According to the Lupus Foundation of America, there’re more than 16,000 Americans diagnosed with lupus each year. Though lupus is more likely to occur in women, men and children also have chance to develop it. This autoimmune disease affects many parts of the body, especially skin, joints, kidneys and nervous systems. The causes of lupus are unknown clearly. However, genetic factors, environment and unhealthy lifestyle could be to blame. In addition, there’re many triggers contributing to the number of lupus flare ups. These include stress, sunlight, an infection and smoking. They play an important part in triggering lupus flare, especially smoking. Not only does smoking have negative impact on people with lupus, but it also destroys a person’s health. Keep reading the article to know “how can smoking affect lupus patients.”
How Can Smoking Affect Lupus Patients?
Thanks to a wide range of studies, it’s proven that smoking complicates and has bad impacts on people with lupus. Luckily, these negative effects can be reversible when stopping smoking. If you’re a smoker who suffers from lupus, let’s take a look at “how can smoking affect lupus patients”.
Why smokers who are diagnosed with lupus are more susceptible to infections? Because smoking increases the risk of chronic bronchitis and pneumococcal pneumonia. This also puts them at higher risk of respiratory infections. Besides smoking, being around people who smoke also give lupus patients an opportunity of infections.
2. Heart Disease
Not only does smoking contribute to your infection, but it also leads to heart disease. In fact, smoking increases your danger of coronary artery disease. It also develops threat of heart attack in people with diabetes. For those who are on long term of prednisone (from mild to high doses) have been found to have high risk of heart disease 20 years earlier than others.
3. Vascular Complications
Smoking affects lupus patients in a lot of ways. Apart from heart disease and infections, it affects the bloods vessel and circulation. You may notice the following complications while smoking:
- Raynaud’s phenomenon. This’s a common condition in lupus causing poor circulation to the feet and hands. It also becomes worse when smoking because smoking contributes to blood vessel spasm. This makes a mild condition worse. In bad situations, smoking may result in serious damage to toes and fingers.
- Lupus vasculitis. Smoking can narrow blood vessels and make peripheral vascular disease worse.
- Smoking also increases your risk of stroke
4. Liver Function
Many of medications used to treat lupus symptoms are broken down by the liver. If you smoke, this affects your liver by changing the way it metabolizes alcohol and drugs. In several cases, this has impact on the dose of medication necessary to cure an infection.
5. Kidney Problems
Have you ever known that smoking contributes to high blood pressure, which can worsen kidney issues? A study showed that people with lupus nephritis who smoked progressed to the last stage of kidney disease more quickly than did others. That study done in Stanford University gives you specific warning about smoking and lupus.
6. Skin Involvement
Lupus is an intense disease that affects various parts of the body, especially skin and joints. Skin rash and hair loss are some of the common symptoms in lupus. In addition, smokers with lupus are more prone to skin problem than non- smoker with this disease. Smoking is also associated with hair loss. Skin problem in lupus can be treated with antimalarial medications. But smoking has been found to disturb the benefits of some types of drugs.
7. Bone Health
While lupus medications increase the risk of fragile bones, smoking slows bone healing process. Besides, people with lupus may develop diabetes, making them uneasy to wound healing. Smoking will slow this healing process even more. Also, it interferes with the recovery from illness and surgery.
Best Tips to Quit Smoking
It’s never late to quit smoking. Although it’s very hard, the following tips may help you quit smoking.
1. Decide to Quit Smoking
Make a list of all reasons why you need to stop smoking. This helps you become clear about your decision. For lupus patients, lupus is an important reason for quit smoking. Not only does smoking destroy your health and worsen lupus symptoms, but it also affects health of other people around you.
2. Prepare for Quit Day
Once you decide to stop smoking, should prepare a quit day. Choose a day that isn’t too far in future, but which gives you enough time to prepare. Also, you can tell your friends, coworkers and family about your quit day that they can support for you.
3. Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When begin stopping smoking, lack of nicotine may give you headaches, affect your mood and deplete your energy. So, nicotine replacement therapy is necessary. Nicotine gum, lozenges and patches can help you.
4. Seek Support
Tell your family, friends, and colleagues that you’re trying to stop smoking. They will encourage you to keep going. In addition, you can seek support from other groups or supportive services.
5. Try Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies are useful to help you quit smoking. But there’s no strong evidence that these improve your chances of becoming smoke- free. Some alternative therapies can include massage, yoga, filters and smoking deterrents.
6. Avoid Alcohol and Other Triggers
When you drink, it’s difficult to complete your no- smoking goal. Thus, try to avoid alcohol immediately. Besides, if you often smoke after meals, should instead it by brushing your teeth or taking a walk.
7. Choose Your Reward
Besides health benefits, one of the beneficial wards of quitting smoking is all the money you save. Rewarding yourself by spending money on funny thing is also a motivation to quit smoking.
Smoking is one of the important triggers of lupus flare ups. Of course, it has negative impact on a lupus patient’s life. Above information shows “how can smoking affect lupus patients” and how to quit smoking to avoid lupus complications. Besides, people with lupus should improve their health by taking supplements and eating healthy foods. LupuFree is one of the best supplements for lupus patients. Approved by the FDA, this supplement helps reduce inflammation and boost the balance of immune system. As a result, it controls lupus flare ups.