Lupus Disease – What You Need To Know

Lupus Disease – What You Need To Know

Lupus is a disease that confuses the immune system into attacking itself. This is called an autoimmune disease, one of many that the medical community cannot figure out how to cure. Lupus means “wolf” in Latin and was the name given to this disease by thirteenth century physician Rogerius when he noticed that the lupus rash (one of several prominent symptoms of the disease) resembled a wolf bite. 

Lupus disease usually doesn’t cause death, although complications associated with lupus may attribute to early mortality. Many people have lupus and do not even know it. Millions have been diagnosed including Selena Gomez, Lady GaGa, Nick Cannon, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, and singer-songwriter Seal.

Find out a little about this tricky disease to see if you may be unknowingly afflicted as well as some natural ways you can deal with or avoid it altogether.

1,000 Faces

It is estimated that approximately 1.5 to 2 million Americans are living with lupus and about five million worldwide. However, many feel these numbers are much higher due to lack of accurate diagnoses. Lupus has been nicknamed “the disease of a 1,000 faces” due to its many similar symptoms of other conditions. 

The Lupus Foundation of America cites some symptoms and statistics that may help you gauge if you might be at risk.

  • Pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Cognitive issues
  • Physical impairments
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mouth and nose sores and ulcers
  • Strokes
  • Disfiguring rashes
  • Anemia and weakness
  • Painful joints
  • No visible symptoms aka asymptomatic
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age 
  • Men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too 
  • Most people with lupus develop the disease between the ages of 15-44

There are four types of lupus disease which are:

  • Systemic lupus – Most prevalent making up about 70 percent of all cases. Mostly affects heart, lungs, kidneys, orbrain.
  • Cutaneous lupus – About ten percent have this diagnoses which only affects the skin with intense rashes.
  • Drug-induced lupus- Also, about 10 percent are afflicted through certain medication use with symptoms subsiding after the medication is discontinued.
  • Neonatal lupus – A rare occurrence when the mother’s antibodies attack the fetus causing the birth of the baby to include symptoms. Skin rash, low blood cell count, or liver problems more often than not last about six months and then disappear without any lasting effects. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, this would be chronic and should be checked by a capable physician. 

Clinical Nutrition for Lupus

Conventional medicine is very good at lessening the often painful symptoms of lupus. However, often in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, eating foods that can make lupus symptoms better or worse could make a big difference. 

It really is no surprise that when you eat processed, refined, salt and sugar laden food you do your body harm. Not only does this kind of diet affect lupus symptoms, it could lower your immune system to possible make you a candidate for developing the disease. Stay away from packaged foods with long ingredients and instead, eat as much fresh, organic choices as you can. The money it costs to maintain a clean diet may seem high at first but as you navigate better deals and realize that your health is worth the cost that may otherwise go to non-essentials, it is an investment that makes sense.  

Avoid: Gluten, high sodium foods, some legumes, alcohol, caffeine, trans-fats, animal fats, processed dairy, and added sugar.

Stick to: All vegetables but particularly dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, collard), cucumbers, avocados, brown rice, peppers, chia seeds, flaxseeds, some fresh fruits (especially melon), and 

Get Into The Habit

As you incorporate a strong diet of non-packaged fresh vegetables, grains, and fruits there are also some lifestyle hacks you can add in as well. These are healthy habits you may have forgotten about or need reminding to continue. Overall, they have been shown to help deal with healthy maintenance of living with lupus. 

Turmeric, ACV and Exercise 

Working with daily supplementation such as vitamins, minerals, herbs, and enzymes has shown some effective results in managing lupus symptoms. Below are some supplements you may want to give a try. Make sure you inform your conventional or naturopathic doctor before using. 

Turmeric – According to research from the Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, “Our results for the first time provide evidence that at the dose used in this study, curcumin [turmeric] aggravates some CNS [central nervous system] disease manifestations in experimental lupus brain.” Look for turmeric (curcumin) supplement capsules that include black pepper (piperine) for optimal absorption. 

ACV – Apple cider vinegar is a great way to increase hydrochloric acid which people with lupus have been shown to be deficient in. Mind Body Green reports that, “Low HCI [hydrochloric acid] can also coexist with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or celiac disease…Try apple cider vinegar on an empty stomach,…Mix 1 tablespoon in a small glass of water and take it before meals.” If you take ACV and feel a warming sensation or have heartburn symptoms, then your HCI level is okay.

Exercise – You don’t have to be a gym rat to keep your blood moving and when it comes to fighting lupus any exercise can be essential. In the study ‘Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Exercise’ by researchers at the Department of Physiology, National Institute of Physical Activity and Sport Science, University of León, Spain, it was stated that, “Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rheumatic disease characterized by a variety of symptoms, especially fatigue, pain and reduced quality of life. Physical exercise is a useful tool for improving cardiovascular fitness, reducing metabolic abnormalities and fatigue and improving quality of life.”

If you or someone you know have symptoms related to lupus disease or struggle with lupus, following a healthy lifestyle may help. Keeping stress very low while enhancing physical activity, nutrition, and supplementation is the best formula for dealing with lupus.