An autoimmune disease, lupus is a condition where the immune system goes after healthy tissues, rather than fighting bacteria and viruses. Normally, the body produces proteins known as antibodies which protect and fight against illness; however lupus makes it hard for a body’s immune to classify between antigens and healthy cells and tissue. The end result creates inflammation, swelling, and pain. Organs within the body that are affected include: kidneys, the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and the brain.
Unfortunately, the causes associated with lupus are unknown;however research indicates that genetics seem to play an underlying role. While there is no cure for this condition, through diagnosis and treatments, many can control their symptoms to live an active and normal lifestyle. Additionally, making healthy choices regarding life habits is also an excellent way to battle lupus. Here are some examples of what an individual can focus on:
Sleep: The average adult should be getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Those with lupus have to fight general fatigue as it is, so ensuring a proper night’s sleep (and a nap during the day if needed), is a solid start.
Nutrition:Eating a balanced diet, filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein-enriched foods, and dairy products will help give an individual with lupus the energy to combat the day. Additionally, as those with lupus are susceptible to infection (because of the condition itself, and some of the medications that are taken), vitamin-enriched foods will keep them strong and healthy.
Just Say No: We all know the negative effects smoking can have on a person’s lungs and heart; two organs that can weaken and be damaged by lupus. Therefore, quitting smoking can help strengthen these organs, and avoid further complications.
Exercise: Physical activity is good for the heart, body, mind, and soul. An exercise routine that fits an individual’s fitness level will help lupus sufferers with energy, their general symptoms, and with sleeping at nights.
Suncreen: Sun exposure can increase risks and symptoms for those who suffer from lupus. A healthier choice, and to protect an individual’s skin, is the regular use of sunscreen.
Flu Shot: Once again, because lupus sufferers increase their risks of infection, getting the flu shot once a year can reduce their chances significantly of getting the flu. When you are battling an over-active immune system, the last thing you would want to do is battle the flu as well.