Ibkul UPF Sun Protective Shirts- Perfect for Lupus Warriors

I received this product in exchange for an honest review.  While this post may be sponsored, all opinions are my own and you will find my honest review of this product below.  

I recently wrote a post on why sun protection is extremely important for people with lupus.  After making the mistake of forgetting my sunscreen on a trip to my doctor’s appointment, I deeply acknowledge how forgetting my sunblock can easily and quickly cause people like me to experience lupus flares.  This has caused me to experiment with more sun protective products like UPF shirts to help manage my exposure to the sun.

I have been sensitive to the sun for many years, but feel that my photosensitivity has been increasing the last few years.  Whether I am breaking out in rashes, face and/or mouth sores, the sun has become an enemy for me.

It’s hard for people who do not suffer from photosensitivity to understand the hardships that a person can face when simply trying to live their life.  Many people take things like the sun for granted, peacefully soaking in the sun’s rays to melt away stress and anxiety.  I used to be one of those people.  I love the sun and the warmth it gives, but my body does not love the sun anymore…at all.

What is lupus?

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to mistakenly attack your own healthy cells and tissues.  Lupus is a chronic disease that can wreak havoc on your body in various ways. People with lupus may experience rashes, fatigue, malaise and joint pain.

Even if someone is diagnosed with a “mild” form of lupus, there is always a chance for it to progress into some form of internal organ involvement. Others affected with lupus may may present a more serious form of the disease with disabling central nervous involvement, heart of lung involvement, or kidney failure.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, between 1.5 and 2 million US citizens live with lupus (5 million more worldwide).  Lupus is a serious disease that predominantly affects women.  In fact, 9 out of 10 lupus patients are women.

What can cause lupus to flare?

A lupus flare is a period where lupus symptoms may become active or get worse.  There are many circumstances that can trigger a flare in people with lupus.  While people with lupus can’t always prevent a flare, it is important to understand the various triggers so that you may be able to take preventative measures.

Any of the following can have the potential to cause a flare in people suffering from lupus:

-UV rays from both the sun and fluorescent lighting
-Sulfa Drugs
-Certain Medications
-Infections, Cold, or Viral Illnesses
-Any injury or traumatic event
-Surgery or Pregnancy
-Stress & Exhaustion

What is photosensitivity?

Having an increased sensitivity to UV rays means that a person is photosensitive.  Photosensitivity describes sensitivity to the UV rays from sunlight and even indoor fluorescent lighting.  In people with lupus, photosensitivity can cause an increase in disease activity.  2/3 of people diagnosed with lupus may experience photosensitivity to some degree.  40 percent to 70 percent of people with lupus will find that their disease is made worse by exposure to UV rays from sunlight or artificial light.  This can cause a lupus flare that may include a variety of dermatological symptoms like rashes and skin sores.

How can people with lupus stay safe from the sun?

-Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

-Wide Brimmed Hats

-Limit hours in the sun and opt for outdoor events held later in the evening.

-Sunglasses

-UPF Sun Protective Clothing

What is UPF clothing?

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation,

Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) indicates how much UV radiation (both UVB and UVA) a fabric allows to reach your skin. For example, a UPF 50 fabric blocks 98 percent of the sun’s rays and allows two percent (1/50th) to penetrate, thus reducing your exposure risk significantly.

UPF sun protective clothing is clothing that provides protection from the sun.  UPF sun protective clothing can be very beneficial for people who suffer from photosensitivity, like those with lupus.  If you are someone who suffers from lupus and/or photosensitivity, it is vital you take actions to help limit sun exposure.   I am happy to have partnered with Ibkul to help promote awareness for sun protection.  I wanted to get a real-life patient perspective on their UPF clothing and if it would make a great solution to a daily problem millions of people around the world are dealing with.

ibkul upf sun protective clothing review

Ibkul Sun Protective UPF Shirts

Ibkul is a company that takes sun protection seriously.  Founded in 2015, Ibkul has been producing high-quality, performance-driven activewear that offers superior sun protection for people all over the globe.  Their clothing fabric finishes in IceFill, Solarball, and UMORFILL.  This innovate technology helps bring the ultimate in sun protection and fashionable wearability.

I am happy to have partnered with Ibkul to provide an honest review of their UPF shirts as a lupus warrior.  As someone who personally suffers from photosensitivity, I was honored to have the chance to see how well these products performed as a daily activewear solution for people like me.

Ibkul Long Sleeve Zip Mock Neck with IceFil Technology Review

I had to start my review with this amazing UPF shirt from Ibkul.  This long sleeve zip mock neck shirt is in the color “blue” and I am wearing a size large.  I can not say enough how much I actually LOVE this shirt.  Before we get into the specifics of this sun protective shirt, I want to talk about the aesthetics of this garment.

I absolutely love the vibrant color of this shirt and how the deep blue hue is absolutely stunning!  If you look online for UPF clothing, you may find that many of the choices available are plain or neutral colors and prints.  If you are looking for something a little more stylish and attention grabbing, Ibkul has an array of tropical and fashionable prints in a variety of vibrant colors.

I’m not sure if you noticed from the picture above, but this specific shirt has a mesh-like underarm lining that gives a bit of edginess to the shirt while allowing for comfortable cooling and circulation in the sun.  This is a piece that I can see myself wearing often.

ibkul upf sun protective icefil review
Check out this cool underarm mesh panel!

This shirt features Ibkul’s patented IceFil technology fabric.  This innovative fabric works by converting your sweat and cooling your skin 3-5 degrees!  I wore this UPF shirt on a recent trip I took with my husband and boys to the local sunflower patch.  It was a bright, hot and sunny day.  The temperature was around 80 degrees and I seriously stayed cool and dry while we trekked through the fields to check out the massive sunflowers!

Aren’t these sunflowers beautiful?

Not only does this super comfy shirt offer the cooling IceFil technology, but it has built-in UPF 50 sun protection!  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a fabric with a UPF of 30 to 49 offers very good protection, while UPF 50+ rates as excellent.  I am happy to say that after spending time in the sun, I did not wake up to any new rashes or mouth sores like I did from my car ride a few weeks prior.

Overall, I believe this moisture-wicking UPF shirt is honestly the best sun protective shirt I have tried.  Not only did I stay dry while wearing it out in the heat, I did so while being on Prednisone for my lupus.  If you have lupus, I am sure you understand the meaning behind how important this was for me.  Prednisone makes me sweat…A LOT lol.  I truly did not feel like I was wearing a long sleeve shirt because of the mesh panel and the breathability in the fabric.  Not to mention, Ibkul also used an antimicrobial design that promotes odor prevention and fabric ventilation.

ibkul upf sun protective icefil review
I stayed cool, dry, and comfy all day!

I really can’t get over how a shirt that is so beneficial to my health can also be really cute AND comfortable.  I feel like this specific one fits my personality and needs so perfectly.  I truly recommend this as your first purchase if you are looking to get serious about protecting yourself from the sun.  I promise you will want to wear it often!

