Common Lupus Flare Triggers to Avoid
Lupus flares are not always predictable and can come on at seemingly the most random of times. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid certain triggers that may end up setting flares in motion.
I know everyone says this and it seems super obvious, super vague and above all, super hard to do. Those are all true statements. However, there are things you can do to minimize and manage your stress to ensure your body and mind remain calm.
Whether you work or are a student, make sure you take some time for yourself to unwind. Whether this means painting your toenails, sitting in a bath or curling up with a cup of tea and a good book, make sure you have some serious “me” time a couple of times a week.
This can help take your mind off of your daily stressors and will set your body up to a healing path. Every now and then, when you can afford it, try and treat yourself with a massage or a pedicure or manicure — or whatever will really help you relax. As this is rather expensive, it isn’t wise to make a habit of it, but every once in a while will do you good!
2. Poor Sleep
Many of us have terrible sleeping habits, due to stress, lupus, family life or our jobs. While it may not be possible to get an amazing night’s rest every single night, it is always worth a try. Before you go to bed, set aside a few moments to unwind and relax away from the computer and any other electronic devices.
Take the time to either listen to some nature or white noise sounds or even listen to a guided meditation. Try and block off eight to nine (or more if exhaustion is a big symptom for you) hours per night dedicated to sleeping and use those hours to either sleep or relax without any outside influence.
Sleeping well can bolster your immune system and help you avoid a whole host of illnesses that can trigger a lupus flare.
3. Eating Badly
Unfortunately there is no magical diet that will cure lupus, the way a lot of fraudsters claim. But this doesn’t mean you should eat badly.
Eating excessive amounts of sugar or fat can contribute to your body feeling sluggish and an overall “sick” feeling, which can lead to lupus flares or activate your symptoms. Personally, I find that lots of protein ups my energy and this may be helpful to you. Try and eat a balanced diet with a limited amount of sugar, salt and fat and an increased amount of protein.
Additionally, nightshade vegetables (tomato, eggplants and peppers) and alfalfa sprouts are said to increase inflammation and therefore can trigger a lupus flare. Of course, you can have these things in moderation, but eating too many of them may cause an issue.
4. Colds and Flus
Depending on your profession, you may be completely unable to stay away from the flu and cold virus during flu and cold season. The flu and cold viruses typically spread because during the winter months, we are all indoors more often and more susceptible to spreading illnesses between us. This means that anywhere you work could potentially turn into a cesspool of germs.
Try to avoid hand contact with those who are ill and avoid putting on lotion at the office, as this can actually spread the virus around. Invest in a good hand sanitizer and use it as much as you feel is necessary.
And always, always get the flu shot every year to ensure that you keep the virus at bay. This is especially important for you and if you are working with vulnerable populations, such as children or the elderly.