Coping with Lupus

Amber Rosh is a Passionate blogger, lives in the UK. She writes on behalf of ehic-uk.org”. She loves to write as a guest blogger with interest in Travel, Health and Automotive. She is this week’s guest blogger, so please welcome Amber’s contribution:

Lupus is one of the most poorly understood diseases; poorly understood by the general public, and even by many who have lupus. Oftentimes the word ‘lupus’ causes bewilderment by whoever hears the word.

WHAT IS LUPUS?: The disease is an autoimmune disorder that basically means that the body’s immune system attacks it’s own healthy tissues and causes problems (depending on the body part and body system that is attacked). Lupus is extremely difficult to diagnose and deal with because its cause is still unclear. One misconception about lupus is that it only occurs in women. While it is more common in women, males too develop lupus, especially later in life.

MANAGING LUPUS: Lupus can be very painful at times; then at other times it seems not to be present at all. It is a disease of remissions and exacerbations. These times of increased discomfort (exacerbations) are often referred to as flares. Flares can be very intensely uncomfortable to patients and it is important to show understanding and support to family and friends during this time.

Flares may come at completely unpredictable times, and they ‘stay’ for unpredictable times. However, it is believed that there is a trigger for these flares. Knowing what your triggers are and learning to manage them forms a major part of improving the quality of life of any lupus patient. 

As you experiencer a number of flares, you will begin to notice certain symptoms that appear before a flare. Different patients have different symptoms so what causes your symptoms to ‘flare’ may not be the cause of someone else’s ‘symptom’ flare.

Some flare symptoms may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chills and fever and even fits of coughing. Getting regular blood work can also help the doctor to identify certain hints about prospective flares. The disease is not infectious or cancerous.

REGULAR MEDICAL CHECK UPS: Regular medical checkups are is one of the most important things that a lupus patient can do to help manage his or her disease. You may also need to see a rheumatologist frequently to seek help in managing the pain associated with lupus. The immune system of the body is affected in this disease and so it is important to get good preventative care; This puts you at less risk of falling ill, such as getting the flu. Often immune-compromised patients, such as lupus patients, are encouraged to get flu shots yearly. Talk to your doctor first!

STRESS MANAGEMENT: Stress is one of the factors that is consistently associated with a malfunctioning immune system. Try meditation, yoga and relaxation exercises (such as visual imagery) as valuable additions to help manage the stress in your life. Stress is a common trigger of all autoimmune flares. As well as helping you deal with the stress of knowing that you have a chronic disease, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of regular stress management (techniques or classes). They help control the symptoms of lupus. Make exercise part of your routine, as much as aches make you not want to get up and exercise!  And most important, get ample sleep along with good nutrition. These are all things that will help you feel stronger by making you more relaxed.

Your life expectancy is likely to be the same as anyone else even after having been diagnosed with lupus, so it is important that you make sure your quality of life does not suffer. Take up a hobby that which will help you take your mind of things and immerse yourself in things that make you happy. There are no restrictions on eating or travelling too, just be sure to have your European Health Insurance Card with you so that you can get access to medical care (when you travel) at heavily discounted costs all over the European Union and a few other countries in the continent. So, travel needn’t be limited, either.

A diagnosis of Lupus does not have to change your outlook on life or limit it in anyway.

 

 

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