Basics for Better Living
Although there is no "cure" for lupus, you can make lifestyle adjustments that help fight the disease and give you an improved sense of well being. Many of these don't require spending money or seeing a health care provider. After all, we've known for years that the "head bone" is connected to the "lupus bone," and that stress and difficulty in coping are associated more with disease flares. In this pamphlet, we offer you ways to do things to help yourself.
Make Sure It's Really Lupus
Even though 10 million Americans have a positive antinuclear antibody (ANA), only one million have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A recent survey found that only one-third of patients who had been told they have lupus actually fulfill the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) definition for the disorder.
Positive ANAs, fatigue, aching and other lupus-related symptoms can be found among individuals with:
- thyroid disease,
- recent infections (especially viral),
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- pregnancy, and
- multiple sclerosis,
- among other illnesses.
Has your diagnosis of lupus given by your primary care physician, been confirmed by a Board Certified Rheumatologist or other recognized lupus specialist? If your disease has been confirmed as being lupus, read on.
What Kind Of Lupus Do You Have?
Chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CCLE)
CCLE is a skin disorder. The skin precautions discussed later in the brochure are important, but fewer than 20 percent of these patients will ever develop systemic lupus, and most generally feel well.
Drug-induced lupus erythematosus (DILE or DLE)
DILE can be brought on by more than 70 different prescription drugs, but symptoms disappears within days to months of the drug's discontinuation.
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)
Some patients fulfill criteria for systemic lupus, but also meet the definitions for rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or polymyositis. They have mixed connective tissue disease if anti-RNP is present. The information in this pamphlet applies to these patients, but they should also find out about the associated disorder.