Quantcast

Lupus



Follow @dherbs
What Is Lupus

Lupus is the second most common autoimmune disease, which affects many people.  It’s a chronic disease, in which the symptoms can carry on for weeks, months, and even years.  Lupus can affect all parts of the body including the brain, all of the major organs, joints, and blood cells.  When autoimmune diseases are present, the immune system recognizes healthy cells and tissues as foreign invaders, resulting in your body attacking itself.  Lupus specifically causes the immune system to attack the tissues and organs of the body.  Instead of producing antibodies that fight off viruses, bacteria, and germs, those with Lupus produce antibodies that attack organs and cause inflammation.  Because the symptoms of Lupus are chronic, people tend to experience flares or episodes.  Flares are considered to be the ups and downs of the disease, meaning there are fluctuations in how one feels.  Symptoms can worsen or improve at anytime. 

Systemic Lupus is the most common form of the autoimmune disease, however, there are also several other types such as   Cutaneous Lupus, Drug-induced Lupus, and Neonatal Lupus, which are the other forms of the Lupus Erythematosus disease.  Unlike Systemic Lupus, the other three forms are derived from specific causes and have limited affects on the body.  Cutaneous Lupus only affects the skin in which individuals can experience different issues such as severe rashes, skin sores, and raised scaly skin.  Cutaneous Lupus is also known as Discoid Lupus, which refers to the inflammation of the skin.  Drug-induced Lupus is similar to Systemic Lupus, but it is derived from taking certain prescription medications and rarely affects the health of the major organs.  Neonatal Lupus isn’t seen as a true form of the disease.  This type of Lupus develops in infants whose mothers have Lupus.  The symptoms can be mild or severe, affecting the liver, skin, blood cell count, and, at times, the heart; however, Neonatal Lupus symptoms only last for a few months with no lasting affects.  Systemic Lupus on the other hand often affects a variety of body parts, specifically the skin, blood vessels, kidneys, heart, lungs, joints, and brain.  Cutaneous Lupus can develop into Systemic Lupus, but it’s something that rarely occurs.  Although Lupus can affect all races, it’s more likely to develop in African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women between the ages of 15 and 44.  At the moment, nine out of ten Lupus patients are women.  Because Lupus affects more women during their childbearing years, it’s suggested that there’s a link between the sex hormones and how or why Lupus develops.  Women with Systemic Lupus often have higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of progesterone.  The disease could be more dominant in women due to the hormonal changes from ages 15 to 44.  This particular disease is often hard to detect because all Lupus cases are different and affect people in various ways.  

Signs Of Lupus

Signs and symptoms of Lupus can develop at a fast pace or slowly over the course of time.   Everyone’s Lupus case is different and so are the symptoms.  Given that there are different forms of Lupus, the signs can also vary based on the type of Lupus.  The signs can mimic other health ailments and can even be symptoms that aren’t often taken as a serious sign of an underlying issue.  For some, it takes a while to recognize the signs until they’re persistent.  Systemic Lupus has the most variance in symptoms, but the main one is inflammation.  The first few signs particularly portray a general change in your body and how it functions; the other signs can be more severe and alarming.  The signs of Cutaneous Lupus can be seen within the skin, typically in the face, neck, and sometimes the scalp.  Drug-induced Lupus signs can also vary due to the cause stemming from the use of prescription drugs.  The signs typically affect the health of the joints and indicate flu like symptoms.  Neonatal Lupus only affects newborns, who have more apparent signs that tend to show up in the skin.  The symptoms that are associated with the condition can last for a short period of time or can persist into flares, where the symptoms just come and go.  Nonetheless, there are common signs that tend to show up in all cases of Lupus. 

  • Skin rashes
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Fatigue or decrease in energy
  • Unexplained Fevers
  • Headaches or migraines (rare for them to occur)
  • Hair loss (more common for Systemic Lupus)
  • Confusion or memory issues
  • Swelling or retaining water
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin lesions (abnormal growth or raised skin; more common for Cutaneous Lupus)
  • Inflammation in the organs (chest pains during deep breaths, shortness of breath
  • Muscle pain or swelling in joints
  • Color change in finger nails or toes (reacting to stress or cold climates; often referred to as Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Blurred vision (more common with Drug-induced Lupus)
  • Swollen glands or lymph nodes
  • Nerve issues
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia (decrease in blood cells; more common for Neonatal Lupus)
  • Seizures (uncommon, found more so in Systemic Lupus)
What Causes Lupus

When it comes to the cause of Lupus, there are a lot of misconceptions and theories.  Lupus is considered to be an autoimmune disease, but it is not contagious or a type of cancer.  Autoimmune diseases normally cause the body’s immune system to involuntarily attack healthy tissues, cells, and even certain organs, depending on the disease.  A lot of causes of autoimmune diseases are left unknown, however, a foreign substance often triggers the production of the immune system’s antibodies to attack healthy parts of the body.  For Lupus, the foreign invader or cause is unknown, however, recent studies have helped narrow down the probable causes.  The theories for the cause are based on who experiences the condition the most, and his/her genetic makeup.  Hormones and certain genes support the most common cause.  Research continues to get closer, providing links between the estrogen hormone and why women with Lupus experience flares during times when estrogen is at it’s highest, for example, during menstrual periods and pregnancy. 

