Natural Home Remedies for Lupus
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease.
With lupus, something is amiss with the immune system and your body attacks its own tissues as though they are foreign invaders. Also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Symptoms or flare-ups seem to come and go.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Common symptoms (there are many more):
- Joint pain and swelling
- Rash on the cheeks and bridge of the nose in the shape of a butterfly
- Age (15 to 45)
- Exposure to toxins
- Food allergies
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Gender (female)
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Other autoimmune disorders
- Heart disease
- Kidney problems
- Neurological dysfunction
- Respiratory problems
- Spinal cord inflammation
The NCBI estimates that 241 per 100,000 people in North America have SLE.
Symptoms are usually treated with a variety of medications, dependent upon your symptoms. Anti-malaria medications may be prescribed. Hydroxychloroquine is also commonly prescribed.
Others have found benefits from self-care, even if they are taking prescription medications at the same time. Beware, though, that many herbs will interact with medications and may therefore pose dangers.
A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. An antioxidant-rich diet is important in the management of Lupus. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan. See Inflammation for a list of anti-inflammatory foods.
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES THAT MAY AGGRAVATE YOUR CONDITION
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Excess salt
- Less red meat and more wild fish
- Nightshade vegetables if they trigger inflammation
- Processed foods
- Trans fats
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
- Green tea
- Stinging nettle
HERBS AND SPICES
- Cayenne pepper
- Flaxseed may decrease inflammation and improve kidney function. Side effects of abdominal pain and bloating possible
- Pau d’Arco
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically on your skin in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.) or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.
- Evening primrose oil
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.
- DHEA to reduce need for steroids
- N-acetyl cysteine
- Omega 3’s
- Vitamin A protects against free radicals
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D may allay some of the destructive immune system responses
- Vitamin E
Your skin may be dry and adequate hydration will help to nourish it. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Most doctors will advise you to get regular exercise to reduce your risk of complications and for general well-being. That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.
Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.
Reducing stress will also reduce inflammation in your body. Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to stay mellow. Some therapeutic relaxation and stress reduction practices or therapies:
- Art therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Music therapy
- EFT to address emotional triggers
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Avoid household and personal use products with chemicals.
- Drink pure water (consider a filter for your shower).
- Epsom salt baths
- Get fresh air and some exercise every day.
- Intermittent fasting
- Minimize ultraviolet light exposure with sunscreens and protective clothing.
- Keep your bedroom dark and avoid exposure to bright lights, like a TV screen, for an hour or two before bedtime.
- Keep your blood sugar in the normal range (see Zone Diet).
- Oil pulling
- Reduce exposure to EMF.
- Sleep at regular hours every night.
- Take warm showers
- Test for food allergies and sensitivities.
- Use natural sunscreens and high-quality natural moisturizers.
- Chinese Medicine
- Massage to ease joint and muscle pain and improve circulation. Check for contraindications.