Good self-care is essential to
lupus. Learn to
recognize your body's warning signs of a flare. Warning signs may include
increased fatigue, joint pain, rash, or fever. When you notice any of these
signs, take steps to control your symptoms.
Dealing with stress and fatigue
Stress may trigger lupus symptoms. Keep your
stress level as low as you can.
- Keep your daily schedule as simple as possible.
- Keep your list of obligations to others to a bare minimum.
- Delegate to others.
- Exercise regularly. A daily walk,
for example, can reduce stress, clear your head, improve your mood, and help
- Use relaxation techniques such as
guided imagery to calm your body and mind.
Fatigue is common in people with
lupus. To fight
- Get plenty of rest. Some people with lupus need
up to 12 hours of sleep every night.
- Pace yourself. Limit tiring
- Ask others for help. Don't try to do everything
- Take short breaks from your usual daily activities.
Consider cutting down on work hours or getting help with parenting
responsibilities, at least during periods when lupus symptoms are
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity boosts energy and
helps you stay in good condition. Walking and swimming are good forms of
exercise for people with lupus.
- If you suspect that
depression is contributing to your fatigue, get prompt
treatment from your doctor, a mental health professional, or both.
Taking care of your skin and health
Take care of your skin. Ask your
doctor about the use of
corticosteroid creams to relieve skin symptoms that
are particularly troublesome. If you are bothered by the way a lupus rash looks
on your face or if you have scars from lupus, you can try makeup, such as
Covermark, to cover the rash or scars.
Ultraviolet (UVA and UVB) light triggers disease
flares in most people who have lupus. Exposure to
ultraviolet light, as from sunlight, can trigger or start skin rash, joint
pain, or fatigue, or it can make these symptoms worse. To minimize your
exposure to ultraviolet light:
- Avoid the sun. If you must be in the sun, cover
your arms and legs, wear a hat, and apply broad-spectrum sunscreen (covering
both UVA and UVB rays) with a high sun protection factor
SPF or higher) to protect your skin. Reapply sunscreen
after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Experiment with sunscreens. Some may
irritate your skin or wash off too easily.
- Avoid going out when the
sun's rays are the strongest. In most areas, this is between the hours of 10
a.m. and 4 p.m., especially during the summer.
Good general care is essential. A
healthy lifestyle not only improves your quality of life but may also reduce
your chances of having more frequent and severe flares. Taking good general care of yourself also helps decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Good care
- Getting vaccinations to help protect you from
illnesses such as pneumonia and the flu. But some vaccinations are not safe if you have lupus. Talk to your doctor about your vaccination schedule.
- Treating high blood
pressure and high cholesterol.
- Taking medicine to help prevent
osteoporosis caused by
- Preventing plaque in the
arteries (atherosclerosis) that can be made worse by
- Protecting yourself against infections you can get
more easily due to decreased
immune system function.