Helpful Products for Lupus Living
Living with lupus can be difficult and debilitating. However, those of us who suffer from it know that life must go on and we cannot simply lie down and give in to the dreaded complications that come with lupus.
Chances are if you have lupus you are under the care of a doctor and may have a multitude of daily medications necessary for your continued wellbeing. Many doctors rely solely on conventional treatments; however, more and more are becoming aware and accepting of complementary treatments.
I use the word ‘complementary’ here because ‘alternative’ could imply the lack of conventional treatments. Doctors have special training and treat lupus patients accordingly. It is not recommended that someone suffering from lupus neglect conventional treatments; however, complementing those treatments with natural or alternative therapies can prove beneficial. After all, we are in control of our bodies and wellness.
However, before making any changes or adding any supplemental options to your treatment, you should fully discuss your plans with your doctor. The last thing you want to do is make the situation worse, so be cautious of products, supplements, and alternate treatments that claim to cure lupus completely.
It is sad that some will play with the desperation of individuals wanting to do all they can to fight lupus, but the internet is filled with claims that have not been substantiated. So buyer beware!
An assortment of treatments are not the only options for lupus patients. There are a variety of products that can be utilized that make living with lupus easier. Let’s explore a few of these!
If you suffer from lupus, chances are that you have taken corticosteroids at some point. Additionally, many lupus patients take hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) as it seems to be fairly standard. Depending on your specific complications, you may have many other medications you take on a daily basis.
Personally, I take medications to combat edema, nerve pain, bladder retention, hypertension, hypothyroid, generalized itching, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, migraines, Raynaud’s phenomenon, kidney support, iron and vitamin D deficiencies, bone support, and lupus specific drugs, such as Imuran.
Medication compliance can be daunting, especially when we factor in moments of lupus brain fog, and the dreaded medication schedule that is not always friendly. Some medications may be required weekly, others may be once a day in the morning or evening, and still others are required several times per day.
I have found that a calendar and a pill organizer have helped me tremendously with medication compliance. Each week, I fill the organizer with all of the medications I need for the week. I use the calendar to mark each day and time that I take my medication.
Furthermore, I have alarms set on my phone to remind me of dosage times so I can remain accurate and current. There are several smartphone apps that aid in this organization as well. Additionally, pharmacy apps can be valuable when refills are necessary as they provide reminders as refills become available.
Sun Protection Products
It is fairly common for lupus patients to suffer from photosensitivity. However, sunlight is a primary source of vitamin D, which many of us are deficient in.
Fortunately, there are a variety of products available that can keep you protected and allow you to enjoy the outdoors. Keep an umbrella and a large brimmed hat on hand. Wear clothing that covers your skin and protects you from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
In recent years, sun protection clothing has been developed by companies such as Solumbra, Sundriven, and Coolibar. These companies use fabrics that block out 98 percent of harmful UV rays.
At the very least, lupus patients should find a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater that should be applied every day — preferably every two to three hours if continued sun exposure it expected.
Remember that UV exposure is possible even indoors through windows and florescent lighting. Use window screens when necessary and replace florescent lights when possible with safer alternatives.
Many aches, pains, and associated complications are sad truths that come from lupus. Make your life easier by having comfort products on hand. These include blankets, pillows, heating pads, ice packs, massaging devices, Raynaud’s gloves, unrestrictive socks, healthy foods, soothing music, and anything else that eases the stress and discomfort on your joints, mind, and body.
Keep products that make you feel good and keep you happy available at all times! If you enjoy reading, consider a lightweight e-reader to avoid the potential heaviness that can come from extended periods of holding a book. Use screen protectors on your computer or other electronic devices if the glare causes stress to your eyes.
Beauty and Wellness
It is no secret that those of us who suffer from lupus experience feelings of inadequacy from time to time. We may find ourselves wishing to look the way we did prior to getting sick. This is especially true if the physical symptoms of lupus plague you, such as skin lesions, luster-lacking and broken hair, fragile fingernails, weight issues, wrinkled skin, flabby muscles, etc.
However, just because you have lupus doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feel beautiful! When choosing beauty products, select those that are hypoallergenic, chemical free, and safe to use. Mineral make-up is becoming more popular and hypoallergenic lotions and sensitive skin bath products are widely available.
Living with lupus is not an easy journey. However, there are many options and products for lupus available that can help make life your life easier, less stressful, and more productive so you can successfully manage your condition.
As with any chronic illness, being proactive is extremely important. Learn and the benefits and risks of any product that claims to support those with lupus so that you can make appropriate and informed decisions about your health and continued well-being.