Taking care of your skin and health continued...
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.
Other good health habits that will help protect you
- Regular exercise.
- Education about
lupus and self-care.
- Not smoking. People with lupus have an increased risk of hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Smoking increases this risk even more.
healthy, balanced diet.
- Regular dental
- Regular eye exams by an
- Building a support
system of family, friends, and health professionals.
If you have lupus and are a woman in your childbearing
years, pay special attention to
pregnancy-related concerns, both before you conceive and
while pregnant. Most women with well-controlled lupus can take birth control
pills if they choose. And for most women, lupus
won't interfere with becoming pregnant or with pregnancy. But some women
with lupus, especially those with active disease, are at higher risk of
problems from pregnancy. All women of childbearing age should check with
rheumatologist when they are planning to become
Home treatment and regular checkups are sometimes
enough for managing mild lupus or for periods of
remission. Be sure to have regular checkups. These checks are important to help find
and treat progressive organ damage.
It is important that the
people in your life understand what lupus is, how it affects your life, and how
you can best cope with it. Help them understand your limitations and needs when
your symptoms flare. Support groups are great places to learn coping strategies