Ibkul UMORFIL Long Sleeve Bomber Mock Neck Review

I was also given the opportunity to try out one of Ibkul’s UMORFIL technology shirts.  I received this sun protective shirt in the solid color “White” in a size Large.  Much like the IceFil shirt above, this UMORFIL shirt is nothing short of amazing.  UMORFIL originates from the combination of Latin ‘Umor’ and French ‘Fil’, whereas Umor means moisture and Fil means yarn.  This UPF shirt features a 1/4 zip mock neck zipper.  It provides the ample amount of sun protection coverage, while still allowing you to unzip it for extra breathability.

Ibkul’s UMORFIL technology works by ensuring your skin stays hydrated throughout the day with its special eco friendly fiber.  If you are a person who suffers from sensitive skin, this UPF shirt is the one for you!  The smooth and cool feeling of this material is unlike anything I have worn before.

Much like the IceFil shirt, the UMORFIL one also has an underarm mesh panel that provides even greater circulation.  This is one of my favorite features of Ibkul’s UPF shirts.  Yet, with this specific line, they take it a step further and have hidden side pockets!  If you are a pocket lover like me, you will truly appreciate the extra storage space this UPF shirt has to help you manage your small items while you are out enjoying your day.  The pocket is small but can easily fit your phone, keys, or cards.

Of course, this casual and airy UMORFIL shirt also provides UPF 50 protection, helping to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.  I love this classic white version because it is a piece that I can wear daily.  Whether you are attending and outdoor event, exercising, or just taking the kids to school; it’s important to incorporate UPF clothing into your daily wardrobe when you suffer from photosensitivity.

As a lupus patient, I realized I needed to be taking my sun protection more seriously than I had in the past.  I feel as though I am more sensitive to the sun these days and need to incorporate sun protection into my daily routine.  If you are looking for daily protection from the sun, I highly recommend choosing Ibkul’s IceFil or UMORFIL lines.  Both of these shirts are not only stylish and comfortable, they are also designed for their ultimate sun protection and cooling effects.

After browsing their online shop, I now have my eyes set on one of their UPF dresses.  Yes…you heard me right!  Ibkul even offers a variety of UPF dresses in gorgeous prints.  I specifically am eager to get their Liz Print Long Sleeve Crew Neck Dress.  Isn’t it beautiful?!

As lupus warriors, we must take sun protection seriously.  It may seem difficult to ensure the proper sun protection daily, but having a few quality pieces of UPF clothing can be an easy way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Let me know if you have tried Ibkul’s sun protective clothing in the comments below.




Honey and Flax Seed Smoothie

If you have been following my blog, you probably are aware that I am trying to find ways to use my most recent birthday gift from my husband, my Ninja Duo.

I am also trying [really hard lol] to find ways to eat healthier.  I know that the things I am putting into my body are having a direct effect on the way I feel.  I have never been one to be able to stick to any sort of diet and always end up falling back into old habits.

This has been extremely frustrating since I have been on Prednisone for the last few months.  If you have taken steroids before, I am sure you understand the struggles I am having with weight gain and the oh so ehhh moonface that I get after being on them for a while.

Prednisone really is like a catch 22 for lupus patients like me.  Sometimes, it’s the only thing that helps me get out of bed and be able to halfway function.  Yet, it doesn’t come without a plethora of side-effects like weight gain, insomnia, and mood swings.

I am hoping that once my Benlysta starts kicking in that I will again be able to wean myself off of steroids completely.  I got to that point before when I was on Benlysta and I am hoping that I can say the same soon.  But for now, I am appreciating the relief I do get from the steroids, even with the side-effects that come along with it.

honey and flax seed smoothie
honey and flax seed smoothie

 

I recently shared a recipe for an Anti-Stress Lavender Smoothie that I absolutely love. The lavender extract really helped give that smoothie a romantic and calming presence, not to mention it was delicious.  This Turmeric Flaxseed Smoothie contains an array of delicious ingredients to give you the perfect nutritional boost with anti-inflammatory fighting power.

This smoothie contains a lot of nutritious ingredients that provide their own specific benefits.  

These ingredients include:

Flaxseed: According the Arthritis Foundation, flaxseed may help symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Raynaud’s. It helps lubricate joints and lessens stiffness and joint pain.  Flaxseed may also reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.  

Honey: Honey has been used by humans since ancient times for a variety of ailments.  There are many studied benefits to honey, but for me the anti-inflammatory properties of honey are what makes it a favorite sweet treat.  The phenolic content in honey is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect.

Turmeric:  Turmeric is another ingredient that has been used for thousands of years.  It helps me a lot with inflammation and joint pain.  With it’s golden color and unique taste, turmeric is one of my favorite spices.  I cook with it often and use it in smoothies and in capsules as a supplement.  It is even being used in topical creams and skincare products.  It has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for inflammatory conditions.  If you are not a fan of the slight bite turmeric gives this smoothie, feel free to leave it out.  It’s really all about your personal preferences.

 

honey and flax seed smoothie

honey and flax seed smoothie recipe
honey and flax seed smoothie recipe

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Why is Sun Protection Important for Lupus Warriors?

Lupus is such a crazy disease. Last Wednesday, I had my appointment to go over my post cancer scans. I had to drive a little over an hour each way.

Running late as usual lol, I forgot to put on sunscreen before I left. I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal because I wasnt actually going to be out in the sun ‘like that’. But you see, lupus had other plans.

That night, I noticed I was slightly sunburned only on my left arm. I then broke out in a rash only on that side. All from the sun while driving to my appointment.

By Thursday night, I felt a sore forming [painless this time around] in the roof of my mouth. By Saturday morning, I was in a full flare and now am getting sores on my lips and skin above my lip. Ever since December, this seems to be a common thing for me when I flare now  Not to mention the God awful fatigue and joint & muscle pain.

Im sharing these pictures to show that sun protection is SO IMPORTANT for lupus warriors. We think if we just run out to the store for a few, that we will be ok.

I am here to tell you that is not always true. My rheumy told me to wear sunscreen when I was diagnosed, even when just picking the kids up from school. I now see why.

Stress and the sun are major flare triggers for me personally. While it is hard to escape either in life, there are so many things you can do to help limit your exposure to both.

Sun:

-Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 50 SPF
-Sun Protective/UPF Clothing
-Wide Brimmed Hats
-Sunglasses
-Limit outdoor activities until the evening if possible

Stress:

-Cut out toxic people!!
-Meditate or Pray for a few minutes each day
-Discover a hobby and spend a few times each day working on something YOU love and make this a daily thing.
-Take a rest day!!
-Yoga
-Take a social free day….we all should do this at some point




Tips for Getting Better Sleep with Lupus 

I cannot wait to share this sponsored post with you!  When fellow blogger James from SustainablePlanet.ca. asked me to share his new tips on sleeping better with lupus, I was so excited because I knew that you would love it!  

What is lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s organs and tissues. 

Widespread inflammation caused by lupus can affect your skin, joints, organs, brain and blood cells. For this reason, lupus is characterised by a variety of symptoms all over the body, including weight loss, kidney disease, mouth ulcers, swollen ankles, skin rashes, achy joints, chest pain, fever, fatigue, and sleep disorders.

