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  • Writer's pictureJessica Frizzell, PA-C

How to Treat and Manage Lupus



Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease and can present complex challenges for those affected. Although there is currently no cure for lupus, effective treatment and management strategies can significantly improve quality of life and reduce the frequency and severity of flares.

In this article, we will explore various approaches to treating and managing lupus, offering valuable insights and recommendations to empower individuals with lupus to live their best lives.

Medication-Based Treatment

a) Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are commonly used to alleviate joint pain, swelling, and mild fever associated with lupus. They work by reducing inflammation and can be effective in managing mild lupus symptoms.

b) Antimalarial Drugs: Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug often prescribed to individuals with lupus. It helps control inflammation and reduces the risk of lupus flares. Additionally, it may protect against damage to organs commonly affected by lupus, such as the skin and joints.

c) Corticosteroids: In cases of more severe symptoms or active lupus flares, corticosteroids like prednisone may be prescribed. These powerful anti-inflammatory drugs can effectively control inflammation but may also have side effects when used for extended periods.

d) Immunosuppressants: For individuals with lupus that affects major organs, such as the kidneys or central nervous system, immunosuppressant medications like methotrexate or mycophenolate mofetil may be recommended. These medications help suppress the overactive immune system that is attacking healthy tissues.

Lifestyle Modifications

a) Sun Protection: Photosensitivity is common in lupus, and sun exposure can trigger or worsen flares. Individuals with lupus should wear protective clothing, including wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves, and use sunscreen with a high SPF when outdoors.

b) Regular Exercise: Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, can help improve joint flexibility, maintain muscle strength, and reduce fatigue. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting an exercise routine.

c) Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate lupus symptoms and trigger flares. Engaging in stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or counseling, can be beneficial.

Regular Medical Checkups

Regular checkups with a healthcare professional experienced in managing lupus, such as Paducah Rheumatology, are essential. Monitoring disease activity, medication effectiveness, and potential side effects is crucial for developing personalized treatment plans and adjusting medications as needed.

Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can support overall health and help manage lupus-related symptoms. Some people with lupus find that certain foods, such as those high in omega-3 fatty acids, have anti-inflammatory properties and may be beneficial.

For more information about the best diet for rheumatic diseases, visit this blog:

While living with lupus presents unique challenges, effective treatment and management strategies can help individuals lead fulfilling lives. Medication-based treatment, lifestyle modifications, regular medical checkups, and support from healthcare professionals and peers are key components of comprehensive lupus management. By actively participating in their care and seeking support when needed, individuals with lupus can navigate the complexities of the condition with confidence and optimize their overall well-being.

Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance on managing lupus effectively.

If you are seeking treatment for lupus, give Paducah Rheumatology a call today at 270-408-6100. A physician's referral is required for all new patients.


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