People with SLE should try to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Light-to-moderate exercise, interspersed with rest periods, is good for the heart, helps fight depression and fatigue, and can help keep joints flexible.
Patients should be sure they are fully immunized and should minimize their exposure to crowds or people with contagious illnesses. Careful hygiene, including dental hygiene, is also important.
It is very important that patients with SLE avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. Simple preventive measures include avoiding overexposure to ultraviolet rays and wearing protective clothing and sunblocks. There is some concern that allergy shots may cause flare ups in certain cases. Patients who may benefit from them should discuss risks and benefits with an SLE specialist. In general, patients with SLE should use only hypoallergenic cosmetics or hair products.
Chronic stress has profound physical effects and influences the progression of SLE. Getting adequate rest of at least 8 hours and possibly napping during the day may be helpful. Maintaining social relationships and healthy activities may also help prevent the depression and anxiety associated with the disease.
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