Lupus and Sleep

It has been estimated that around 61% of people with lupus report that they do not feel refreshed after a night of sleep. If you have lupus, you may notice that you have restless sleep, or a poor quality of sleep. You may have problems falling asleep, or can’t stay asleep for a long enough duration. You may find it difficult to fall back into a deep sleep after waking up at night. 

Lying awake at night thinking about how you are not sleeping can actually make the problem worse, too. The more you worry about your lack of sleep, the more aware you are that you are still awake – the less likely you are going to drift off. 

Luckily, there are things you can do to help you sleep better with lupus. Read on for some of our top tips for sleeping soundly through the night. 

better sleep with lupus

1. Stop using “blue light” before bedtime

There are a number of common tech devices of today that emit something called blue light. This light inhibits your body’s natural ability to prepare for sleep because it blocks melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep-wake cycle. When melatonin would usually trigger us to feel sleepy before bed, overexposure to blue light can block melatonin’s release. The only way to avoid messing with your sleep cycle is to stay away from blue light, from televisions or phone screens, before bed. 

2. Keep your room cool and dark

Your sleeping environment is more important than you might think. If your curtains or blinds let in a lot of light, this may stimulate a nerve from the eye to the part of the brain that controls sleep hormones. Just like blue light, natural daylight blocks melatonin from promoting sleepiness when it is time for bed. Heat, on the other hand, is just plain uncomfortable, and you will find it more difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep when lying in a hot room. Buy some blackout blinds and a fan and your sleep cycle will improve massively. 

3. Try getting an adjustable bed

A major advantage of an adjustable bed is that it allows you to lie in the most comfortable sleeping position for proper rest. When your back and spine are supported, you are less likely to experience misalignment, which can cause you to wake up in the night with neck, back or shoulder pain. Even better if your adjustable bed has a comfortable mattress, preferably memory foam, that will conform to the shape of your body rather than creating pressure points. 

4. Block out sound

Many people with lupus are restless sleepers, and even if you don’t live on a busy road, you may still be disturbed by every single noise around you – including your partner’s breathing. If you think your sleep is being affected by noises you have no control over, do what you can to block out sound. Some people find that a pair of professional ear plugs does the trick. If you would rather not obstruct your hearing entirely, you can instead play white noise or switch on a fan to provide a soothing backing track, which will hopefully cut out all those disturbing sounds. 

5. Try the “15-minute rule”

Sometimes, you just have to accept that for the moment, sleep isn’t happening. If you have been tossing and turning for what feels like hours, try the 15-minute rule, which instructs you to get out of bed and go into another room if you are not asleep after 15 minutes. Make sure your chosen activity is relaxing, like reading a book or meditating, and avoid the TV. When you feel sleepy enough, head back to bed and try again. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to repeat this process several times before falling asleep. 

6. Stick to a sleeping pattern

Having a proper sleeping pattern is essential if you want to establish a healthy sleep-wake cycle. When you maintain a regular sleep schedule, even while on vacation and on the weekends, you can help to keep the body’s internal clock consistent, allowing you to fall asleep and wake up more easily. So if you are tempted to stay up late to watch another episode of your favourite Netflix show, think again: it could throw your sleep schedule completely off whack.

7. Exercise frequently

You may know that high-intensity exercise is often a bad idea if you have a flare-up of lupus symptoms, because it may damage inflamed joints and muscles and worsen fatigue. But without exercise, you will find it much more difficult to fall asleep, so try low-impact exercise like swimming, yoga and walking. When we exercise, we experience a rise in body temperature. When our temperature drops after exercise, it triggers feelings of sleepiness. Tiring out our bodies also makes us naturally more prepared for sleep, no matter what time of the day we exercise. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day for maximum benefits. 

8. Manage your pain

One of the biggest causes of bad sleep in people with lupus is pain from flare-ups. That is why it is incredibly important to learn how to manage your symptoms instead of deciding to just grin and bear it. If you feel pain, you won’t feel relaxed, which is what you need to fall asleep. Your doctor may prescribe you with anti-inflammatory drugs for pain caused by swelling in your muscles and joints. You may also find that natural painkillers, like hemp oil, work well for you. Even a hot water bottle before bed may help to soothe your joints and help you to relax before sleep. 

9. Consider your diet

Eating too close to bedtime can make it very difficult to fall asleep, as feeling too full or experiencing reflux and indigestion can be very uncomfortable. But you should also avoid going to bed feeling hungry, so it is best to have a light snack one or two hours before bedtime. If you have lupus, you will already know the importance of following a healthy diet plan, especially if your sleep is suffering. Avoid foods that can interfere with sleep, such as heavily processed foods, and foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates. 

10. Avoid napping

If you are sleeping poorly at night, it can be tempting – or necessary – to have a nap in the middle of the day. The problem with doing this is that it confuses the body’s sleep cycle even more, so that come night-time, it doesn’t feel prepared for sleep. If you are going to nap, try and limit your hours of sleep to between 30 and 60 minutes per day. Scheduling your naps is also a good idea, as it can allow your body to become used to your daily routine. Try not to nap too close to bedtime, as this will affect your ability to sleep at night.

James is a Torontonian who enjoys writing, fishing, skiing, canoeing and playing badminton in his free time. You can find him at SustainablePlanet.ca.




Results From My First Post Kidney Cancer Scans

This week, I finally had the appointment I had been waiting for, my first post cancer scans.  Since having a kidney tumor and a small part of my right kidney removed in November of 2019, I have been anticipating this scan for a variety of different reasons.

First, obviously I wanted to make sure that my Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma was not back.  You may have heard the term “Scanxiety” used before and let me tell you, it’s a real thing.

first post cancer scans
On my way to my first post cancer scans.

I went and saw my awesome uro-oncologist and am happy to say that my CT scans did not show any recurrent cancer in my kidney or elsewhere.  To hear that is indeed a relief!

 

post renal cell carcincoma ct scans
My post renal cell carcinoma ct scans from June 2020.

As you can see in my CT scan results, everything was pretty normal on my scans except the findings that my liver is enlarged and they believe I now have Fatty Liver Disease.  I was told it is pretty common and that drinking alcohol,  being overweight, diet and exercise could all play a part in its development.  I barely drink alcohol anymore due to the meds I am on, specifically Methotrexate.

So, that leaves the food I eat and my [lack of ] exercise routine and chubbiness as possible causes lol.  Its definitely not funny per se, but just another addition to my plate.  I laugh because it’s a coping method and truth that I need to get my shit together and take care of the things that ARE in my control and my diet and exercise routine are definitely part of that.

My doctor was not too concerned with it at the moment, but said that it is something that they will watch for sure on future scans.  Of course, I feel I am more concerned about it and it has really initiated a drive in me to really get my eating habits under control. I have to find a way to ensure that I am eating as healthy as possible while also making time and a way for me to get some exercise in daily.  If it were easy, I wouldn’t be in this predicament today.  Having lupus makes it difficult to really do any high impact exercise, so I am hoping to begin my journey with light walking.

