Living with Lupus
If you have been diagnosed with lupus, you will want to know as much as you can about this complex disease. As part of the LFA’s web based education program, this section was created to give you tips and tools to help you understand how lupus can affect your body, and how you can make lifestyle changes to stay as healthy as possible.
Exercise, Fatigue and Photosensitivity
Exercise is to be encouraged in people with lupus. This section will cover those issues that can hinder your ability to make the most of your day and maintaining a healthy life style. Learn strategies that can help you better understand and cope with: fatigue; rest; and sensitivity to light.
Infections and Immunizations
An individual with lupus is more susceptible to infection than most people. This can be due to the lupus itself affecting your immune system, and the medications used to treat your lupus. In this section you will find information on the impact of infections, what to look for, fevers and how vaccines and immunizations can help you.
Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines
When a person has lupus, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This section has information on the seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccines as well as current and updated information on the H1N1 flu and vaccine.
Pain and inflammation are common in people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This section will look at how pain occurs, its possible affect on you and strategies that may help reduce your pain.
There is no one cause of clinical depression in lupus; rather, there are various and different factors contributing to depression in chronic illnesses such as lupus. This section is an overview on how depression may be affecting your life and some strategies to lessen their impact.
Memory Loss and "Lupus Fog"
At some point during the course of their lupus, up to 50 percent of lupus patients describe feelings of confusion, fatigue, memory impairment, and difficulty expressing their thoughts. This collection of symptoms is called cognitive dysfunction or "Lupus Fog," and is found in people with mild to moderately active SLE. This section will discuss the impact that lupus can have on your memory and concentration and explore ways to lessen their impact.
Diet and Nutrition
No one questions the necessity of a well-balanced diet. Fad diets -- advocating an excess or an exclusion of certain types of foods -- are much more likely to hurt rather than help in any disease, including lupus. This section discusses how you can help your diet work for you to enhance your overall well being.
The use of antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids for seasonal allergies generally poses no problems when you have lupus. However, allergy shots may trigger a lupus flare. It is best to discuss allergy treatment with both your lupus doctor and your allergist.
As bad as tobacco products are for everyone, their use is even more dangerous when you have lupus. Cigarette smoking has been linked to the development of many autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Smoking can impair your body’s entire circulatory system, including your heart and blood vessels, and can increase your risk for atherosclerosis (cholesterol deposits in the arteries), a condition that is already seen in increased numbers in people with lupus. Flares of cutaneous (skin) lupus have been linked to an ingredient in tobacco. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do for your health is to stop smoking, and to avoid second-hand smoke.
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Ask the Experts
Check out the LFA "Ask the Experts" archives and learn more about lupus on a variety of topics including skin issues, pregnancy, pediatric lupus, kidney disease, women and men’s issues, medications and more. Our panel of nationally-renowned lupus medical experts provides insight, support and answers into the puzzling and often times frustrating issues of lupus. We invite you to submit your own questions through our website.
Learn from the Experts
Lupus: Learn from the Experts is an education series from the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. The program consists of free educational telephone conference calls on a variety of topics designed to provide you with important information about living with lupus. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s leading lupus experts from the comfort and privacy of your home.
LFA Approved Publications
The Lupus Foundation of America Patient Education Committee has reviewed and approved a number publications and other materials for use in educating individuals and families about lupus and its health effects.
Living with Lupus: Learn from the Experts
Dr. David Wofsy, University of California, San Francisco
Thursday, May 27, 2010
- Download a PDF file of the presentation slides. ** (PDF, 114 kb, 26 slides)
** PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download it now from the Adobe website.