Avoid These 12 Triggers to Manage Lupus

Avoid These 12 Triggers to Manage Lupus

A chronic autoimmune condition, lupus affects millions of people around the world. It is a disease wherein the immune system is triggered to attack the healthy tissues causing increased inflammation, pain, and damage to different organs and body parts. Different people experience varying symptoms in varying degrees, including skin rashes, joint pain, fever, fatigue, and problems related to kidneys. Although there is no cure for the condition, it is essential to manage it with the help of lifestyle changes and proper treatment.

Sun exposure
Prolonged sun or UV light exposure is among the most common causes of flare-ups and worsening symptoms in lupus patients. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight cause joint pain, skin rashes, and fatigue in lupus patients. Some treatments for the condition also increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. To protect against any damage from the sun, people with lupus are advised to wear protective clothing like hats, long-sleeved shirts, and full-length pants. It is also essential not to skip board spectrum sunscreens as they can help prevent sun damage. Remember to use sun protection with a minimum SPF of 30.

Stress is a common trigger for lupus and can worsen its symptoms. When the body is stressed, it releases hormones that can increase inflammatory levels and further weaken the immune system. Regular practice of relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, and breathwork can help people with lupus avoid high-stress levels. Prioritizing peace and self-care can help patients avoid the subsequent fallout caused by stress.

Infections can trigger lupus flares and result in worsening symptoms. The weakened immune system of lupus patients makes them more susceptible to infections. They must take all the necessary steps to help them stay infection-free. Vaccinations for preventable diseases, frequently washing hands, and avoiding contact with sick people are some basics of avoiding infections. In case of catching an infection, patients must seek help from their healthcare practitioner immediately to avoid any complications.

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with lupus, and it is essential for people with this condition to avoid being overexerted. Conserving energy is crucial for lupus patients as it prevents exacerbating other triggers like poor sleep, physical and emotional stress, and unhealthy food choices. In addition, lupus patients need to prioritize self-care and healing activities like healthy eating, regular sleep routine, and the right intensity of daily activity.

Foods like wheat, rye, and barley contain a protein known as gluten. Some patients with lupus might also have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Intake of foods with gluten can cause gastrointestinal issues and exacerbate lupus symptoms.

High-impact exercise
High-impact physical activities such as jumping, running, or playing other sports can increase inflammation in the body. It also causes joint pain and increases the person’s risk of injury. Therefore, people with lupus should avoid these activities in favor of low-impact activities like yoga, walking, and swimming.

Chemical exposure
Cleaning agents, solvents, pesticides, and other chemicals are known to worsen or trigger lupus symptoms. Therefore, people with lupus should avoid being exposed to harmful chemicals as much as possible. In addition, they can replace products containing these chemicals with non-toxic or natural cleaners. Alternatively, people can wear protective clothing like masks and gloves when exposed to these harmful chemicals.

Joint pain, muscle soreness, and fatigue are typical results of overexertion. All of these can result in the worsening of lupus symptoms and might cause episodes of flare-ups. People with lupus must avoid exerting themselves and listen to their bodies instead. It will help them prevent the symptoms from worsening and the recovery period from extending. Pushing too hard during workouts can be one of the reasons people feel overexerted and something that should be avoided with lupus.

Inadequate sleep
Poor sleep is another thing that lupus patients must avoid to stay safe from flare-ups and worsening symptoms. Inadequate sleep, in terms of quality and quantity, worsens symptoms like pain, fatigue, and cognitive dysfunction. It is, therefore, essential to have an established routine that helps patients clock in the required hours of sleep. Creating a relaxing environment close to bedtime and avoiding all electronics and stimulants like coffee can help improve sleep quality.

Hormonal changes
Some women might experience lupus flares because of hormonal changes. These include changes that can occur due to menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes can not only trigger flare-ups they can also worsen symptoms. Therefore, it is vital for people with lupus to speak to their healthcare providers and get an idea about management options. Knowing what can be done to manage flare-ups during these stages can help avoid the complications that might occur later.

Exposure to cold temperatures
Symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness can be easily triggered in cold temperatures. This can worsen the condition of lupus patients; hence, frigid temperatures or prolonged exposure to cold must be avoided. To do so, people with lupus should avoid cold environments, dress in warm clothing, and use heating pads or hot water bottles to alleviate symptoms.

Illness or injury
Lupus patients already have a weakened immune system. They must avoid any illnesses or injuries as they can result in flare-ups and worsen the pre-existing symptoms. When the immune system tries to fight off the infection, it also triggers the autoimmune response increasing the inflammation levels in the body. It can also trigger stress in the body giving rise to symptoms like joint pain, fatigue, and soreness. Therefore, it is equally important to contact the healthcare provider and follow proper treatment in case something happens to avoid further complications.

Lupus patients need to work closely with their healthcare practitioners. Contacting a registered nutritionist to help them identify foods that are truly healthy for them is also recommended. By avoiding triggers and unhealthy habits, it can be possible to lead a healthy and active lifestyle without worrying about frequent flare-ups.