At this appointment, we also went over the results of my Genetic Cancer Screening.  I had already met with my genetic counselor  virtually a few weeks ago to go over my test results.  I am also happy to state that all of the genetic tests that were tested, I came back negative for all of them.  I will be writing a separate post in more detail on what my genetic cancer testing experience was like soon.

My genetic counselor informed that I should retest in a few years in case there are more research breakthroughs for genetic markers for my clear cell renal cell diagnosis.   I feel that this may truly be the case in my situation, as I just find it too coincidental that my maternal grandmother passed away from kidney cancer in her 40s.

My uro oncologist believes  that smoking plays a significant role in my personal cancer, as that I am a female and young [although at 33 now, I don’t feel young LOL].  I have successfully quit smoking a few times in the past, only to fail and start again.  I am DETERMINED to finally quit once and for all, but it is definitely a hard battle.  Especially as someone who deals with chronic anxiety.  Hey, I never said I was perfect…just a real live lupus warrior trying to make it in life.

Yet, really do I have a choice at this point?  I MUST learn to change my ways as I have been given so many chances with my health.  I like my uro-oncologist because he is a personable doctor but he is straight to the point.  So while I hate to admit my smoking issues, he knows that it is something I need to work on for my own health and I appreciate his honesty and directness.

If you have followed my blog, you probably know that I have had an issue with chronic hematuria.  I have had microscopic blood in my urine for the past few years and there has never been a direct cause to these abnormal urine samples.  In 2017, I had a Cystoscopy done to see if they could find a reason for why I kept having blood in my urine.

I did NOT have a great experience with that procedure LOL.  It was with another urologist and I felt he lacked a lot of bedside manner, including explaining exactly what the cystoscopy entailed.  While it was a quick procedure, it was uncomfortable and was quite painful to me personally.  I also bled for about 2 days afterwards and experienced burning during urination, much like how a bad UTI would feel.

At my recent appointment, my new uro-oncologist suggested we do a quick check to make sure that everything in my bladder looks good and to see if there was anything else to rule out in regards to my chronic blood in urine.  I explained my past experience to him LOL, and he promised that he would be gentle and the nurse explained the whole thing in detail.

first post cancer scans
first post cancer scans

I am booked for this procedure in a couple of weeks and am hoping they can finally find a cause to the chronic blood in my urine.  Originally I was told it was possible it was from a kidney stone after that first cystoscopy, but that stone stayed put until the fall of 2018.  I then had noticeable blood in my urine and ended up hospitalized with a bad kidney infection as the stone was making its way out.  I thought that would finally solve the chronic hematuria mystery, but the blood continued in almost every single urine sample I had done.

A year later, is when my kidney tumor was discovered and I felt like this would be the cause of the blood.  But I have had about 6 urine tests since and all have still contained microscopic blood.  With my most recent urine test, my rheumatologist actually sent it off for a culture to make sure there was not an underlying infection, but they found nothing but normal cells and bacteria.  Nothing they considered too alarming and was asked when my next uro appointment was.  This was a few weeks before my scans, so they decided to let me discuss it further with my specialist.

So as my lupus journey continues, there are still so many health mysteries to be unravelled for me personally.  I am still unsure about the chronic high white blood cell count they believe is reactive to lupus or the chronic hematuria that is always blamed on other issues.  I feel as though we are all missing something .

Maybe that’s the anxiety many of us chronic illness warriors face.  We know what it’s like to go through years of not understanding what is happening to our bodies, years of being dismissed by doctors, or not having our questions answered well enough.  I believe that all that past medical trauma has led me to a certain distrust of doctors and the fact that they may not take me seriously.  Yet, I do not allow those feelings to stop me from asking questions.

It is important for us to always ask questions if we do not completely understand scan results, test results, or procedures.  We truly are our own best advocates and I believe that our voice is the most powerful tool when it comes to our healthcare and well-being.  I have lucked out with the doctors I have now because I truly believe they treat me with dignity and respect and are never annoyed with my questions and even questioning their answers lol.

They are awesome and I know it’s not an easy job for them, but I truly am SO thankful to have such a great health team taking care of me.  It’s a luxury not afforded to most, and  I know because I have been that patient in the past.  I wish that every patient could have a great relationship with their doctors because it is so vital for chronic illness patients to know the most up to date information about their health.

I will update you guys in a few weeks if they end up finding anything after my Cystoscopy.  Until then, stay strong and keep fighting!

 




Topricin Fibro Cream Review

Living with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia and  lupus can be exhausting and painful.  The only way I can explain it is like that old saying; “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”.  Since being diagnosed with lupus in 2016 and fibromyalgia shortly afterwards,  I know what it’s like to desperately search for a solution to the various types of pain other warriors experience as well.

A couple of years ago, I came across Topricin Fibro Cream and it has changed my life.  Seriously.  As someone who deals with chronic pain, I have tried A LOT of topical pain creams trying desperately to get some relief.  This one is by far,  my favorite.  I get really bad muscle spasms and muscle pain and this fibro cream really has helped a lot.  I even use it for my sore joints from lupus flares and on different areas where I have nerve pain.

If you suffer from lupus and/or fibromyalgia, you probably understand the importance of finding a topical cream that can help alleviate the sore muscles and trigger points associated with fibromyalgia. Don’t stress yourself out purchasing tons of other creams like I did, Topricin Fibro Pain Relieving Cream should be your first choice to try!

Topricin Fibro Cream Review

What is Topricin Fibro Cream?

Topricin Fibro Cream is a unique topical product that can help manage pain, as it’s developed with 11 natural bio-medicines including Arnica and Echinacea.  It offers rapid relief from pain with a patented formula.  It has a unique formula that can help reduce pain within minutes for me personally. 

The texture of the cream itself is not runny or thin but it’s not a heavy, thick cream either.  I find it to be the perfect soothing balance for a topical cream.  The best part about this product is that it is completely free of chemicals.  There are no side effects and it is safe for women who are pregnant as well, unlike many other pain relief products available for those battling chronic pain.

One of the most unique things I have noticed about Topricin Fibro Cream compared to other topical products on the market is the fact that it is odorless.  If you are an active user of other pain relieving balms or creams, you are probably aware of the strong smell that comes with many of them. 

While I do not personally mind the smell of menthol, I am not sure everyone else [including my family LOL] enjoys me smelling like menthol all day.  It is incredibly refreshing to have a pain relief cream that I can use whenever I need to without everyone smelling how badly I am hurting that day.

Topricin Fibro Cream Review

What are the ingredients used in Topricin Fibro Cream?

One of my favorite things about Topricin Fibro Cream is the ingredients that are used to make this miraculous cream.  There are 11 active ingredients that each have a purpose to help alleviate symptoms of various degrees.  This is a one-stop shop if you are like me and suffer from a multitude of chronic pain; like muscle pain, joint pain, and nerve pain.

