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Lupus and Life

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Lupus related image Photo: Getty Images

You can live with lupus but you must educate yourself on the condition in an ongoing fashion. I was diagnosed with lupus about seven years ago and have subsequently learned that I don't suffer from the most extreme form; mine is a mild to moderate case. But this doesn't mean much considering that with lupus, things change, morph and develop over time.

For example, three years ago I developed gallstones and was told to have my gall bladder out. Although this is typically a simple enough operation these days, I elected to keep my gall bladder and shoot for using diet and exercise instead to get rid of the stones.

Instead, my triglycerides shot up to 535, and I developed a build-up of calcium on one of my finger joints that was bad enough to require surgery.

I can't process dairy, fats or sugar very well, which is possibly related to my liver and kidney function. I have spots all over my skin. I get tired easily and my joints ache, especially in damp, cold, or rainy weather.

Living with lupus is like living with any other condition--there are good days and bad days, and many, many days when you really don't even think about it.

However, my advice to anyone living with any condition, especially lupus, is to pay close attention to your symptoms and to take your health seriously. Making the connection between how you're feeling and how your health is doing is so important. You also want to really believe in being healthy for those you love; I get myself to the gym for me, but also because I want to dance with my sons when they're in their forties and hang with my husband on the beach in our eighties and beyond!

Lupus responds well to a clean diet and lifestyle--that is, one with low or no sugar, no alcohol, complex as opposed to refined carbohydrates, loads of vegetables and berries and of course fruit, oatmeal for cholesterol, fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids for triglycerides and joint health, low stress, and lots of positive energy, exercise and rest and sleep.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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