Lupus Flares

A lupus flare is a time when your lupus symptoms worsen from the lupus disease becoming more active. These flares will come and go. Lupus flares can cause different symptoms. You may experience rashes and swelling one week and no symptoms of lupus the next. Flares can occur without you even knowing it. The lupus disease becomes more active, but you may not necessary develop symptoms on the surface. These types of flares are only detectable with laboratory tests. Even if you are taking a medication to prevent your lupus symptoms, there are several things that can cause a flare to occur. Common triggers of lupus flares include:

  • Overworking yourself and not getting enough rest
  • Stress
  • Exposure to the sun or close exposure to fluorescent or halogen light
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Stopping your lupus medicine(s)
  • Taking new medication or certain medications known to cause symptoms

What can I do to control my lupus symptoms and prevent flares?

The best way to control your lupus symptoms and prevent flares is to follow your treatment plan and keep yourself in good health. Take these steps:

  • Learn how to tell that a flare is coming
  • Visit your doctors on a regular basis
  • Set goals for yourself, giving you the necessary confidence for a balanced life
  • Limit exposure to the sun and fluorescent and halogen light
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Develop coping skills that help to limit stress
  • Get enough sleep and rest
  • Exercise moderately with your doctor’s approval and when you’re feeling able
  • Build a support system made up of friends, family and other people you trust and can ask for help

Even if your treatment plan religiously and keep yourself in good health, there may be times when your lupus symptoms worsen and you experience flares. Understanding the warning signs of an oncoming flare can help you make it less severe and sometimes even prevent it. These are some symptoms you might experience before a lupus flare:

  • Feeling more tired
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Stomach ache
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness

Contact your physician immediately when you suspect an oncoming lupus flare.


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