Active Ingredients: Aesculus hippocastanum 6X, Arnica montana 6X, Belladonna 6X, Crotalus horridus 8X, Echinacea 6X, Graphites 6X, Heloderma 8X, Lachesis mutus 8X, Naja tripudians 8X, Rhus toxicodendron 6X, Ruta graveolens 6X

Inactive Ingredients: Captex 300 (from coconut fatty acids), Carbopol® Ultrez 10 (from sucrose), Cetyl Alcohol (from coconut oil), Glycerine (vegetable-based), Hydrokote (palm kernel oil with lecithin), Isopropyl Myristate emollient (from palm seeds), Lipomulse (from coconut fatty acids), Purified Water, Sodium hydroxide, Spectrastat G 2 (derived from coconut), Steareth-21 (from stearic acid cocoa butter)

topricin fibro cream review

Does Topricin Fibro Cream Really Work?

As someone who has used this fibro pain relief cream for the last couple of years, I honestly believe it really does work to help reduce the pain intensity of my fibromyalgia & lupus flares.

I find it vital to ensure that when you apply the cream that you massage it into your skin well.   This helps me get fast soothing relief of muscle and nerve pain at even my most tender points. The directions state that you can apply 3-4 times daily or more often if needed.  There have been a few days where I have had to reapply more than 4 times when the pain doesn’t seem to want to ease.  I have really noticed this has only been when I get lower back pain.

The trick is to really massage the fibromyalgia cream into the area of pain.  When it comes to places like my lower back, I have my husband help with the massaging [double win for me, just don’t tell him LOL].  This helps the cream to really penetrate into the sore areas and helps the cream work a lot faster to me.

I have found that by using this pain relieving cream, I am not having to take as many NSAIDs as I used to for my chronic pain.  NSAIDs are a whole other topic for another day, but with a history of stomach ulcers, I am just not able to comfortably take pain medicine anymore.  This makes people like me struggle a lot more when it comes to managing chronic pain.

I have even noticed that when I use Fibro Cream, that I am able to sleep better at night because I am not constantly tossing and turning all night.  I suffer majorly from painsomnia and there have been many nights since my diagnosis that I have been unable to sleep.  I am always EXHAUSTED, but if you have ever had to sleep in pain, you probably understand the direct effect pain can have on your sleep.

Getting a good night’s rest is imperative for everyone, but especially chronic illness warriors.  How we sleep at night can determine what kind of day we will have the next morning.  Lack of sleep has also been a trigger for my lupus flares, so it has been great to be able to get rest without dealing with excruciating pain.

Lupus and Fibromyalgia sufferers can finally experience safe, effective, and natural pain relief.  While it is not a cure for my chronic pain, it has dramatically improved my quality of life both during the day and while I sleep.  I can even rest better knowing that my Fibro Cream is free of chemicals and I have personally never experienced any side-effects from using the pain relieving topical cream.

As someone who takes Prednisone, Plaquenil, Methotrexate and Benlysta, it is incredibly satisfying knowing that I can use a topical cream to legitimately help me manage my chronic pain without any added side-effects.  If you are looking for a safe homeopathic alternative to dealing with your pain from illnesses like lupus and fibromyalgia, Topricin Fibro Cream is worth a try!

Where to Buy Topricin Fibro Cream?

You can order your own fibromyalgia cream off of Topricin’s official website.  This Fibro Cream is also available online through Amazon.  If you are looking to shop at a local retailer, you can also check out places like Walmart.

Or…you can enter NOW for a chance to win a year supply of Topricin Fibro Cream!  Be sure to visit my Instagram and follow all the directions to win!

topricn fibro cream review
topricn fibro cream review

In celebration of Summer + Self-Care, I’m doing a “Summer Self-Care Giveaway” with our friends @topricinfibrocream! One LUCKY WINNER will WIN A YEAR supply of Topricin Fibro Cream 3 oz tubes! EVERY entrant will receive a discount code! Naturally effective formula for daily pain management! Ends 7/31/2020, 11:59pm ET.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER: 

1.) FOLLOW @lupuslyfe and @topricinfibrocream
2.) LIKE this post
3.) TAG (2) friends who need this
4.) ENTER EMAIL: https://bit.ly/SELFCAREGIVEAWAY

 

**Winner will be chosen and notified on 8/1/2020 ET. One person per entry. US entry only. This giveaway is sponsored by Topricin Biomedics and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram. Winner will be announced 24 hours after the giveaway ends and contacted via email.  The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize before we move on to a new winner.**

 

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Lavender Acai Anti-Stress Smoothie

 

I have decided to finally work on eating healthier…finally LOL.  I have always had a hard time sticking to diets and am looking to make subtle changes in order to better my health.  I hate to even have to admit to myself, let alone thousands of readers from around the world, but my eating habits suck.

I know there is a direct correlation between the things I am putting inside my body and the way that my body feels.  Having an autoimmune disease like lupus causes excessive inflammation within my body and I am currently on 15mg of Prednisone daily just to function.

Prednisone is well known to cause weight gain and I am no different as a lupus warrior.  Being used to bad eating habits and taking Prednisone daily has caused me to gain about 10 lbs since the spring.  Throw in a global pandemic with me quarantining for months….it was definitely time for me to really face the music when it came to changing the way I eat.

I decided that I would start incorporating smoothies every single day.  I believe that smoothies are a quick and easy way to really pack in a lot of vitamins and minerals without having to excessively plan or shop for crazy ingredients.  Having a chronic illness makes it difficult to plan out meals and that has been a big issues for me when it comes to eating healthier.

With everything that is going on in the world these days and be a lupus warrior, I feel like my stress levels have gone through the roof since the pandemic began.  I decided I wanted to create a smoothie that was not only delicious and easy to make, but that could help calm my mind and body.  This Lavender Acai Anti-Stress Smoothie does just that for me!  It is one of my favorite smoothies and has a really calming and mellow taste that even the pickiest eaters would enjoy.

 

lavender acai anti stress smoothie recipe
lavender acai anti stress smoothie recipe

Lavender Acai Anti-Stress Smoothie Ingredients

The special ingredients in this delicious purple smoothie make it a one of a kind smoothie that will definitely surprise you.  It has a creamy and sweet, yet refreshing, taste that can help you lead a less stressful day.  Make sure to use a high quality blender so that your smoothie can be blended to perfection.  I am completely OBSESSED with the Ninja DUO my husband bought me recently for my birthday.  It is one of the best gifts ever!

1. Grapes

lavender acai anti stress smoothie ingredients_ grapes

Grapes contain many important vitamins and minerals, including more than one-quarter of the RDIs for vitamins C and K.  Grapes contain powerful antioxidants like resveratrol.

Studies have shown that resveratrol can help protect against heart disease, lowers blood sugar and can even help prevent cancer.   Resveratrol provides a wide range of benefits, including cardiovascular protective, antiplatelet, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood glucose-lowering and anticancer activities.

2. Bananas

lavender acai anti stress smoothie ingredients_ grapes

Bananas contain a good amount of potassium.  One medium banana can have as much as 400mg of potassium.
Potassium has shown to be beneficial for heart health, strong bones and muscles, and may even reduce your risk of stroke.  Even if you are not a big fan of eating bananas, putting them in a smoothie can help mask the texture and taste of bananas so that you can still enjoy the healthy benefits.

