ups

  1. kiihele says:

    I have had two friends with Lupus. One had systemic lupus and passed away. She took the medical avenue and lived on steroids. The other who has had lupus for 30+ years manages hers quite well with diet, staying out of the sun, and acupuncture and has lived a fairly normal life without many problems. As you said everyone is different, has different symptoms, treats different and unfortunately have different outcomes.

  2. I have got Lupus myself and I am having frequent flares despite looking after myself and avoiding the sun. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason and you just have to go with the flow. Your clothing looks really interesting. Do you deliver to New Zealand?

  3. Ahh… I remember when I had a form of lupus… I didn’t have the rash or anything, but I did have extreme joint paint. I had a usually temporary type of lupus called “drug-induced lupus”, which typically stops when you stop taking the drug that induced it. That drug was minocyclene, a pill I took every day or twice a day for my bad acne. I was so thankful when I found out it wasn’t REGULAR lupus… yikes.

  4. suesuzzz says:

    i just wrote a whole book and it would not let me comment??? lol my luck…i have many forms of lupus and fibro and other health problems….great post and i really enjoyed your site and look forward to looking around more and hearing more from you..
    hugs suzette

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