Home > Health Topics > Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
 Definition | Causes | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention References
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus : Prevention
Western Medicine Chinese Medicine
No specific measures are available to prevent the development of SLE. However some measures may help prevent flare-ups or exacerbation.

Sensitivity to sunlight may provoke disease. Photosensitive patients should use sunscreens daily with a SPF of at least 15. For those who are very photosensitive, sunscreen should be used twice daily and protective measures taken to avoid exposure of the arms and face.
Protection against sunlight is important.
Patients with a history of drug-induced lupus should avoid the offending agent. Sulfonamides, penicillin and high-estrogen birth control pills, which may exacerbate SLE, should not be taken.
Exercise has been shown to lesson the fatigue associated with SLE.
In general, patients are not now dissuaded from pregnancy. However, in the presence of active disease, specifically active renal disease, childbearing should be postponed. SLE sufferers should be aware of the possibility of a flare-up during pregnancy.
In postmenopausal women, estrogen is recommended for its benefit regarding osteoporosis and coronary artery disease, unless there are contraindications or the SLE relapses.
Immunization against influenza and pneumonia is advisable.
Dietary precautions may be helpful. They include avoiding salt and oil, and certain vegetables, such as celery, parsnip, parsley and coriander, which are rich in light-sensitive psoralens and can increase the risk of photosensitivity.
Avoid foods containing light-sensitive psoralens, eg celery.
Precautions should be taken to help prevent attacks or exacerbation of SLE.

Reduce the risk of invasion by exogenous pathogens by wearing clothing that is appropriate for the weather conditions and by avoiding dampness and over-exposure to sunlight.
Avoid over-exertion, but engage in moderate exercise to strengthen the body's constitution. Tai chi is one form of exercise that may beneficial. Consult both your Western doctor and TCM practitioner about an exercise program that is right for you.
Maintain a stable emotional and mental state. SLE is a chronic disease that can cause depression and problems of concentration. Tai chi and qi-gong may help to focus the mind and avoid depression. The support of family and friends should be encouraged to help maintain a positive outlook.
Tai chi
Avoid drugs that are known to exacerbate SLE. (Consult your Western doctor for a list of these.) Prepackaged Chinese medicines that contain cinnabar, mercury or lead can precipitate an exacerbation of SLE. Foods such as seafood, shellfish or milk may do likewise. It is important to discuss with your Western doctor and TCM practitioner which foods and drugs to avoid.