3. Greek Yogurt

lavender acai anti stress smoothie ingredients_ greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a nutrient packed snack that is full of health benefits.  Greek yogurt contains a nice amount of protein to help maintain strong muscles.  Greek yogurt is also full of probiotics to help promote a healthy digestive system.  It also contains calcium, B12, and potassium as well. It is a common ingredient found in smoothie recipes because of its versatility and sustainability in smoothie recipes.

4. Acai Berry

lavender acai anti stress smoothie ingredients_ acai berry

Acai Berries are a grape like fruit harvested from acai palm trees, which are found in rainforests in South America.  You have probably come across numerous articles promoting the multitude of health benefits from this superfruit.  Many people claim that acai can help with ailments like arthritis, weight loss, and even anxiety.  Even if those claims weren’t enough, acai is slam packed with antioxidants and more so than many of it’s berry counterparts.

5. Lavender


While you may have heard about the many great benefits of lavender in aromatherapy and essential oils, did you know that you can also get really great health benefits from consuming lavender in food and drinks?  There have been numerous studies showing the anti anxiety effect that lavender can have.  In a recent study, continuous exposures to lavender essential oils for 7 days significantly inhibited anxiety- and depression-like behaviors. If you suffer from anxiety and stress, consider the different ways you can add lavender to your diet and your life.

6. Truvia Nectar


Truvia Nectar is a blend of honey, stevia leaf extract, and other natural ingredients resulting in 50% fewer calories than full-calorie honey.  I love using this to because it is not too sweet but is great in adding to smoothes to help cut any bitter taste from veggies or fruit.

Lavender Acai Anti-Stress Smoothie

Looking for an anti-stress smoothie? This delicious and refreshing Lavender Acai Anti-Stress Smoothie will quickly become one of your favorite healthy drink recipes!

  • 1 cup of frozen grapes (I used purple grapes.)
  • 1 cup of milk (I used regular milk but you can use coconut milk or almond milk if you prefer.)
  • 1/2 of a banana
  • 1/4 cup of greek yogurt (I used vanilla flavored, but you can use plain if preferred.)
  • 1/2 pack of frozen acai berry (You can find these in the frozen section of select retail stores.)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp Truvia Nectar
  • 1/2 tsp Lavender Extract
  1. Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend for about 60 seconds until all ingredients are blended well.

  2. Enjoy a relaxing and refreshing Lavender Acai Berry Anti-Stress Smoothie!




Amazon Programs That Help Chronic Illness Warriors

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life as we know it, has been forever changed.   It has been hard for a lot of people to accept the new ‘normal’ that the world has embraced.  This can prove to be even more true if you are a person who suffers from a chronic illness.

There has been a lot of confusion and not a lot of guidance when it came to many states reopening.  People who suffer with high risk illnesses found themselves wondering if they should go out for groceries.  Many people like me questioned the risk of going into somewhere crowded like a grocery store, but we HAD to eat….so what options does that leave for high risk people who are concerned with exposure in a retail setting?

amazon programs for chronic illness warriors (1)

Living with a Chronic Illness Takes Work

Living with a chronic illness during a global pandemic is something that is new for many of us.  What isn’t new for most of us is staying at home a lot.  Pre Covid, I did my best to avoid large crowds and social gatherings.  You see, I get sick often and it takes me a lot longer to recover.  Last fall, I had a simple cold that lasted almost a month.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, I then developed pneumonia.

If you suffer from a chronic illness like lupus or fibromyalgia, you may know the financial struggles that can ensue.  Many chronic illness warriors find themselves unable to work or only part time due to their chronic health issues. Skyrocketing prices, fear of exposure in a retail setting, and the overall stress of in person shopping is a major concern for many high risk people.

Finding reliable products with great return policies at an amazing price and with FREE shipping may seem like a dream, but it is reality when it comes to Amazon.

As chronic illness warriors and everyday consumers, it is also important to know that the company we are purchasing from takes great pride in keeping their customers safe.  This can be seen with Amazon when they recently went after a few of their 3rd party sellers who were being accused of price gouging early on in the pandemic.

These sellers were purposely raising prices on products like hand sanitizer, face masks, and disinfectants.  Amazon was quick to announce that it would be taking these price gouging complaints seriously and that the guilty sellers would face consequences.  Amazon even wrote a public letter to Congress asking them to pass laws on price gouging.

How Amazon Helps Those with Chronic Illnesses

Luckily for me, there were a few retail grocery store chains that had pickup as an option.   I really like this option because I was able to order what I needed from the comfort of my home.  It worked great the first few times I used it, until the pickup days started getting further and further out.  It seems like I was not the only one who loved their pickup options lol.  At one point, the pickup times were literally a week out.   I’d like to say that I was organized and amazing enough to plan that far ahead with groceries….but IM NOT lol.

I needed an option that would provide a quicker shipping alternative and still allow me to purchase items from home.  When I realized that my Amazon Prime membership provided free 2 day shipping on a lot of my favorite grocery items, I was ecstatic.  This helped me to maintain social distancing and remain at home while shopping for things me and my family needed.  I never had to leave the house!  If you have been staying at home as a high risk person since the pandemic, you probably understand exactly how much relief this was for me.

Amazon Prime is an important tool that I use in living with a chronic illness, especially during the pandemic.  Being able to order groceries, health and beauty essentials, plus almost anything I can think of for the kids has been a blessing!

Not to mention there won’t be any social anxiety or overstimulation required like many of my personal shopping trips seemed previously.  To me, that is worth shopping online in itself.

As an Amazon Prime member, you receive Free Two-Day Shipping on over 100 million items, exclusive shopping deals, and discounts on diapers and baby food.  With Prime, you also get access to thousands of movies, TV shows, and music to stream online or download for offline, plus unlimited access to over a thousand top Kindle books, and more!

Amazon has a lot of programs and memberships that most people are unaware of.  Take a look at the list below and see if you would benefit from joining any of Amazon’s membership programs.  You may find that it makes living life with a chronic illness a lot easier and way less stressful.

Amazon Prime SNAP_EBT_Medicaid Discount Membership
Amazon Prime SNAP_EBT_Medicaid Discount Membership

1. Amazon Prime SNAP/EBT/Medicaid Discount Membership 

If you are a chronic illness patient who is currently receiving EBT or Medicaid benefits, it is exciting for me to announce that Amazon Prime is currently offering a special promo to help you save even more on your everyday expenses.  Amazon Prime membership allows you to shop many amazing everyday essentials including Amazon Grocery, Amazon Pantry, and Amazon Fresh!  You can even use SNAP Benefits to pay for your qualifying items.

Amazon accepts SNAP EBT in certain states. See their FAQ for more information.

Their website lists the following states as being SNAP EBT eligible:

Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Tex

Prime is just $5.99/month for qualifying customers in select U.S. government assistance programs such as holders of the EBT card. This means you can enjoy the benefits of Prime at almost 50% off the regular monthly price!

As an Amazon Prime member, you receive a free 30-day trial that includes Free Two-Day Shipping on over 100 million items, exclusive shopping deals, and discounts on diapers and baby food.

