What to do during a lupus flare?
Ah, the joys of living with lupus. One day everything is great, and the next you’re experiencing a full-blown flare-up that has you feeling like crap. It’s not fun, but it’s a reality that many people face on a regular basis. Lucky for you though , I’ve put together some tips for what to do during a lupus flare.
Understanding Lupus Flares
First, let’s talk about what causes flares or as we sometimes call them “lupie moments” (yes this is an actual slang used by those who have lupus).
Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disorder in which your body attacks healthy tissues and organs. This leads to inflammation throughout your body causing symptoms such as fatigue, rashes, joint pain, hair loss etc…
Flares occur when there is an increase in disease activity causing symptoms that are more intense than usual.Some triggers can be sunlight exposure,stress,sickness,diet among others.
It’s important to identify early signs of flares so as they can be treated immediately.There are different types of flares ranging from mild ones consisting only one symptom upto severe cases where every aspect comes into play.Severe cases may lead to hospitalization.
Recognizing Early Signs Of Flare-Ups
The earlier you recognize that you’re having a flare-up,the better prepared you will bein dealing with it . Here are some common warning signs:
- Joint pain/stiffness
- Raynaud’s phenomenon
- Mouth ulcers
- Skin rash especially involving sun-exposed areas such as cheeks.
If these Persist/upgrade for atleast two days ,it’s time to take action.Learn about yourself and try monitor patterns within patterns:Identifying personal triggers aids in management of flare-ups.
Don’t ignore any warning signs,a minor change may represent a transition into something more serious.
Chat With A Medical Professional
If you’re experiencing a flare-up, the first thing to do is chat with your doctor.Discussing treatment options and finding out how to manage your symptoms during flares could help prevent long-term damage from lupus complications.Your medical professional might suggest some dietary changes as well for effective symptom management.
It’s important not just to wait for flares or lupie moments but also keep regular check-ins with doctors to monitor condition and infection risks.The relationship between Doctors :medical professionals and patients encourage effective monitoring Additionally ,with improving technology,you can find telemedicine services where necessary thus eliminating the hustles of booking appointments physically.
Make Some Changes To Your Routine
Sugar, alcohol,tobacco smoking included in certain lupus patients have been linked with increased risk of disease activity.
Avoiding substances that are linked directly or indirectly will be helpful.Recognizing personal triggers comes into play here as mentioned earlier.Here are additional tips:
Sleep hygiene plays an important role during this period.It’s paramount getting enough sleep which regulates stress levels. Low energy due to being tired heavily affects patient mood potentially increasing chances of worse reactions incase one gets a flare up.
Creating an inviting sleeping environment like cool temperatures makes it easier falling asleep.Avoid overstimulation before bedtime especially using phones.Experts advise keeping phones away at least thirty minutes before bedtime.This rule helps in disconnecting your brain finally allowing it calm down providing better chances of complete sleep.Those who exhibit restless leg syndrome is advised against consuming caffeine drinks atleast two hours before bed .Recommending having set routines.I know,I know! implementing complete healthy routine everyday feels like unnecessary pressure until our body attains immunity..
Stress has always been identified as factor contributing towards lupus.Worrying and anxiety contribute towards flaring up. Identifying personal de-stresses techniques like breathing exercises,meditation for atleast 20/30 minutes daily aids in maintaning general health.Avoid tasks requiring too much energy as they can be tiresome.
Mild physical activities that help reduce inflammation include yoga,waking ,dancing among others.Long out of shape gym sessions may not do you any favour Do remember to check with your doctor first : Precautions are always necessary.
Stay On Top Of Your Medications
Consistency is vital when it comes to taking medication.During flare-up,it’s important ensuring you take the right kind at the correct time.To avoid getting mixed up it will be preferable preparing a pillbox set for two weeks monthly.Getting reminders from phone application might also work.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen should only be taken after consulting respective medical professional.Aspirin which may trigger some other lupus symptoms should be avoided.Lupus patients consuming supplements without proper prescription put themselves at risk because certain supplements might interfere with ongoing medications,make sure discussing this option with medical professionals.
Practice Good Skin Care
As mentioned before,sunlight exposure puts Lupies at risk .To prevent UV rays skin dressings can aid fastening recovery processes.Regular moisturizing helps tackle effects of dry skin.Skincare routine specifically suited for different lupus types exist people living with cutaneous lupus erythematosus(CLE) know how difficult sleepless nights due to itchiness caused by constant rashes especially during flares.Here are easy skincare steps:
- Apply unscented unadulterated creams would minimize effects on sensitive skins
- Avoid water hot temperatures.
- A chemical-free face wash that does not contain harsh scrubs will protect delicacies required within facial cells.
For severe cases dermatologists assist in having prescribed cream capable treating inflammations caused by cutaneous lupus.
The importance of staying hydrated is the frequently reiterated advice we hear from almost everywhere and with good reasons.Humidity levels at different places are distinct.A dry environment could require more water uptake as compared to when in humid surroundings.
During flares ,lupies needs change drastically.Increased need affects insensible water loss,that’s because inflammation requires more liquid flow.With qualified medical professional recommendations approximated intake guide can be provided so stay on track(Drastically varies per person).Staying hydrated would prevent unnecessary symptoms like headaches,constipation or dizziness.
Stay safe Lupies !research,research,research!