How Healthy Living Affects Lupus

Leading a healthy lifestyle assists your lupus medication to be as effective as possible. Poor general health can enhance established symptoms or even lead to new signs of lupus.

What Should I Eat?

Medical science is still researching what effect nutrition plays in triggering and treating lupus. However, doctors do know that poor nutrition can make symptoms and side effects worse and may even limit the effectiveness of treatment.

No special lupus diet has conclusively proven to have any effect on the disease. Doctors typically recommend a well balanced diet with basic nutrition including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy portions of meats and protein.

Omega-3 fatty acids, or fish oil, may play a part in heart disease prevention and inflammation reduction, but studies have not yet proven this.

Your doctor may suggest special diets to treat your symptoms, such as a low-cholesterol diet if you have heart problems or increased dairy to combat osteoporosis. He may also suggest that you experiment with supplements that are currently in research.

What Exercises Should I Do?

Certain symptoms and medications may make specific exercises too dangerous or difficult. Always discuss your intentions with your doctor before beginning a new fitness regimen to ensure that the exercises will help rather than hurt your body.

Cardio activity like running and dancing is generally good for you, but may be difficult if you suffer from joint and muscle stiffness, or pleurisy.

Strength training exercises with light weights can reduce body fat and increase muscle which are good for internal organ function. Always be careful to not push your body too far.

Many individuals with lupus have benefited from low-intensity workouts, such as yoga and light walking. The meditative aspects of these exercises can also help you mentally and emotionally.

What Should I Avoid?

Though uncommon, you may find that certain foods are also problematic. Alfalfa has been reported by many individuals with lupus as a possible lupus flare. Scientists believe that this may be due to an amino acid which has been known to activate the immune system.

Always tell your doctor before taking new over-the-counter medication or experimenting with alternative medications like Chinese herbs, as these can react badly with your lupus medication.

Discuss what foods you should avoid with a pharmacist or your doctor. Alcohol in moderation does not tend to cause problems for individuals with lupus, but can reduce the effectiveness of some treatments.

You should also consider the special needs of dental care and lupus in order to keep your body in its best working order.