5. Excessive Drinking
This may not cause a flare per se, but it can cause you to feel a lot worse than most people do after they drink. Drinking alcohol isn’t really good for anyone, so if you must go out and drink, stick to a glass or two.
Heavy drinking can lead to terrible hangovers that can last for days on end when you have lupus, which is even less fun than a hangover for someone who doesn’t have the disease. Don’t let peer pressure get to you, either, and stop drinking when you feel you’ve had enough.
6. Overdoing It
This is the one thing I find causes my lupus flares most often. It is incredibly subjective and seems to always change depending on the situation. Do not commit to more than you're be capable of, because it will only end in tears, hurt feelings on both sides and possibly a lupus flare.
Overdoing it can also lead to stress, which can, in turn, exacerbate a flare. Try and keep your commitments to a minimum, unless you are absolutely sure you can handle them. Don’t try to do more than you think you can just to impress people — it usually ends up blowing up in someone’s face.
Overdoing it can also refer to trying to do too much as once in a single day. This can be something as simple as doing too much housework or exercising more than your body can handle that day. Instead of trying to bite off more than you can chew, try and divvy up what needs to be done and take things day by day, and sometimes hour by hour.
If you have a lot that needs doing, remember to rest in between your tasks, either by napping or simply unwinding with a glass of wine and your favorite TV show for half an hour.
Doing too much is often what leads to my flares, so I have found that I need to pace myself, even if it is annoying to others at times. Remember, you don’t have to explain yourself, just listen to what your body is telling you.
7. The Sun
You’ve probably discovered at some point along the way that the sun becomes your nemesis with lupus. Not only is your skin more sensitive to burns (especially if you’re on Plaquenil), but the sun can cause lupus flares as well. If you live somewhere where the sun is pretty aggressive, or you go on vacation somewhere tropical, there are several things you can do to avoid getting ill from the sun.
Firstly, it is important that you wear lots of sunscreen and reapply it as necessary. Secondly, wearing long sleeves (even though it can be super uncomfortable) can also help deter the sun — choose light fabrics such as thin cotton to wear to avoid getting too hot. Wearing hats with a brim outside will also protect your face from the rays.
Lupus flares can also come from other sources, such as injuries, surgeries or other traumas to the body like giving birth. Many times, these situations cannot be avoided, but it is important to go easy on yourself and let yourself heal at your own pace.