After your trial ends, customers who verify with a valid EBT or Medicaid card receive access to all Prime benefits, discounted to just $5.99 per month.

If you are not a member of Amazon Prime, you can join at my special affiliate link below for this very special offer!

Try Prime Discounted Monthly Offering 

 

Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

2. Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Even if you do not receive EBT or Medicaid, you can still join Amazon Prime for an awesome deal.  The safety and reliability that Amazon is able to offer it’s customers is truly one of a kind.  They are the most customer service friendly company I have ever shopped with.  Having less stress in shopping for my family needs has been amazing as well.

Not only does it help ease the shopping process or a chronic illness patient like me, but it also provides a great sense of security in the fact that I know my items will arrive as expected or the issue will quickly be corrected.  That type of buyer security makes me a LOYAL customer to Amazon Prime.  So if you have been on the fence about trying Amazon Prime and do not qualify for the EBT/Medicaid offer, you can use my affiliate link below to get a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Prime today!

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

 

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Free 30-day Trial 
Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Free 30-day Trial

3. Amazon FreeTime Unlimited Free 30-day Trial 

So as a chronic illness parent, there have been really rough flare days I have had to find ways to keep my two sons entertained.  I would lie if I said I didn’t let them enjoy their video games and screen time as well haha.  Hence my amazement when I discovered Amazon FreeTime!

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited is currently available in the US, Germany, and UK.  It is a kid friendly (and affordable) The trial membership with  access to more than 16,000 kid-friendly books, videos and apps.  The best part is it has parental controls to help create a unique experience for each child.  Not only are you able to keep your kids occupied when needed, but you are able to also ensure a safer online experience for your family.

 

Amazon Prime Music Free 30-day Trial 
Amazon Prime Music Free 30-day Trial

4. Amazon Prime Music Free 30-day Trial 

I LOVE listening to music.  When I am trying to motivate myself to clean and do other tedious household chores, I need a little something to get me going.  Music is that something and can help jumpstart my day and tasks.  Music has always had a special place in my heart and soul and has helped to get me through some really hard times in life.  If you are someone who resonates with music and can benefit from all the great things it can offer, you should check out Amazon Prime Music.

The Amazon Prime Music Membership program offers special benefits including:

*Unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs
*Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
*FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)
*Borrow Kindle books

Amazon Home Services
Amazon Home Services

5. Amazon Home Services

As a chronic illness warrior, how many times have you looked around and imagined how many things you could get done if you actually had someone to help you??  Look no further, because Amazon has us covered even with household tasks that you may not have even thought about needing help with.  As someone with a chronic illness, there are days that even the simplest tasks can be difficult to complete.  Imagine being able to schedule a house cleaning with a professional straight through Amazon!  How amazing that this even exists?!?

Amazon Home Services is a new and simple way to buy and schedule professional services such as furniture assembly, house cleaning, and plumbing directly on Amazon.com.

Amazon Home Services offers customers over a thousand different services from quality, hand-picked pros and backed by Amazon’s Happiness Guarantee.

Top services available for you to purchase include:

*House Cleaning
*TV Wall Mounting
*Smart Home Device Installation
*Equipment and Furniture Assembly
*Plumbing and Electrical
*Handyman

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

6. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Reading has always been one of my favorite past-times.  There is absolutely nothing better and more relaxing than being able to sit down with a great book and lose yourself in the story.  If you haven’t taken up reading as a hobby, you really should start!  There are so many adventures and knowledge to help keep you stimulated through the pandemic and beyond.

BUT….sometimes when my migraines or trigeminal neuralgia kick in, reading an actual book can become a task in itself.  This is when I learned to love Audible.  Audible offers a large selection of books on audio.  I can put on my headset and turn on a book and literally melt away into another world.

Right now, Amazon is offering an Audible 30-day Free Trial!  Audible, an Amazon company, offers the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks and spoken word content. With Audible, you can listen anytime and anywhere to professionally-narrated audiobooks across a wide range of genres.

Prime Video Channels Free Trial
Prime Video Channels Free Trial

7. Prime Video Channels Free Trial

Last fall, after my kidney cancer surgery, I made a promise to myself that I would spend more time on self-care and relaxing.  One of the ways that I have implemented that is by making myself watch tv and movies for an hour or so each night.

I was never a big tv watcher because I always felt the need to physically be doing something constantly.   I really had to train myself that spending an hour relaxing each day was part of self-care.  So yes, I gave myself permission to be a couch potato…at least for an hour each day HAHA.

Prime Video Membership program offers special benefits for a low monthly fee:

*Prime members can add subscription services like HBO, Showtime, STARZ and more to their membership
*Manage subscriptions via Amazon Video on any device
*No cable or satellite account necessary
*Watch popular TV shows and blockbuster movies

Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial
Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

8. Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial

If you are a chronic illness parent, Amazon Family is an amazing program because of the included discounts this membership offers.  If you are looking for savings on diapers and other family products, this program would be a great choice for you.  What is better than not having to leave your house, take care of your family needs and get special coupons and deals delivered right to your home?

Amazon Family Membership program offers special benefits including:

*Save 20% on diapers subscriptions
*Exclusive Coupons and Deals from Amazon Family
*Exclusive Baby Registry benefits
*FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
*Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
*Unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and more Prime benefits

Conclusion

As you can see, Amazon has many programs that are beneficial to chronic illness patients.  Whether you are single and live alone or have a large family and are a chronic illness parent, there are times you may find yourself needing a little extra help, especially on flare days.  Join a free trial to one (or more!) of these amazing Amazon programs and find out how much easier living a life while managing a chronic illness can be.

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or something that you have to do outside of the comfort of your home.  Making one small change today can make the difference in how you feel tomorrow.  I hope this article helps you live the fullest life you can!




Sun Protective Bathing Suits for 2020

If you suffer from sun sensitivity, you know how stressful the summertime can be.  It is frustrating and stressful when you are trying to have fun or vacay and you have to constantly remain hidden from the sun’s rays.  Even if you do not happen to suffer from sun sensitivity, you still should be aware of the risk of skin cancer from the sun’s rays. Skin cancer usually forms on areas of the body that are more prone to sun exposure, although sometimes can appear in normally covered areas as well.

How can I protect myself from the sun’s harmful rays?

There are many tips you can take in order to protect yourself from the sun.

The first and one of the most important sun tips is to ensure you are wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen every single day.  You can find my list of the best sunscreens for lupus here.   We also have a really great post on highly favored sun protective clothing here.  You can also wear wide brimmed hats, have good coverage sunglasses, and remember to continuously re-apply your broad spectrum sunscreen while you are outdoors.

Do I need a sun protective bathing suit?

Having an extra layer of  sun protection in a bathing suit can be beneficial to those who are sensitive to the sun.  If you are like me and have an autoimmune disease like lupus that makes you more sensitive to the sun, you may want to consider one of the UPF bathing suits.  If you are planning to vacation or are just looking for everyday swimwear, definitely consider getting one of the sun protective bathing suits to ensure extra protection from the sun while you are outside enjoying yourself!

sun protective bathing suit

 

1. Lands’ End Sun Protective Bathing Suit

 

If you are looking for the Little Black Dress of sun protective swimwear, this beautiful suit could be the one!  This Women’s Scallop V-neck Cap Sleeve bathing suit from Land’s End also has UPF 50 sun protection.  This is a modest tankini swimsuit would be perfect for any family vacation or swim day!

