When most people hear the word “lupus” they’re not really sure what it is, but they’re pretty sure they should be scared of it. And, rightly so because it is baffling and powerful. Not to mention, it affects more people than you think.
Approximately 1.5 million Americans have lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
“It’s a disability that you cannot describe because the whole thing about lupus is it’s so unpredictable,” Mallory Dixon, 29, told Medical Daily.
Lupus risk factors include: (1)
- Having genetic susceptibility and a family history of lupus or other autoimmune disorders
- Being a woman (90 percent of all lupus patients are women)
- Being between the ages of 15–45; women of “childbearing age” are by far the most likely to develop lupus
- Being of African-American, Asian or Native American descent; these ethnicities develop lupus two to three times more often than Caucasians do
- Eating a poor diet and having nutrient deficiencies
- GI troubles including leaky gut syndrome
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Toxicity exposure
- A history of infections and other autoimmune disorders
Symptoms of Lupus
The most common symptoms of lupus:
- Fatigue and fever
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Butterfly-shaped rash on the face that covers the cheeks and bridge of the nose
- Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity)
- Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes
- Headaches, confusion and memory loss
Because many people with lupus are diagnosed with a second or third autoimmune disorder (at some point), anyone who is diagnosed with one of these diseases should be on the lookout for lupus symptoms.
By catching it early you may be able to avoid a dramatic flare-up (which can be deadly).
The most common autoimmune diseases are:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- reactive arthritis
- celiac disease
- pernicious anemia
- inflammatory bowel diseases
- Graves’ disease
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Addison’s disease
- type 1 diabetes
In each of these disorders, the immune system mistakenly attacks bodily tissues as if they were germs, viruses, or other foreign invaders).
How to Naturally Treat Lupus: Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Research shows that a healthy, unprocessed diet is very important for managing lupus because it helps control inflammation stemming from poor gut health. (2)
The best foods for lupus include:
- Organic, unprocessed foods: help reduce exposure to synthetic additives, toxins or pesticides in non-organic foods
- Raw vegetables: promote an alkaline body, reduce inflammation and improve digestion
- Wild-caught fish: provide omega-3 fats to help reduce inflammation, risk for heart disease and pain. Sources include salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, tuna and halibut.
- High-antioxidant foods (vegetables and fruit): include leafy greens, garlic, onions, asparagus, avocado and berries. These foods are high in fiber, vitamin C, selenium, magnesium and potassium to help prevent free radical damage, repair possible damage to the joints and lower fatigue.
Certain foods can also help relieve skin irritation and dryness that’s very commonly associated with lupus.
- olive oil and organic coconut oil
- wild-caught fish
- raw milk
- cucumbers and melon
- nuts and seeds like chia, flax, walnuts and almonds
- drinking plenty of water and organic green tea
Natural Treatments for Lupus