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R Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR posted:
There is a big connection between stress and lupus. Although it doesn't actually cause lupus, it certainly exacerbates it. An article from 2004 found that high intensity stressful events, such as losing a family member, were not associated with worsening of disease activity. However, what they did find, was that daily chronic stress was associated with worsening of lupus activity.

Learning to manage stress is very important. Developing a sense of self-efficacy and a belief that one can perform certain behaviors to achieve specific health related goals, optimism and acceptance of lupus -- these are all positive psychosocial adaptive mechanisms for one to develop.

Having a group where you can learn some of these techniques is a useful way to manage any chronic disease. There are a variety of techniques such as guided meditation, visualization, deep breathing, acupuncture and of course exercise which is one of the best things for stress reduction. 15 to 20 minutes a day should be sufficient.

Cognitive behavioral therapy with a therapist may be needed in some extreme cases but generally group sessions are a great way to learn some of these stress management techniques, while at the same time sharing tips and experiences.
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Dr. R. Swamy Venuturupalli is a board-certified rheumatologist practicing in Los Angeles. He is Clinical Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Ce...More

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