World Kidney Day

March 8 World Kidney Day!


World Kidney Day is celebrated on the second Thursday in March, the mission of World Kidney Day is to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

The Theme: Kidneys & Women’s Health: Include, Value, Empower

Lupus nephritis is kidney inflammation caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). SLE is an autoimmune disease—a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Up to 60 percent of people with SLE are diagnosed with lupus nephritis, which can lead to significant illness and even death.

Lupus nephritis is treated with medications that suppress the immune system, so it stops attacking and damaging the kidneys. Standard treatment includes a corticosteroid, usually prednisone, to reduce inflammation in the kidneys. An immunosuppressive medication, such as cyclophosphamide or mycophenolate mofetil, is typically used with prednisone. These medications—when taken as prescribed by a health care provider—further decrease the activity of the immune system and block the body’s immune cells from attacking the kidneys directly or making antibodies that attack the kidneys. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to protect the body from foreign substances such as bacteria or viruses. Hydroxychloroquine, a medication for treating SLE, should also be prescribed or continued for people with lupus nephritis.

Help us spread awareness about the importance of Kidney Health for all!

The kidneys are complicated and amazing organs that do many essential tasks to keep us healthy.

The main job of your kidneys is to remove toxins and excess water from your blood. Kidneys also help to control your blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep your bones healthy.

Each roughly the size of your fist, kidneys are located deep in the abdomen, beneath the rib cage.

Your kidneys control blood stream levels of many minerals and molecules including sodium and potassium, and help to control blood acidity. Every day your kidneys carefully control the salt and water in your body so that your blood pressure remains the same.

Did you know?

Your Kidneys:

  • Make urine
  • Remove wastes and extra fluid from your blood
  • Control your body’s chemical balance
  • Help control your blood pressure
  • Help keep your bones healthy
  • Help you make red blood cells

Certain lifestyle habits can help protect the kidneys. People with lupus nephritis should do the following:

  • Drink enough fluids to stay well hydrated.
  • Eat a low-sodium diet, especially if hypertension is an issue.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Limit cholesterol.
  • Avoid medications that can affect the kidneys, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Your doctor may also recommend that you eat a diet low in potassium, phosphorus, and protein if there is already loss of kidney function.

Although lupus nephritis is a serious problem, most people who receive treatment do not go on to have kidney failure.



Sleep Better

A poor night’s rest can mean more than a groggy morning at work or school—not getting enough sleep also increases inflammation in your body. For people with lupus, this extra inflammation can worsen symptoms such as fatigue, pain, depressed mood, poor attention and concentration, mental processing speed, and memory.

What can you do to catch the Z’s you need? Plenty! Try to add each of the following strategies to your daily routine. With the right habits, you should find you are sleeping better, longer and more easily.


You want to re-associate the bedroom with sleep only (sex is OK, too). It may take a couple of weeks, but eventually you will re-establish this room as the place where sleep happens.

  • Stop use of anything with a “blue light”—computer, tablet, smartphone, TV—30 minutes before bedtime.
  • If your pets wake you during the night, ban them from the room.
  • Keep the room temperature slightly cool and the lighting dim or dark.
  • Use a “white noise” machine or a fan to block sound, and make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow, and bedding.
  • Follow the “15 minute rule”:  If you lie awake in bed for more than 15 minutes, get up and relax in a different room with the lights down until you’re nodding off. Only then, go back to bed, and repeat these instructions as needed.
  • Get up at the same time every day—including weekends and on vacation.

Daily exercise

In general, the more active you are during the day both mentally and physically, the better you will sleep at night.

  • Exercise consistently in the morning to create a regular sleep-wake rhythm.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of exercise daily. Low-impact activities such as walking or riding a bike are a good start. Check with your doctor before adding more challenging activities.
  • Don’t work out too close to bedtime—allow five to six hours of down-time.

Pain and stress

  • Be sure that your overall lupus management plan includes specific approaches to managing pain and stress.
  • When you feel relaxed, it is easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try taking a warm bath before settling into bed, or have your partner give you a massage.
  • If worrying is keeping you awake, make a list of the things that are bothering you along with a list of possible solutions you can work on tomorrow.
  • Remember that regular exercise also helps reduce the physiological effects of stress and can lessen pain.

Plan your naps

Your body has a set point for how much sleep it needs. Sleeping too much will affect your ability to sleep the next day. It can also interfere with the timing of your body’s “sleep-wake” clock.

  • Limit daytime naps to between 30 and 60 minutes.
  • Schedule them so they’re not at random.
  • Take the naps far apart from your primary sleep period so they don’t affect your ability to sleep at night. For example, if your activities are during the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday, that would mean no naps after 5 p.m.

Food, drink, alcohol, and caffeine

In general, you will want to stop eating and drinking liquids an hour or two before bedtime.

  • Don’t go to bed hungry. If you must eat something right before bed, make it something light, bland, and easily digestible, such as applesauce or crackers.
  • Be aware of your caffeine intake. Caffeine stays in your body for six hours and is found in lots of foods and beverages, so check the ingredients.
  • Don’t use alcohol to help you sleep. Even though it may allow you to fall asleep quicker, alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep. Plus, regular use as a sleep aid may lead to alcohol dependence and negatively affect your health.

Other possible causes

Insomnia, sleep apnea, and periodic limb movement disorder can also disrupt sleep. Talk to your doctor, and find out more at

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You’ve Changed

Some people act as if being diagnosed with lupus is a fault or defect in your character. They believe you have changed since you’ve been diagnosed.