2. Lands’ End UPF 50 Tummy Control Bathing Suit

Are you looking for a sun protective bathing suit with a little extra tummy control?  Yeah….me too lol.  This women’s plus size texture tummy control one piece swimsuit from Lands’ End is a great choice.  With the long trusted quality from Lands’ End, this swimwear is no different.  It has adjustable straps and a high neck style that offers extra sun protection. This unique fabric provides UPF 50 protection while maintaining style and comfort. *The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this fabric as an effective UV protectant only for covered areas.

 

3. Maaji Women’s Zip Front UPF 50+ One Piece Swimsuit

 

 

This stunning Maaji zip front one piece swimsuit is designed to protect you from the sun’s rays.  If you are looking for a sun protective bathing suit with a little artistic flair, this one is an amazing choice.  It comes in a variety of colors such as: Daughter of Triton Light Blue Floral Plumeria Bloom and Lime Green Floral.

4. Summersalt: The Causeway – Atlantic

This extra sexy sun protective swimsuit is built with playful cutouts covered with a sleek mesh overlay.  It has adjustable back straps that help to create a snug and personal fit.  This suit contains beautiful mesh detailing (the mesh is not UPF 50+, so don’t forget your sunscreen!) The online world offer a tip for this UPF swimwear; go one size up if you’re a D-cup or larger.

5. Rip Curl Searchers Long Sleeve Sun Protective Springsuit 

 

Spend the summer enjoying the outdoors without worrying about the sun  with the help of the Rip Curl Searchers Long Sleeve Springsuit. This sun protective suit helps keep your core warm and provides additional protection from the elements. From its vibrant color block details to its fitted waistline, this swimwear offers a sleek, slimming affect. UPF 50+ sun protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.  What more could you need in a sun protective suit?

 

6. Tommy Bahama Pearl Over the Shoulder Cross Front Sun Protective One-Piece 

 

You will shine in absolute confidence instead of fear of the sun’s rays when you step into this gorgeous and mesmerizing Tommy Bahama Pearl Over the Shoulder Cross Front One-Piece. This bathing suit offers durable stretch microfiber fabric that is able to retain its shape and resists fading for extended wear. UPF 50+ fabrication protects skin during outdoor activity by blocking harmful Ultraviolet A B rays (UVA/UVB).  If you are looking for a sun protective bathing suit that is also chic and stunning, definitely give this Tommy Bahama piece a try!

 

7. Lands’ End UPF 50 Tummy Control Skirted One Piece Swimsuit

 

Firming Slendertex® fabric smooths and shapes to give this stunning swimwear a unique job.  LYCRAXtraLife(TM) spandex fiber is more resistant to chlorine and retains its shape.  This bathing suit has a skirted overlay adds a touch of elegance and extra protection for your legs.  Imported Fabric provides UPF 50 sun protection in this beautiful bathing suit.

 

8. Perfect Moment Long-Sleeved UPF 50+ Swimsuit

 

This orange long-sleeved sun protective swimsuit from PERFECT MOMENT features long sleeves, a panelled colour block design, a fitted silhouette and a front zip fastening. With its unique and vibrant look, it is amazing to know it is also UPF 50 protective swimwear.

 

9. Lands’ End  Slender Swim Dress One Piece Swimsuit

 

Specifically designed for modest coverage, this sun protective bathing suit has fabric that resists breakdown from chlorine, sunscreen, UV rays and sweat UPF 50 sun protection, plus superior stretch and recovery.  It also has a Tricot dress over the suit for maximum coverage and style Firming Slendertex® fabric that helps to smooth and shape while offering sun protection.

 

10. Rip Curl Playa Blanca UPF One Piece Swimsuit

 

Spend the summer living your best life with the help of the Rip Curl Playa Blanca Surfsuit. The stretch rib patterned surfsuit helps keep your core warm and provides additional protection from the elements. It is a gorgeous and tropical choice bathing suit that offers UPF 50+ sun protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

 

 

Remember, the best way to protect your skin from the sun on days you are swimming outdoors, is by wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen, a sun protective bathing suit, a wide brimmed hat, and sun protective clothing to cover up with.  It is possible to enjoy outside activities even if you are sensitive to the sun, just make sure you take the correct precautions and speak with your doctor if you have any questions.  Here’s to summer!




Lupus Awareness Jewelry

When it comes to spreading lupus awareness, nothing is more awesome than lupus awareness jewelry.  If you are looking for easy and chic ways to jazz up your lupus awareness, check out some of these amazing finds I found online.  Lupus awareness jewelry can range from lupus medical bracelets to lupus awareness earrings.  The possibilities really are endless if you are serious about helping to advocate for lupus.

lupus awareness jewerly

Lupus Medical Bracelet


What better way to advocate for lupus, especially when you are a lupus warrior.  Having a lupus medical bracelet can make it easier for emergency personnel to know your medical history if there were ever an emergency.  There are many unique and cute options for lupus medical bracelets on Etsy.

You can see one of my favorites here.  I love shopping on Etsy because it helps support many small business owners, some of which are fighting chronic illnesses as well.  It’s an easy way for me to show my support for fellow chronic illness warriors.  Amazon also has a really great selection of lupus medical bracelets that you make like as well.  There are so many great options to choose from, depending on your specific needs.

 

Lupus Awareness Earrings

Lupus awareness earrings are a small way to make a big impact!  There are a lot of really beautiful lupus awareness earrings on Amazon.  I honestly was pretty surprised at the number of really unique earrings that were available to help spread lupus awareness.

I know a lot of us may not really think about spreading lupus awareness until May for Lupus Awareness Month, but I am trying to be more adamant about spreading awareness year round.  These lupus awareness earrings are a perfect choice.  You can also check out these really cute purple spoonie earrings on Etsy.  How cute?!

Lupus Awareness Necklace

If you love wearing necklaces, you will adore this beautiful lupus awareness necklace.   This sterling silver Butterfly Series Necklace with Swarovski Crystals is a great way to advocate for lupus awareness.  The best part is that you can order this using Amazon Prime!  If you need lupus awareness jewelry quickly, I highly recommend ordering through Amazon.

Of course Etsy has some awesome handmade items that can offer a more unique option when it comes to looking for lupus awareness necklaces.  Check out some of their lupus necklace listings here.

Lupus Awareness Bracelet Charms

If you already own a bracelet that you love, a simple way to add lupus awareness could be to buy a lupus awareness charm to add to your collection.  You can easily add and change charms on a bracelet and this makes it a great way to really broaden your options when it comes to lupus awareness jewelry.  You could get a cute simple charm like the one above or check out some of the handmade ones on Etsy.  The options are really endless when it comes to lupus awareness charms because of the versatility in wearing charm bracelets.