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  • Writer's pictureJessica Frizzell, PA-C

Recognizing Lupus Triggers and Minimizing Flares

Updated: Feb 14



Living with lupus comes with its fair share of surprises, especially those pesky flares that can throw a wrench in your plans. Figuring out what causes your flares and finding ways to dial them down is all part of the lupus management game, but can drastically improve your quality of life when you find the right solution.

In this article, we will explore common lupus flare triggers and practical approaches to reduce their occurrence.


Lupus is like a fingerprint. It’s unique for everyone. 


We recommend keeping a symptom journal to figure out what sets off your flares – whether it's stress, a lack of sleep, sickness, too much sunshine, or a change in your medication. Take this journal with you to your medical appointments so you can discuss what is causing your flares with your doctor and determine the best course of action. 

Below are common triggers for Lupus flares and solutions for how to minimize their occurrences. 


High Stress Levels Stress is a well-known trigger for lupus flares. Explore stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises. Establishing a routine that includes regular relaxation practices can contribute to overall well-being and potentially reduce flare frequency.


Lack of Quality Sleep Adequate and quality sleep is essential for those with lupus. Lack of sleep can contribute to increased fatigue and trigger flares. Establish a consistent sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and discuss any sleep issues with your doctor to determine a plan to get better sleep. 


Too Much Sun Exposure Sunlight exposure is a common trigger for lupus flares. You can combat too much sun with clothing, hats, and high SPF sunscreen. We recommend avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours, and consider using sun-protective accessories to minimize the risk of UV-induced flares.


Infections & Sickness Infections can trigger lupus flares. Prioritize good hygiene practices, get vaccinated, and avoid sick individuals to reduce your chances for getting sick. 


Inconsistent Medication AdherenceInconsistent medication adherence can contribute to lupus flares. We recommend that you work closely with your doctor and healthcare team to establish a medication regimen that suits your lifestyle and ensures optimal symptom management.


Negative Response to Certain Foods 

While the direct link between diet and lupus flares is still being studied, consider incorporating omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet to reduce your body’s negative response to food. We recommend that you monitor your body's response to different foods to see which foods you should eat and which foods you should avoid. It’s helpful to include this information in a journal, like the journal to record when your flares occur. We also recommend consulting a dietitian for personalized guidance for your diet.


Lack of ExerciseEngaging in regular, low-impact exercises for joint flexibility and overall well-being can help reduce and prevent flares from your Lupus. Find a balanced exercise routine and avoid overexertion, as excessive physical activity can potentially trigger flares. We recommend consulting with your doctor and healthcare team to create an exercise plan tailored to your specific needs.


Managing lupus flares involves a proactive and personalized approach. By identifying individual triggers, adopting stress-reducing techniques, prioritizing sleep, and maintaining open communication with healthcare providers, individuals with lupus can work towards minimizing the frequency and intensity of flares. Consistency in self-care practices, both physical and emotional, is key to achieving a better quality of life while living with lupus.


If you are living with lupus and are seeking a rheumatologist, we are accepting new patients and would love to see you. Whether you are already diagnosed or suspect you have a rheumatic disease, send our office your physician’s referral and then call us at 270-408-6100 to schedule an appointment. Please note: A physician's referral is requried for all new patients.

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