The reality is you have changed. You have realized the importance of life and living it to the fullest. The things you used to take for granted are the things that are the highlight of your day. The little things that used to annoy you now make you smile and laugh gleefully.

So, yes lupus has changed you. Not for the worse as someone else may see it, but for the better as you see it.

A metamorphosis has occured in you. Be proud of it, own it, grow to a beautiful butterfly in it!


It’s NOT Karma

I heard someone say that someone’s chronic illness was karma. As if that person was so horrible in their living that they were given a chronic illness as a punishment. Who thinks this way? What has anyone with lupus or other chronic illness done to deserve such pain daily? Why would someone think that a statement like this was okay to say and that it’s okay to believe suck malarkey?

I assure each Lupus Warrior your lupus is NOT your fault. You did not bring lupus on yourself and your ‘karma’ isn’t coming back in the form of disease. Please don’t allow anyone to make you feel that is the case.


Essential Oils

What is an essential oil? In the most basic of terms an essential oil is a highly concentrated plant extract.

Some essential oils come from seeds while many others are extracted from the leaves of the plant. Because essential oils are so highly concentrated it takes a large amount of plant to produce just one oil. Essential oils are incredibly powerful due to this high concentration, so a little bit goes a long way.

Before using essential it’s important to educate yourself! Knowing what essential oils work best for various uses, which essential oils should not be used around children or even in the sun, and how to store oil is vital to safe essential oil usage.

With knowledge on your side, you can put your essential oils to work in your home. Remember, a little bit of oil goes a long way.


My Lupus My Struggle

Sometimes my look does not match how I feel, today is one of those days. I wouldn’t wish Lupus on the devil but I’d sure toss it in his fire to be burned.

Many people say pray on it as if I haven’t done that already…. Many say God is a healer as if I don’t already know this…Many say you’re too pretty to be sick like sick has a specific look… Many say well at least it’s not cancer as if lupus is a fake disease less than cancer….Many even say well at least you aren’t as bad as so and so as if my pain and struggle is less important to me…..Others say to me…your life is perfect and you’ve got it all together, as if their perception is the right one …Many believe oh she’s positive because her life is all that and a bag of chips as if my positive can only come with the perfect life…

The things I hear as I look pretty to the eye and my body inside fights a ugly battle to try to devour and destroy my organs, really is amazing. As if dealing with a chronic illness isn’t hard enough I have to deal with the people,who probably mean well, but are clueless to what is present in my life day in and day out. When the simple art of breathing is a task… When getting out of bed is as difficult as getting up off the mat after a big heavyweight bout with Ali…the last thing I need is someone’s mindless chatter in my already confused chatter of my own mind.

I don’t want anyone’s sympathy, the last thing I want or need is sympathy. My life isn’t over, I’m not dead…. I just want people to think before releasing the thoughts that come to mind. Not everything is as it appears and your perceptions of an individual is usually way off. It makes more sense to simply say hope you feel better than to go into doctor, preacher, I know exactly what herbs you need to make you better, smoke this blunt, drink this juice, try this workout mode.

If you don’t know about my struggle, don’t pretend to know how I should handle it. If at the very least ask me about lupus and how it affects me….And, please dont assume because God has carried me and continues to carry and cradle me all the way and breathed in me the strength to hold on that all is prefect. Realize that many struggles are unseen and if I looked the way I felt or the way you believe my sickness should look, you’d probably call 911 or ask for a doctor to revive me stat, yelling she’s coding she’s coding…..

It’s my lupus…. my struggle. ..I know I have it but I also know it doesn’t have me. Just understand…..Sometimes my look does not match how I feel and today is one of those days. I wouldn’t wish Lupus on the devil but I’d sure toss it in his fire to be burned….


Love Yourself More

Loving yourself can be one of the hardest things to do while battling lupus. We get down on ourselves and notice every flaw. We focus on who we used to be instead of the greatness of who we are in this moment. You have to work at reconditioning your love of self. Begin to do what you need to do to make yourself feel good to make yourself happy. Don’t try and be perfect, but be proud of who you are beyond the limits lupus imposes. #LupusInColor

Butterflies of Hope Magazine

Butterflies of Hope

A Lupus In Color Publication

Article Submission Guidelines

We aim to publish a rich variety of lupus articles, stories and poetry, penned by both emerging and established writers. We tend to select work that reflects positivity, encouragement and empowerment. While we publish different articles and stories, our main focus is to Educate • Inspire • Encourage • Empower Lupus Warriors.

Butterflies of Hope is a print and online publication devoted to assisting lupus warriors in living beyond lupus. Our aim is to educate, inspire, encourage and empower lupus warriors through compelling and personal stories.

All digital submissions should be sent to Please note that if accepted for publication, photographs and illustrations will be needed as hi-res images (at least 300 dpi). It is imperative that they are of high resolution in order for our graphic designers to work with them. All submissions must have a 250 or less biography and picture of the author.

Lupus In Color only accepts original submissions for publication consideration. All images and writing used in submissions must be copyright free. Any techniques featured in submissions that are not the writer’s or artist’s own must be attributed to the proper instructor, book, artist, workshop, etc. It is the responsibility of the submitting writer or artist to ensure that no copyright infringement has occurred and that all submitted work is their own.

Deadline for submission is the 3rd of each month. Publication of BOH is the 3rd Saturday of every month starting March 2018.

Tell your story, write a poem, spread an encouraging word. Get your submissions in today!