This 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.
- 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
- 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?