In this article, we will talk about how to live with Lupus. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) or simply Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease. In this illness, your own body attacks the body cells and most connective tissues are the target. It mostly affects the women of childbearing age. And like any other chronic illness, living with lupus is not easy. It affects life in many ways and needs constant physical and psychological management.
How to live with Lupus
This is the first step towards better management of any chronic ailment including Lupus. Acceptance means embracing that you are having a condition that is lifelong and you will have to live with it. This may involve initial shock, then grieving, later on, acceptance and finally action and taking steps to cope with your problem. Acceptance is the key to a successful life with Lupus.
Understanding your illness
The next step involves understanding what Lupus is all about. Reading about your illness, consulting your physician to know exactly what caused it and how it can be managed and what can flare it up is very important. Moreover, poor understanding of your condition can further make the situation worse.
Lupus, being a chronic medical illness and a physiological disease, requires lifelong medication. Medication adherence is very important as Lupus gets worse once you disturb your medication schedule and increased amount of drugs are required to bring the heightened symptoms down. In addition, you can add sticky note reminders or other types of reminders to ensure not to miss a dose as recommended by your physician.
Experts consider stress to be not only the contributing factor of Lupus, but it also exacerbates the symptoms of this disease. Make SMART goals, take time to talk to your family about your stressors, expand your support group and take out time to do things you like to lower the stress level in your life.
Pain has been the most debilitating factor which impairs normal functioning in lupus. And it is very important to manage pain effectively using painkillers and taking the medication regularly. And doing exercise can really strengthen the muscles to minimize pain.
Like any other chronic ailments, Lupus also requires lifestyle management to live effectively with it. Some foods flare up lupus symptoms. Similarly, adopting unhealthy lifestyle like lack of physical activity, getting less sleep or being over-stressed can all lead to Lupus flares. Moreover, life with lupus requires proper diet plan, eating healthy food, doing physical activity and exercise and taking proper sleep can help in a much better life with Lupus.
Lupus requires regular monitoring to understand how the disease is progressing. Further, this monitoring helps in identifying lupus flares during infection, pregnancy and stress. Thus, proper monitoring through regular tests is very important to ensure that a person is getting the right amount of medication and is stable. It also helps your physician to understand and monitor the course of your ailment. In addition, this helps prevent any long term damage to vital organs like kidneys and lungs.
In short, Lupus requires long term lifestyle management along with medication to help you function fully. Many people with lupus spend a normal life. And they fully embrace their illness and work towards controlling the flares.
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