Lupus Diet, Nutrition
Lupus also known as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease. Lupus can affect nearly all the organs of the body and is most common among women between the ages of fifteen and forty-five. If you suffer from lupus, the disease causes your immune system to turn against you. This can lead to a great amount of pain and discomfort and can even be life-threatening.
Many people suffering from lupus have found relief after following a special lupus diet.
While some doctors may insist that no dietary change can make a difference, there are several diet recommendations that help reduce symptoms and control pain. Specific foods can reduce the number of flare up over time, whereas other dietary habits can significantly aggravate the condition. Lupus dietary restrictions involve changing your overall eating habits and not just avoiding certain ‘bad’ foods. Removing alcohol, carbonated soda drinks, highly acidic food, over-processed food, white flour, white sugar, dairy, refined salt, artificial sweeteners and coloring, food additives, and fatty foods from your diet can make a huge difference to your recovery. Instead, enjoy a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.
Healthy foods for lupus include whole foods in their natural form. Raw vegetables and fruits are highly recommended. Other natural foods for lupus include nuts such as almonds soaked in water, foods rich in essential fatty acids and probiotics and plenty of water. Make sure you eat a varied diet with a balanced combination of alkaline, anti-inflammatory foods, and antioxidants. Changing your diet can help reduce pain and swelling, decrease the strain on muscles and joints, increase stamina and energy and reduce body fat.
Lupus symptoms can be reduced and even completely eliminated through a regimented, nutritious diet. Nutrition therapy for lupus can help those suffering from loss of appetite, excessive weight gain, and reduce the side effects of various medications used to treat the condition. Nutrition for lupus is also an important way to prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease from developing.
Vitamins & Supplements For Lupus
Being a chronic inflammatory disease, lupus increases the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals have the potential to damage cells in the body and cause further health issues. One way to reverse the effects of free radicals is to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin therapy for lupus encourages the intake of vitamin C and E. Vitamin D for lupus is also recommended on a daily basis. In addition to these, regular doses of selenium and beta-carotene can help reduce inflammation and pain. Doctors recommend a daily intake of 25,000 international units of beta-carotene, 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 400 international units of vitamin D and 1,000 international units of vitamin E. Vitamin therapy for lupus should be carried out only under the supervision of a trained doctor. Certain vitamins and minerals when taken in large amounts can be detrimental to your health.
Studies show that a regular intake of natural supplements for lupus can reduce symptoms and restrict the progress of the disease. Supplements for lupus such as fish oil can prevent heart problems normally associated with the disease. Flaxseed oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids that can decrease inflammation and improve the functioning of the kidneys. Vitamin supplements for lupus include vitamin B complex supplements along with vitamin C and E capsules to improve healing and immunity. Herbal supplements such as burdock and lime blossom are also said to aid lupus treatment. However, before beginning any new regime, check with your doctor as some of these supplements may react adversely to medication or other existing health conditions.
Symptoms, Causes & Treatment For Lupus
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Aching joints
- Swollen joints
- Pain in the chest
- Rash in the shape of a butterfly across the face
- Mouth ulcers
- Rashes that are unexplained all over the body
- Sensitivity to light
- Disorders of the heart and lungs
The exact causes for lupus are still unknown. This autoimmune disease can be attributed to a number of reasons such as genetics, gender, viral infections, certain medications, stress, hormones, and pregnancy as well as external stimuli such as exposure to ultraviolet light
As yet there is no definitive cure for lupus. Apart from dietary changes, lupus treatment can include medications to reduce pain and inflammation and deal with specific symptoms of the disease. Corticosteroids and NSAIDS are generally prescribed to decrease inflammation and prevent pain.
Lupus prevention involves a few lifestyle changes. These can improve the quality of life and prevent future flare-ups. For example, maintaining a regular exercise regime and a healthy diet can improve immunity and reduce symptoms of the disease. Avoid exposure to the sun, get plenty of rest, reduce stress by doing yoga or meditation, and quit smoking.
The symptoms of lupus are varied and can affect a wide range of organs. It is therefore impossible to have one single test that diagnoses the condition of lupus. To improve the accuracy of lupus diagnosis, doctors have established 11 criteria or tests. These tests include checking for butterfly rash over the cheeks, skin rashes that develop into scars, photosensitivity, mouth and nasal ulcers, arthritis, pleuritis, abnormalities of the kidneys, seizures, blood count tests, and testing for antibodies in the blood.