How To Live With Lupus

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There have been quite a few mentions of Lupus and it seems that many want to know how to live with Lupus.  Today I’m going to discuss some alternative ways to help with that.  Before I begin with methods, etc.  Here is a little background information on the disease and its symptoms.

 

According to the Lupus Foundation of America upwards of 1.5 million people are living with the diagnosis of Lupus just in America.  There are many more people suffering with Lupus who have not been diagnosed.

What is Lupus?  It is a chronic (meaning an ongoing illness, possibly lasting for many years) autoimmune disease that can affect any organ or part of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood & kidneys.

Exact causes of Lupus are not known but often there are other family members who also have some form of autoimmune disease. Triggers for symptoms can be anything from reactions to medications, stress (whether it is physical or emotional) and trauma.

Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the area of the body being attacked by the disease.  Lupus patients can suffer from skin eruptions, joint pain and swelling, general fatigue, hair loss, anemia, headaches, problems with blood clotting, unexplained fever, a rash on the nose and cheeks (called butterfly rash) and Raynaud’s Syndrome (fingers turn white and blue and tingle when cold).  There can also be symptoms related to the kidneys, heart and digestive system.  These symptoms usually run in cycles where they are more severe at times.

There are many alternative treatments that can be employed to help those who suffer with Lupus such as acupuncture, herbs and supplements and even meditation to reduce stress  can be helpful.  Often people try these alternatives without consulting their health care professional which can be dangerous.  ALWAYS consult your health care professional before you try or begin ANY new  regime or treatment of any kind.

Let’s discuss some of the treatments that have given some relief or good results.

 

    DIET                              

 

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Anyone who suffers with autoimmune disease should adhere to a whole foods diet.  The diet should be high in whole foods.  Processed or preserved foods should be avoided as they are loaded with chemicals that can trigger an increase in symptoms.

The diet should include plentiful      vegetables amounts of antioxidant-rich foods like green, leafy vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, pomegranates and cherries.

Get more protein from lean meats, fish and beans rather than red meat.

Use coconut oil, olive oil and grapeseed oil for cooking.

Avoid refined foods like white breads, pasta and sugar.

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Also avoid stimulants such as alcohol, coffee and tobacco products.

And last, but not least, drink plenty of water.  To know how much water to drink divide your body weight in half and multiply that by 1.2  – that’s how many ounces of water you should drink each day.  Use filtered or bottled water.  Tap water contains small quantities of substances that can trigger immune system responses.   Be sure your bottled water does not have minerals added – it’s usually much higher in sodium content.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

Vitamin A can help to reduce inflammation related to IBS (irritable bowel), lungs and skin.  It can also help prevent cell damage which can help with joint pain.

Vitamin D helps to lower the risk of osteoporosis and can be helpful with other symptoms.  Research is being conducted with regard to immune system regulation with vitamin D.

Vitamin E helps prevent cell damage and is known to be a powerful antioxidant which promotes heart health.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are anti-inflammatory.  They are found in oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel and Herring.  Supplementing with Omega-3 will help, but try to eat the fish often as results are better.   CAUTION – if you are on blood thinners, especially with Omega-3 supplements.

DHEA helps to reduce symptoms and might help to reduce corticosteroid dosages.

Magnesium is great for associated muscle pain.

Probiotics help to normalize the bacteria in the gut.

SAM-e can relieve the pain of swollen joints and can be used in place of NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.  It can be quite expensive to take a therapeutic dose (400 mg 3-4 times daily), but after a few weeks this can often be reduced to a maintenance dose of only  200mg twice daily.

Flaxseed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolonic acid and can reduce inflammation and help with kidney function.  Again, use CAUTION if using blood thinners.

HERBS

Green tea extract is a powerful320px-Matcha_tea

anti-oxidant that may help reduce tissue damage.  In a study done in 2011 at Oregon State University green tea extract was found to increase production of regulatory T-cells which play a major role in immune system function and, therefore, improvement and suppression of symptoms.  The good thing about thisi that there are pharmaceutical drugs developed for this purpose but there are issues with them related to toxicity when used long term.  These issues are not a factor with the use of green tea.  You can review that study here.

 

Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory which I have discussed further in the herbs section above and in other posts.

Evening Primrose oil can possibly help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

HERBS TO AVOID

Devil’s claw, feverfew, willow, echinacea, astragalus and alfalfa sprouts or anything with alfalfa in it – these can actually stimulate the immune system creating a rampant increase in symptoms.

Also, soy products are high in phytoestrogen.  Estrogen is known to increase symptoms in Lupus.

 

EXERCISE

Low impact exercise done on a regular basis can actually help with symptoms of Lupus.  Try to get 30 minutes in five days a week (to keep joints from stiffening).

 

I hope this has helped you in your quest to learn how to live with lupus.  Please leave comments and any questions you may have so that we can all explore this together.  Thanks so much for visiting again.

 

Debby

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14 comments

  1. wesley says:

    Hi Debby,
    Thanks for sharing the detailed information on Lupus disease. I do not know much about Lupus but I agree that proper diets and regular exercise is still the key to keeping a healthy life. Can Lupus disease be inherited and can anyone who suffered from the disease be fully treated?

