If lupus flares are a mystery to you, take WebMD Lupus Community expert Christine Miserandino's example. Put on your detective's hat and pay attention to daily events that may be contributing to your own lupus symptoms and flares.
In a recent Community discussion, Christine pinpoints several triggers that are big for her, including sun exposure (a common lupus trigger), not eating, and changes in the weather. Although she can stay out of the sun and make sure to eat regularly, the weather, of course, is out of her control. So she arranges her schedule according to the forecast, whether for rain or for any severe weather changes.
To figure out other triggers -- like a lack of sleep or stress -- Christine keeps a calendar where she notes how she feels, what medications she’s taking, and any other notable events that happen during her day.
One of WebMD's Community members shared that, as an IT professional, she does something similar, using her analytical skills to figure out her own lupus flares. She tried avoiding gluten, and then adding it back into her diet. Then she was more aware of the joint pain that arose when she started eating it again. She says “I only keep a journal when I'm in severe flare, but I keep track of problems between doctor visits, and bring this in with my list of meds, and other important medical info to each doctor visit." She also keeps up with her own electronic health record via her insurer. She advocates that other people with lupus also take control of their own health information.
What have you done to better understand your lupus triggers? What works for you in reducing lupus symptoms and flares?