Living with lupus: What are your treatment options?
Even though lupus is a potentially serious condition, most people with the disease go on to live normal lives. Lupus treatments have become much more effective and the disease can be managed well. Most patients can live their full life spans with good treatment and management.
Medicines help us to control lupus
Although medicines are important in lupus treatments, there are certain things that you can do to help manage your symptoms and prevent your disease from getting worse. Here are some of the things that you can do to help yourself get better and live a long healthy life.
Lupus treatments process :
1. Active part in your treatment process
Take an active part in your lupus treatments process. Learn as much as you can about your disease and medication options. Be pro-active. Keep a watch out for any new symptoms and do not ignore them. Bring them to the attention of your doctor as soon as possible.
2. Get physically examined regularly
Form a good relationship with your primary health caretaker and visit him often. Get physically examined regularly to spot early onset of any problem. Take lab tests as required to keep a check on any progress of the disease.
3. Support of family and friends
Take the support of family and friends as the disease is going to be there for a long time and could change at any time.
4. Exposure to the sun
Avoid exposure to the sun. Sunlight can bring on a flare of the disease apart from exacerbating your skin lesions. If you need to go out in the sun use a shade and lots of strong sunscreen (50+). Limit your time in rooms that have a lot of fluorescent lighting.
5. Regular exercise
Exercise regularly to keep your joints supple, and to make the active muscles
6. Plan your pregnancy with the advice of a doctor
Plan your pregnancy with the advice of your doctor. You should ideally plan to get pregnant during a period of remission. Avoid getting pregnant if you are on immuno-suppressive therapy as the intake of the drugs (cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil) could harm your baby.
7. Test results
If your test results show a raised antiphospholipid antibodies then you must avoid taking oestrogen as it increases the risk of blood clots and of worsening the disease.
8. Yoga and meditation
Take care of your heart. Eat a healthy balanced diet, avoid stress, try relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation and keep active.
9. Inflammatory foods
Natural strategies such as reducing inflammatory foods like those high in sugar and saturated fat, reducing stress, detoxification methods and healing your gut also seem to help.
10. Suffer from a dry mouth
If you suffer from a dry mouth it can be remedied by sugar-free chewing gum or hard candy staying hydrated and using lip balm. Keep your mouth clean as you may be more prone to tooth decay if you have a dry mouth.
11. Healthy habits
Lifestyle changes like exercise, weight management, and overall healthy habits are also very important.
12. Chronic illness
It can be quite challenging to maintain a positive outlook while managing the daily effects of a chronic illness. Watch out for signs of depression such as a lack of interest in everyday activities, sleeping too little or too much, loss of appetite, deep sadness, irritability or anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Talk to your doctor if you think you are depressed. Counselling and certain anti-depressant medications will certainly help.