Diet - There is no such thing as a lupus diet. People with lupus should consider following a diet that is low in fat, low in sodium, high in fiber, low in refined sugars. That is also balanced and include appropriate amounts of all the different food groups. If you find, however, that certain foods seem to aggravate or consistently cause a flare-up of your lupus symptoms, you should certainly avoid eating those foods.
Alfalfa sprouts are in the legume family and contain an amino acid, L-canavanine. It can stimulate the immune system in people with lupus and increase inflammation. Other legumes are safe to eat as they have a much lower concentration of L-canavanine compared to alfalfa sprouts. Check labels on health food packaging as alfalfa may also be found as an ingredient in food products.
Vitamins - In general, a multi-vitamin is reasonable, but excess vitamins can be potentially dangerous and should be avoided.
Exercise - Exercise is to be encouraged in people with lupus, particularly during a time when lupus symptoms are not pronounced. Walking, swimming, bicycling and other aerobic activities are good. But keep in mind that you want to exercise in moderation and avoid exercising to the point of exhaustion. Regular exercise will help you function better and improve fatigue and your sense of well being.
Fatigue - When your lupus is active, you very often will suffer with fatigue. It is important to recognize this as a signal that your body needs to rest. It is essential that during a time of flare you get sufficient rest. This may include naps during the day, modifying your schedule as well as restructuring your priorities. Adjusting to fatigue often requires that you learn how to pace yourself in order to accomplish the things you want to accomplish throughout a day. Regular aerobic exercise that achieves enhanced physical conditioning, usually helps fatigue. Avoid strenuous exercise if you have fever or other signs of VERY active disease.
Sleep - Get plenty of it, but keep in mind that when you are coming out of a flare you do need to gradually resume your normal activities slowly over a period of time. This may require naps during the day-a brief cat nap can be of tremendous help. It's important to get enough sleep at night and to pace yourself during the day so you don't exhaust yourself.
Medications - Be sure and take your medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you develop any side effects make sure you let your doctor know what they are. Make it a point to understand what the medication you take is supposed to do so you will be able to recognize if it is indeed working. Also, ask how long before you should see the effects of the medication and if you find it's not working within the time frame, let your doctor know.
Work schedule -The type of work schedule someone with lupus can accommodate is variable. Many people with lupus are able to work a full-time job, others find they have to cut back to part-time. Some people find they are unable to work and some apply for and receive disability.