Living with lupus? Run from the sun!

Sad news. If you have just been diagnosed with lupus, your days of playing under the sun may well be over. 

According to Dr. Ma. Theresa Collante, a pediatric rheumatologist at Westlake Medical Center, the first advice she gives to patients with lupus or who have just received news that they have the condition is that they should avoid the sun. 


“They cannot be exposed to the sun even if it’s cloudy or raining because it will trigger a flare, or a recurrence of their condition’s symptoms like fatigue, rashes, or falling hair,” she points out. “Being exposed to sunlight is the most common cause of flare apart from not taking one’s medications.”


To avoid the sun’s ultraviolet rays, Dr. Collante suggests that one should use an umbrella, wear long-sleeved clothings, or apply sunscreen with at least an SPF of 35. 


Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s immune system doesn’t just fight viruses and bacteria that are invading the body, it fights the person’s healthy tissues as well. It can affect any part of the body. 


Dr. Collante notes that apart from avoiding the sun’s ultraviolet rays, a person living with lupus should adopt a nutritious, well balanced diet to manage their condition. They need to eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid oily, sweet, and salty food, as well as steer clear of food packed with preservatives like canned goods. They should also exercise at least 10 to 15 minutes a day and clock in 8 hours of sound sleep every night.  


According to Dr. Collante, ways to prevent lupus remain unknown. She says people should focus more on how to avoid getting sick in general, like eating right and getting adequate rest. 


For people who have lupus and want to consider taking supplements and vitamins, Dr. Collante suggests that they consult their rheumatologist first, especially if they have comorbidities like high blood or diabetes. 


“For healthy individuals, my main advice is to eat healthy instead of taking supplements. We get the vitamins we need from the food we eat.”


If you’re manifesting symptoms of lupus or want to know more about the disease, you can visit Westlake Medical Center. To get expert medical advice regularly, follow Westlake Medical Center at and