Sunlight and water retention/weight gain? Anybody else have this happen?

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 2/3/2009 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
My apologies for beginning my first post with a question. 
I should give a very quick profile of my background. 33-year-old female with SLE.  Currently off prednisone (was up to 60 mg/day), but am still taking 150 mg/day of Immuran.
SLE seems to affect my  liver (had massive autoimmune hepatitis which is now under control), some nerve issues, constant bone infections, joint pain, and the usual bouts of extreme fatigue etc.
Oddly,  my skin doesn't seem to be affected by sunlight (no rashes etc.)
I have noticed something in the last few weeks, and was wondering if anybody else has noticed this as well.
Whenever I tan at a tanning studio, the next day, my weight is is a few pounds hevier (obviously, this can only be a water weight issue).  I've tanned twice in the last 3 days - and my weight is up from 113 to 121 lbs.
Now, it may be some strange coincidence - but I can't think of anything else which coincides with it.  I'm not eating more (and frankly I don't think it's possible to gain 8 real pounds in 3 days anyway).
Does anybody have any thoughts on whether this is acutally connected, have any other theories, or can explain it to me?
According to urination tests over the last few months, my kidneys seem to be functioning ok.
Thank you for any light that anyone can shed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 2/4/2009 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Buzz Buzz :)

It's considered that UV rays can affect systemic disease activity even if there are no lupus skin symptoms or worsening of them. I'm pretty sure that has been demonstrated in some studies but I don't have chapter and verse on that. Many people have noted that they get increased protein in urine after undue sun exposure even if they are careful. Tanning beds are like lying out in the sun, maybe even worse.
General swelling from water retention is quite common when tissues are inflamed even if it isn't visible and of course when there is kidney disease.

It's strongly advised for anybody with lupus to avoid excessive sun/UV exposure taking the same precautions as for reducing the risk of skin cancer. Imuran increases photosensitivity and causes increased risk of cancers. Photosensitivity and lupus skin problems can occur after diagnosis, like any new symptom
I'd see my doctor to have a check up and think seriously if you want to take the risks associated with UV exposure, the best known environmental trigger and worsener of lupus.

Good Luck

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 185
   Posted 2/4/2009 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I would not go to the tanning place....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 2/4/2009 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Honeybee,

I agree with the others, tanning beds and/or sun is not good for people with lupus. Just to be safe, I would put a call in to your rheumy and let them know what is going on, they may want you to come in. I hope you get some answers soon!
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Lupus, Sjogrens, Raynaud's, Hashimoto's and Celiac Disease
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Folgard OS (B12), Vitamin D-50,000 IU, Darvocet (as needed) and magic mouthwash (for mouth sores)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 2/5/2009 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
UV rays are like poison to people with Lupus. I suspect that once you eliminate the tanning and any excessive outdoor activity in the sun, you will feel a million times better, and your body will respond well. Please stay out of those tanning beds!!!
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums

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