7 Tips For Those Newly Diagnosed With Lupus

Receiving a lupus diagnosis changes your life in an instant. One day you are healthy and the next you're living with a chronic illness with no cure. It can be overwhelming, but with the right approach, individuals can navigate the challenges and manage their new lupus diagnosis effectively. Here's some tips on what to do when you are newly diagnosed with lupus.

Newly diagnosed tips

Do I need a second opinion?

When you get an initial diagnosis it is best to get a second opinion or even a third. Many patients don’t want to believe or are in denial when they first get their diagnosis. Getting a second opinion is crucial because it provides an alternative perspective, helps verify the accuracy of a diagnosis or treatment plan, and ensures you made an informed decision about your health or other important matters.

Where is reliable information?

Now that it has been confirmed via diagnosis, it is essential to educate yourself about lupus. Lupus is different for each individual so you will have to learn the nature of the disease, its symptoms, and potential triggers that you may face. Seek out reliable sources such as your healthcare team, other medical professionals, reputable websites, and patient support groups whether online or in person can provide valuable information.

Do I need support?

Establishing a strong support system is crucial during this time. You will be at your most vulnerable trying to navigate through this new diagnosis. So, it is up to you to decide who you want in your support system. You can share your diagnosis with family, close friends, coworkers and even consider joining lupus support groups. Connecting with others who are facing similar challenges can provide emotional support, practical advice, and a sense of community. Support groups can also be an excellent source of coping strategies and insights into living a fulfilling life with lupus.

Is this doctor right for me?

Picking the right doctors is crucial. Lupus affects many organs so you can have multiple doctors on your care team. You need to ensure that you are comfortable with your doctors and that they are listening to your concerns and have your best interest at heart. If they don’t, you have the power to fire bad doctors and find a new one. You need to ensure you have the best people taking care of you.

Can I communicate better?

Next, prioritize communication with your healthcare team. It is essential that they are all on the same page and aware of your symptoms and when you have a flare. This will help create a personalized treatment plan just for you. Lupus is a complex condition and there is no one size fits all when it comes to managing your care. So it is best to be proactive and communicate well with all your doctors.

Am I on top of my medication?

Medication adherence is key to controlling lupus symptoms and preventing flare-ups. It will take a lot of trial and error to figure out which medications work for your body. So don't give up if the first thing they try doesn't work. Ask questions and understand what medications are being prescribed, their purpose, and the importance of consistent adherence. Keep track of any side effects and report them promptly to your doctors. Additionally, be vigilant about attending follow-up appointments. These usually entail necessary laboratory tests to monitor your condition.

Do I need to make lifestyle changes?

Incorporating a healthy lifestyle is important when it comes to managing lupus symptoms. It is best to eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Wearing sunscreen throughout the year is also key. With lupus, regular exercise may be difficult, but any movement will be beneficial. Stress is a huge trigger for flares, so it is best to learn how to manage stress. Add in relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing. Getting adequate sleep of at least eight hours a day is a must.

Resources are out there

Getting a lupus diagnosis is really scary. But thankfully there are so many resources out there that can help navigate you on that journey. With these tips, I hope it makes that first year a little less scary.

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