Lungs and heart
People living with lupus has a high risk of stroke and heart disease. This could be due to the long-term inflammation caused by lupus. Also, some medications used in treating lupus such as steroids increases the risk. Lupus causes an inflammation of the heart and the sac surrounding it. The inflammation in the heart causes sharp pain. This sharp pain is felt in the chest. Also, lupus can inflame the lung’s outer lining. Pain can be felt with deep breaths. The condition is called pleurisy. Sometimes the inflammation causes scarring in the lungs which lead to shortness of breath.
Those living with lupus should avoid smoking as smoking increase the risk of heart diseases and lung infections. Smoking also raises blood pressure and slows down blood flow. Regular exercise is recommended as it helps the lungs and the heart to become stronger. Swimming, walking, yoga, low – impact aerobics, plates and use of elliptical machine help the joints.
Eating healthy helps in controlling blood pressure, weight and cholesterol. Veggies, fruits, and whole grains are recommended. Also, broiled or fatty fish such as salmon can be eaten twice a week. Salmon is rich in omega-3 oil which is a heart – healthy oil. Fried and fast foods should be avoided. Lupus patients also need to be vaccinated. They need pneumonia and flu vaccines.