Lupus is a health condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and organs. It causes inflammation in different body parts, including the joints, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs. Unfortunately, the autoimmune disease has no cure; available treatment options only help prevent flare-ups and manage symptoms. Therefore, patients must be careful and follow healthy practices to prevent the problem from worsening. Here are five things to avoid when diagnosed with lupus:
Exposure to sunlight
Those affected by lupus should avoid sun exposure because they are more sensitive to sunlight. It can worsen the symptoms, especially when the sun is at its peak. When venturing out, patients must apply sunscreen, preferably with SPF 70. Sunscreens with higher SPF values might protect the skin from harmful rays. In addition, individuals should cover their skin as much as possible when outside and carry a hat.
Physical and mental stress
Mental or physical stress can cause lupus to worsen or trigger a flare-up. A severe lupus episode is most commonly linked to chronic stress. Patients can indulge in mild exercises, yoga, or meditation to calm the mind. These activities release happy hormones and put one in a good mood almost instantly.
Red meats like beef, pork, and lamb contain saturated fats that can raise a person’s cholesterol levels. People with lupus already have a high risk of heart disease, and these foods can increase the risk further. Other foods with high saturated fats include deep-fried foods and full-fat dairy.
Garlic has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, which help manage several illnesses. It also contains compounds that increase white blood cells (WBCs). Optimal WBC levels are required to fight diseases, but it can cause a lupus flare-up because lupus is an autoimmune disease, and garlic can make the immune system overactive.
High-sodium foods can increase blood pressure and heart disease risk. Since people with lupus are already at risk of illnesses linked to the heart, they must avoid extra salt. Frozen and canned foods, pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, and sauces are food items with high sodium. Anything with a long shelf life must also be avoided as it could contain salt as a natural preservative.