Lupus is a disease in which the body’s immune system cannot distinguish invaders from its own organs and tissues and hence end up attacking its own cells and organs. SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) is the most common type of lupus.
Many people who suffer from lupus, are able to lead quite normal, happy lives – however there are other lupus patients that are constantly dealing with severe symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, joint pain, skin rashes and headaches.
What is Lupus and What Causes it?
Although the cause of lupus is not known, medical experts believe that it’s caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Plus, stress, chronic infections and even some medications can trigger lupus. Other potential causes of lupus include viruses, allergic reactions, estrogen and hormone imbalances, metal toxicity and also poor digestion.
Symptoms of Lupus
- Memory loss
- Anxiety and Depression
- Blurred vision
- Skin rashes
- Increased risk of High blood pressure and Heart disease, infections, seizures and strokes.
- Lung damage
Foods to Avoid with Lupus
Following are some of the foods you should try to avoid if you suffer from Lupus, as they may worsen the symptoms:
Sugar – This can over stimulate the immune system
Foods High in Sodium – It’s a good idea to watch your salt intake to keep your levels low. This will help to control fluid retention and swelling, as lupus can cause Kidney damage.
Gluten – Gluten is know to increase the chance of Lupus flare-ups. Many people find it hard to digest properly and it can increase inflammation and Leaky gut syndrome.
Alcohol and Caffeine – These are known to worsen symptoms such as inflammation and anxiety.
Smoking and Recreational drugs – It is also important to stay away from smoking and other recreational drugs if you suffer from Lupus as they can cause damage to the lungs and increase inflammation, which may also cause infections.
Treating Lupus Naturally
Many people (according to the Lupus Foundation of America) prefer to manage their symptoms with Natural therapies and home remedies for lupus, rather than conventional prescribed Lupus treatments, that often cause many side effects and much stress and anxiety. (worsening the symptoms even more so.)
Take an Epsom salt bath to relieve fatigue, inflammation and joint pain, some of the most common symptoms of lupus. Epsom salt aids in getting rid of toxins from the body and also helps the body absorb magnesium.
Fill your bathtub with warm water and stir 1½ cups of Epsom salt in it. Soak in it for about 20 minutes and do this 2 times per week. Remember, Epsom salt baths are not suitable for people who have kidney problems or diabetes.
The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which has been found to be very helpful in the treatment as well as prevention of inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
Turmeric can help reduce systolic blood pressure, hematuria and proteinuria in patients suffering from refractory or relapsing lupus nephritis. It’s recommended that you use turmeric in your diet on a daily basis. Prepare turmeric milk by adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of milk and then boil it. You can sweeten turmeric milk with 1 teaspoon of honey and drink twice daily.
Ginger is a wonder spice commonly used in treating lupus mainly due to its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help relieve swelling and joint pain. You can include ginger in your daily diet by simply using it in your cooking or adding fresh ginger to vegetable and fruit juices.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Studies have found that the EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) in omega-3 fatty acids helps improve lupus symptoms due to their strong anti-inflammatory properties. Lupus patients who take omega-3 fish oil supplements have reported significant improvement in their blood vessel function and blood flow. Incorporate different foods rich in omega-3 in your diet. Such foods include chia seeds, walnuts, chia and cold-water fish like tuna, sardines, mackerel, herring and salmon.
Exercise plays a very important role in improving general health for lupus patients. General range of motion exercises and aerobics help improve muscle strength, cardio-vascular health and fatigue in lupus patients without worsening their condition.
Exercise also helps reduce the negative side effects of lupus medication and steroids. Additionally, it helps improve your mood and overall quality of life.
Do different low-impact exercises such as stretching, swimming, walking, water aerobics and cycling daily because they are not likely to put extreme pressure on your joins.
Start slowly and avoid over-exerting yourself. It is recommended that you plan your exercise routine with your physical therapist or physician.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes a wide range of signs and symptoms that come and go. It is essential to keep in mind that lupus is a very dangerous disease that can even be life-threatening sometimes. Therefore, it’s recommended that you discuss your treatment options and your plans on how to manage lupus disease, with your physician. However, regardless of your treatment plan, natural remedies including exercise, an anti-inflammatory diet, stress reduction and essential oils for pain, can help manage the symptoms of lupus and prevent serious complications.
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