Although it is not always the case sometimes your levels are higher when you are in a flare. I had someone tell me once that whenever they were going to have blood drawn for a lupus count they would stay out in the sun for an hour or two in order to have a better chance of the bloods showing something. So I guess the answer is that it can help but it doesn't always.
As far as the "taboo" subjects" I don't have any of them anymore. This disease is hard enough to deal without having to keep secrets. Fire away!