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Preventing a Lupus Flare

Your doctor has put together a treatment plan that is designed specifically for you and your lupus. This probably includes physical and emotional rest, aggressive treatment of infections, good nutrition, and avoidance of direct sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light. Your doctor may have also prescribed medications to control disease symptoms and other health problems that you might have. One of the most important ways you can help yourself is to understand your treatment plan and the things you need to do to keep your disease under control.

Sometimes, despite the treatment plan and your efforts, you may experience a lupus flare. A flare is a worsening of symptoms that signals increased disease activity. A variety of factors can cause a flare, and you should contact your doctor immediately if you suspect a flare is developing. The doctor will evaluate your condition and take steps to control the seriousness of the flare. He or she will also reevaluate your overall treatment plan and make any needed changes.

Recommended Related to Lupus

Fighting Lupus Fatigue

If you have lupus, chances are good that you are no stranger to fatigue. It is one of the most common complaints among people with the disease. Artist and children’s book illustrator Adjoa B., who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy, knows what it's like. “I do experience the fatigue,” says Adjoa, who was diagnosed with lupus in 1993. “By 8 p.m., I often feel like I need to go to bed.” Now 54, the Annapolis, Md. resident says that she hasn't had the overwhelming fatigue...

Read the Fighting Lupus Fatigue article > >

Warning Signs of a Flare

What Triggers a Flare?

A flare can be triggered by one factor or a combination of factors.
The most common are:

  • overwork or not enough rest
  • stress or an emotional crisis
  • exposure to sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light
  • infection
  • injuries or surgery
  • pregnancy or the time right after the baby's birth (the postpartum period)
  • sudden stopping of medications for lupus
  • sensitivities or allergies to items that you put on your skin, such as hair dye, hair permanent solution, makeup, and skin creams
  • certain prescription drugs
  • over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup or laxatives
  • immunization

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