At least 1.5 million Americans have lupus, and it's believed that 5 million people worldwide are living with the disease, which is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. More than 16,000 new cases are reported annually across the country, and lupus occurs nine times more often in women than in men and is more common in those of non-European descent. With these staggering numbers, it's shocking that only one drug has been approved to treat lupus in more than 50 years.
On top of dealing with the physical symptoms of lupus, there's a ton of learning and data tracking to take on. From education about the disease to symptom tracking to eating the right things to keeping out of the sun, you can quickly become overwhelmed. Luckily there's an abundance of apps out there to help you stay on top of your health. From apps that teach you more about lupus to virtual communities of others living with lupus to medication trackers, these are the best lupus apps
The Lupus App (Android; free)
The Lupus App (full name: Mumbai Arthritis Clinic Lupus App) offers resources, tools and information to help lupus patients take charge of their disease. Patients can add prescriptions, appointments and symptoms, then email important information to their doctor. Plus, there's a section dedicated just to educating users about lupus, with a glossary of related terms, a section on how to take charge and a list of drugs to avoid.
LupusTracker Pro (Android; $2.99)
Monday you may have cold symptoms, and Wednesday you could feel nauseous, while by Saturday you have an infection. But when you're living with lupus, it's hard to keep track of all your symptoms, which your doctor will require in order to be able to treat you properly. LupusTracker Pro aims to organize all of your symptoms in a grid-like format. You adjust the day, then add your symptoms. The next time you visit your doctor, you can just show him or her the app, and he can more easily do his job.
WebMD (Android, iOS; free)
WebMD's Symptom Checker feature lets you enter personal details then tap a specific body part to indicate where you're experiencing the symptom, and then identify the symptom. WebMD then states your possible conditions, as well as info on that condition. That way, if you experience a symptom you're unfamiliar with and think may have to do with your lupus, you can quickly look it up and see if you need to seek medical attention. You can also search an A to Z directory of conditions, search for drugs and treatments, get first-aid advice and find local health centers.
Mango Health (iOS; free)
It can be a drag when you have to take a ton of medications for your lupus, but Mango Health puts some incentive behind it. The more you use this app, the more points you rack up. And the more points you rack up, the more money you earn to spend at certain stores. Here's how it works: Users plug in what medications they're taking, as well as how often and the dosage. Mango Health then alerts you when it's time to take your dose, and if you take your medication on time, you earn points. If you earn enough points to get to Level 2, you can give a $1 donation to the ASPCA; if you earn enough points for Level 3, you get a $5 gift card to Target. The gifts only get better from there.
Living with Lupus (Android; free)
For those living with lupus that keep up with the online community Lissa's World, Living with Lupus is the app that keeps you up to date. Users get access to recent articles on the site, and have the capability to quickly search the entire site's database of content. Living with Lupus also serves as an educational tool, with sections on the different symptoms that go along with lupus and different types of medication. You can also easily check out the group's Facebook and Twitter pages.
Lupus Connect (Android; free)
Lupus Connect is essentially a forum in an app, where those dealing with lupus can start conversations, talk about treatments and learn from others. There are topics of the week to get the conversation flowing, and you can see when users record their moods, like other posts and reply to other users, making it super simple to follow along and join a conversation. You can browse recent discussion, search for one if you have a specific topic you're looking for or write your own.
EPA's SunWise UV Index (Android, iOS; free)
Since many people living with lupus have sun sensitive skin, you'll want a tool that lets you know how strong the sun is so you don't burn. The EPA's SunWise UV Index app is a simple tool where you plug in your current zip code and it tells you the UV Index for that area. Users can look at daily or hourly UV Index forecasts, and then the app gives suggestions for protecting against that particular strength of sun, from type of sunscreen to types of clothing.
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