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for your interest Wesley. To answer your first question, autoimmune disease can be inherited which is why we see multiple people in a family group with varying autoimmune issues. In my family, for example, one has Crohn’s, one has asthma and allergies, one has fibromyalgia, etc. So yes, the autoimmune issue can be inherited, but not specifically one issue like Lupus. According to conventional medicine, there is no cure for Lupus. That said, there are, obviously, treatments that can help lesson the symptoms and severity. I hope this answers your questions. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  2. bioelectrobot says:

    Great advice on consulting a professional. Meditation can be incredibly helpful if done properly. Meditating properly may involve different methods for different people. We all have unique biochemistry, and consulting a professional is always good advice. Caution with blood thinners is great advice, also. There is so much suffering in this world. I’m glad to read this article about lupus and what can be done to make life better for those who suffer with this. There are so many great substances that come from this earth. If we use the earth’s matter wisely we can greatly improve the quality of life during our relatively short journey here.
    Thanks for taking time to share these health tips.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks so much for your comments. Yes it’s good to consult a professional. Doctors and nutritionists and others cannot help us if we are doing something they are not aware of – it could even cause harm. Meditation can help in so many ways, especially for those who suffer with Lupus or any autoimmune disease. Come back and visit any time. I’ll be happy to see you here.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  3. Torrey says:

    I have never heard of Lupus. I will need to do a bit of research to learn more about it before I become afflicted with the horrible illness. I do like the subject of health and I’m quite sure you are correct on the core deal. Get your core straighned out and everything else will take care of it’self.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Yes, Torrey, so much illness centers around the problems we have with our core. If we don’t have a healthy gut it affects every part of our body. Thanks for your comment. Come back and visit again. I’ll look forward to hearing what you think after you learn a little more about Lupus.

      Blessings,
      Debby

  4. NemiraB says:

    hello here, thanks for information regarding the disease lupus.
    I think that it is an unpleasant condition. It is a chronic situation, when own body’s immune system attacks own tissues and organs.
    I think that this disease happens, when people live in a stressful environment, they have unbalanced lives. The lack of proper nutrition and sleep can affect us too.
    It is a pity that women are majority, who have this disease.
    Your advices how to relieve symptoms and help ourselves are straight o point.
    I think that natural and organic remedies are best because they have antioxidants and vital nutrients and minerals. It helps to strengthen immune system and relieve symptoms for this nasty disease.
    All the best, Nemira.

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for your comments Nemira. I agree that natural treatments should be our first line of defense. I think if we can strengthen our core everything else will line up correctly. Come back and visit again.

      Blessings,

      Debby

  5. Mel says:

    Hi Debby!

    I am getting into a more holistic lifestyle and I guess taking it back to our roots of being more natural and not so dependent on artificial methods to nourish our bodies.

    I appreciate your site and will bookmark it on my computer. I believe the body is capable of self-healing if only we gave it the right “tools” to achieve the necessary healing. It would function at optimal levels! Like the limitless pill or something!

    I am so passionate about this that I even thought about getting a certification in naturopathic nutrition because I would absolutely love being able to help others optimize their health and lifestyle the natural way it was intended.

    Do you have any sort of certifications? I need to check out your about me link, I guess! 🙂

    Mel

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks for the comment Mel. Yes I am a certified herbalist. I studied herbalism and the Chinese theory of medicine in Atlanta Ga. some years ago. I believe that the Lord created a plant or a food that would help with whatever problem, we just have to figure it out! You’re right, our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, and designed for self healing if we treat them properly.

      Let me know if you do decide to go forward with getting your certification.

      Thanks again,

      Debby

  6. Elinor says:

    Hiya Debby,

    Fantastic! You have really made some great positive suggestions for Lupus sufferers!

    I have had this autoimmune disease since September 2012 and it has been a hellish journey at times. At my worst I was on 40 mgs of steroid and a selection of other medications ; Azathioprine, Methotrexate, Mmf (Mycophenolate Moffetil) and am now on a recurring dose of Rituximab every 6 months!

    My Rheumatologist has said my case is at the severe end of the spectrum!

    I have found my current treatment to be about 60-70% effective and have been looking into possible herbal remedies to try! Your website is perfect for me and bookmarked for future reference!!

    I am on a daily dose of ad-cal D3 (calcium with vitamin D)! I will be chatting to my doctor about some of your suggestions!
    Thank you for such a helpful article!!!

    Elinor – a Lupus Warrior 😃

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Hello again Elinor. I am so excited to hear that you are going to discuss some of these ideas with your doctor. I hope his/her investigation shows that some of these ideas might be helpful for you to try. Let me know how that plays out. I don’t usually like to give out dosages for things, but I will say that the recommendations for D3 a higher than most supplements offer. You might want to discuss that with him/her as well.

      I am looking forward to hearing back from you on what your doctor says, what you try and what did or did not work for you. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

      Love and Prayers,
      Debby

  7. Katerina Markakis says:

    Hello! I love your website since I am very much into herbs and alternative medicine.
    Dealing with Lupus is challenging and can be a great pain for people who suffer from it. I had no idea that green tea can help reduce tissue damage but I am not surprised. Turmeric is a miracle herb and more and more studies have shown its positive effect on cancer too.
    This article is indeed helpful for many people. Thank you for the effort you put in this article. Great work!

    • Debby Morrow says:

      Thanks so much Katerina. I was also surprised about the research done on green tea. I’m getting ready to add some more information regarding the herbs I listed, so be sure to check back in soon. I know so many people suffering with all types of autoimmune disorders, and it really is a struggle for them. My goal is to offer hope.

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