Find out the top tips for living a long, healthy life with lupus.
Do you have lupus?
Do you know someone who has lupus?
Would you like to know the secrets of living a long, healthy life with lupus?
If so … Read on.
And welcome. This is my very first post!
I am a rheumatologist who specializes in lupus. Over the past 25 years, I’ve compiled a list of “do’s” and “dont’s” for my lupus patients. These are tips that are guaranteed to help them be healthier and live longer. I called them “The Lupus Secrets” because most lupus patients do not know about them, and most doctors do not know about them. But I do not want to keep them secret. I witnessed firsthand over the years how much of a difference it made for lupus patients who followed them compared to patients who did not. This realization led me to write a practical lupus patient education book called “The Lupus Encyclopedia.”
How helpful are they? Let me tell you about a patient I recently saw. I’ve taken care of her for about 20 years. She has systemic lupus erythematosus (the type of lupus that can attack any part of the body). She has been a model patient, closely following my “Lupus Secrets” all these years. Recently, she had a flare of her lupus arthritis, fatigue, and lupus rash after being in remission for years. I checked a hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) drug level, and it was very low, telling me she was missing lots of doses. I was shocked. This was the reason for her flare, and it was not like her to do this.
When I pointed this out to her, she said, “Well, the pharmacist put on the prescription bottle label ‘take with food.’ I’ve been dieting to lose weight and eating less meals, so I kept forgetting it.” I then reminded her to please always contact me through our internet Patient Portal for any questions at all, such as this. I told her the label was a mistake; she actually CAN take it without food. After a shot of steroids in her buttock and getting back on her Plaquenil regularly, she was quickly in remission again.
I was pleasantly surprised to get the most beautiful “Thank You” card from her. It read:
“Dr. Thomas … Just want you to know that I highly respect you as my doctor… This has been a wake up call for me and ... You really care about your patients. God has kept me here with your help and I want to live a long time. No one lived past 60 years in my family.”
It is something like this that truly makes your day. All of us can relate to this when something we do is genuinely appreciated by someone else.
However, what truly makes this card special?
My patient is now 73 years old. She has outlived all her relatives by 13 years …
She has lupus, and she lives by “The Lupus Secrets.”
My clinic is now full of systemic lupus patients in their 60s through 80s -- something unheard of a couple of decades ago.
So, I hope you follow the path of this patient (and my other successful patients). Most of my patients with systemic lupus are in remission (or with low disease activity), including many who came through life-threatening bouts of their lupus. Read over and follow everything in my “Lupus Secrets” yourself.
What I will be doing with my blog in later articles:
Now my challenge for you … download, copy, read, and begin incorporating everything in “The Lupus Secrets” into your own life. If you do this, I promise you will do much better with your lupus and will increase your chances of living a healthier and longer life.
Please SHARE my blog with others who have lupus so they can also learn the best things to do.
Remembr -- knowledge is power. I hope to share with you as much as I can through my blog!
Don Thomas, MD
Author of “The Lupus Encyclopedia”
Arthritis and Pain Associates of Prince George’s County
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
The purple butterfly is the symbol for lupus. It is a symbol of "HOPE" for brighter tomorrow.
Note that Dr. Thomas' posts are for informational purposes only, and are not meant to be specific medical advice for individuals. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions regarding your own medical situation.
DONALD THOMAS, MD