How to deal with lupus?
Lupus is named as such due to skin manifestations on patients' face that are similar to irregular erythema after being bitten by wolves, and its acute onset.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease.
Lupus is usually divided into a cutaneous type and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune disease which can invade almost all the organs of the body, including the skin, blood, kidneys, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and nervous organs, causing multi-system damage.
Lupus is not a cancer that is not lethal.
Since lupus cannot be completely cured, it used to be called "a cancer that is not lethal". However, with the advancements of modern medicine, there are more and more effective treatments.
Lupus patients with stable disease control can live, study, work, fall in love, get married and have children as ordinary people do. Long-term remission can be achieved as long as the patient follows their doctor's advice, takes medication and has regular follow-up checks.
Lupus is not a genetic disease. Though it is indeed related to the presence of about 150 genes in the body, it is also linked to the environment and some other factors. If parents or several immediate family members have lupus, the rest of the family is at higher risk, but will not necessarily develop the disease.
Long-term medication is necessary to defeat lupus.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the patients must attach great importance to it and receive adequate treatment. Early symptom control and a personalized therapeutic regimen are necessary for maximum delay of disease progression and to reduce organ damage and improve prognosis.
The course of lupus alternates between attacks and remissions. Patients should not easily reduce or even stop their medications, especially hormones, as soon as they get better for a while. Reduction of hormones requires a strict and scientific process, otherwise patients' conditions may worsen. Therefore, in order to reduce disease recurrence and adverse drug reactions, people need to cooperate with doctors and prepare for a protracted battle against lupus.
The 2020 guideline for lupus patients offers advice.
In addition to drug intervention, the 2020 Chinese guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of SLE also put forward the following six measures to alleviate the disease.
Avoid common hazardous substances
Some cosmetics contain substances that may induce lupus and aggravate the condition. So lupus patients should use as few cosmetics as possible. Notably, people with lupus should try to avoid exposure to chemicals such as hair dyes and eyebrow tattoo ink.
Protect skin from the sun
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can induce lupus. Applying sunscreen and using parasols can prevent ultraviolet rays from stimulating the skin of lupus patients, thereby reducing skin inflammation as well as disease recurrence.
Do moderate exercise
Receiving exercise intervention can lower the risk of depression and ease fatigue for lupus patients.
Seek psychological support
Alleviating anxiety and mental stress will help control the disease.
Smoking may increase the risk of developing and exacerbating the disease.
Take vitamin D supplements
Serum vitamin D levels of SLE patients are significantly lower than those of healthy people. Vitamin D supplementation can restrain inflammation and decrease SLE activity.
Apart from nutritional balance, lupus patients do not need to pay special attention to their diet. However, considering that taking hormones, immunosuppressants and other drugs generally leads to weakened immunity, it's better not to eat raw, cold and unclean food.
The condition will be aggravated in special periods.
Lupus patients' condition will fluctuate with physiological sex hormone levels. For example, patients are likely to be sicker during pregnancy and lactation. The estrogens contained in oral contraceptives may also trigger or worsen lupus.
In addition, some drugs for lupus may have certain effects on the fetus. Therefore, women must prepare for pregnancy scientifically under the guidance of specialist physicians.
Male patients and elderly patients are less common, but they are often harder to treat. They should never let down their guard.
Half of lupus patients have high blood pressure.
Nearly half of lupus patients have high blood pressure. In recent years, this proportion has been growing. Lupus kidney disease is the most common cause of high blood pressure, and high blood pressure, in turn, aggravates kidney disease. This forms a vicious circle.
In addition, glucocorticoids are also risk factors to cause high blood pressure. Patients with lupus should monitor their blood pressure so that targeted interventions can be taken in time to restrain vascular disease.
The key is to stay in a good mood.
The treatment of lupus takes a long time, so it is inevitable for lupus patients to experience anxiety, irritability and even pessimism. Try to stay calm.
The condition of most lupus patients can be effectively controlled, as long as they take active treatment and get their body examined regularly.
At present, the prognosis rate of lupus patients has been significantly improved. The 5-year survival rate of patients can reach 90 percent, and the 10-year survival rate exceeds 80 percent. Patients should maintain an optimistic attitude, shift their attention to their current life, and embrace a more hopeful future with their family and friends.