Prevention of Lupus

Regular Preventive Health Care:  It make good prevention sense for everyone to receive regular check-ups rather than wait until they are seriously ill before they seek medical care and treatment. This is especially important for persons diagnosed with Lupus, rather than waiting until symptoms worsen before seeking treatment. Scheduling regular exams and lab work allows the physician to follow how the illness is progressing, observe how the treatment is working and adjust the treatment plan, if necessary. It also provides an opportunity to identify and treat new symptoms early before they progress to more serious illness. It also is an opportune time for the physician and patient to discuss other related health issues affecting the patient indirectly such as use of sunscreen, birth control, family planning, influenza and pneumococcal vaccines as well as other prevention issues which impact the quality of life when living with Lupus.

Regular preventive care is especially essential for all persons living with Lupus. Women need to schedule regular gynecological care, and breast exams.  Men with Lupus require a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Other prevention check-ups should be scheduled regularly to check for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other basic prevention issues on a regular basis for both men and women.

Managing Lupus: A major factor to consider when living with Lupus is learning about and understanding the disease, how it affects one’s body and how it to live with its effects on the patient’s life. People with Lupus can maintain a relatively good quality of life if they seek medical treatment early, follow the physician’s directives, take their medication as directed and recognize and heed the disease’s warning signals.

Strategies for Maintaining Wellness:  Being and staying healthy requires a certain added amount of preventive care and life style changes for most people; it is especially important for persons with Lupus. Patients living with Lupus need to pay close attention to their whole body and mind, not just their illness and symptoms.

Some Ideas for Maintaining Wellness:

  • Maintain a healthy diet with fresh and organic foods if possible.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your height and frame.
  • Learn anger management techniques if you are having difficulty coping with your illness or your life.
  • Maintain current friendships and relationships; make new ones when you can.
  • Be open to learning new things, skills and ideas.
  • Do not be impossibly hard on yourself; learn to like you.
  • Walk or exercise daily if you can, even if it is chair dancing. It not only brings fresh oxygen to your brain, it releases endorphins which make you feel better and lessen the pain.
  • Learn relaxation techniques and use them as needed.
  • Set time priorities for yourself which are not prohibitive or restrictive, allowing you to maintain a balanced, unrushed lifestyle.
  • Learn to forgive yourself and others; holding on to past mistakes, grudges, disappointments, or assumed personal slights can drag you down and make you unhappy and depressed. Depression can exacerbate the symptoms of Lupus.
  • Develop and maintain a strong support system for yourself and reciprocate with friends and family.