Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own connective tissue. This causes inflammation and damage to the skin and other organs, and leads to more and more varied infections. Lupus is most frequently a disease of women in their thirties and forties. Genetic factors play a role. In a predisposed person, environmental factors such as a latent viral infection, the use of certain drugs, exposure to ultraviolet light, or bodily injury can provoke the onset of the disease.
- People with lupus often experience persistent fatigue that’s different from normal tiredness and that isn’t necessarily relieved by rest. For that reason, it can be hard to judge when you need to slow down. Get plenty of sleep a night and naps or breaks during the day as needed.
- Because ultraviolet light can trigger a flare, wear protective clothing, such as a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants, and use sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 55 every time you go outside.
- Exercise can help you recover from a flare, reduce your risk of heart attack, help fight depression and promote general well-being.
- Smoking increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and can worsen the effects of lupus on your heart and blood vessels.
- A healthy diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sometimes you may have dietary restrictions, especially if you have high blood pressure, kidney damage or gastrointestinal problems.
- Turmeric. Take 300 milligrams three times a day.
- Reishi mushroom extract enhances immune function. Take 1 gram (1,000 milligrams) three times a day.
- Avoid the herb echinacea. It stimulates the immune system, and should not be used in an autoimmune disease such as lupus.