There are, however, a lot of other factors that support the cause, which is derived from foreign invaders like parasites. This probable cause is linked to the types of treatments that are available for Lupus, such as medical drugs that are used to treat the condition as well as ones like Malaria.  Malaria, for one, is caused from parasite presence, specifically infected mosquitos whose bites infect the bloodstream of humans.  The bloodstream fuels the body and all of the organs; it runs all throughout the body, delivering nutrients and oxygen in addition to filtering waste out.  If the bloodstream is contaminated or contains foreign invaders like parasites, it can easily affect your organs.  Because Lupus is treated with some of the same medications, the causes are most likely related to one another.  Although all Lupus cases are different, some of the common reasons for the likely causes have been numbered down to the following:

  • Hormonal issue
  • Genetics (no specific gene or DNA structure shows a pattern that determines Lupus traits, however, it can be more common in certain families)
  • Biomakers (a measurable substance found in organisms, biomakers presence often indicates things that are present like diseases and infections)
  • Foreign Invader (infection, virus, parasites etc)
  • Environmental factors (toxins, chemicals etc)
  • Sun Exposure (sunlight can trigger the flare-ups)
  • Exposure to Ultraviolet rays
  • Certain Medications (common for conditions like high blood pressure, seizures etc)
  • High doses of medication
  • Penicillin and Antibiotics
  • Stress (emotional or physical)
  • Smoking
  • Childbirth (mothers can pass lupus on to their child, more common for Neonatal Lupus)
  • Pre-existing conditions (although its uncommon, those with hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, or other viral conditions could contribute to Lupus developing)
  • Food Allergies

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies

 

  • A dietary intervention is always ideal when it comes to healing the body from autoimmune diseases like Lupus.  Foods like meat, dairy, alcohol, saturated fats, sugar, and caffeine can alter hormones.  These foods often contain synthetic hormones, pesticides, or additives that the human body can’t process well.  Anytime you consume food that is genetically engineered, has antibiotics, or has added growth hormones, it can disrupt the health of human hormones.  Even unnatural foods like soy affect the estrogen levels of both men and women.  Focusing on a good diet alone can help bring relief from Lupus and help control the condition.  By eliminating these foods, you’re avoiding hormonal issues and reducing inflammation.  The only vegetable that should be avoided is Alfalfa, due to the amino acid L-canavanine that can cause flares.
  • Inflammation is something that can regularly occur with Lupus.  Because it can occur throughout the body, it’s best to perform remedies that help address the body as a whole.  Some of the best natural remedies that help reduce inflammation can be found in natural food sources.  Pineapples, ginger, and turmeric are three power foods that are often used to help eliminate inflammation.  They all contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that help bring relief to joints and swelling. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to help with the symptoms of Lupus.  These help reduce inflammation while simultaneously improving the health of the blood flow and blood vessels.  Getting this nutrient first hand from power foods is best.  Consuming two tablespoons of ground flax seeds can help control the symptoms of Lupus.  A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and baking soda also helps reduce inflammation.
  • High levels of stress always tend to affect how well the body functions.  Stress can alter your hormone levels, contribute to inflammation, and when it comes to Lupus, it can be a stimulant for flares that affect other body parts or functions.  With Lupus, stress can lead to depression, inviting unwanted feelings like mood swings, memory issues, and confusion.  Managing stress before it reaches a high point can help those with Lupus control the condition.  Meditation, walking, breathing exercises, listening to relaxing music, and seeking help are just a few things that help reduce stress.
  • Because the conditions of Lupus often deplete energy levels, increasing the amount of sleep you get per night is important to healing and controlling flare-ups.  Those with Lupus should get at least 10 hours of rest at night.  Increasing the amount of sleep helps increase energy levels while the body repairs itself overnight. 
  • Limiting the amount of sun you get and protecting your skin can help bring relief.  The sun often heightens the severity of the rashes Lupus presents.  Ultraviolet rays, including UVA and UVB ray lighting, can be the triggers that cause Lupus flares to occur.  It’s best to avoid heavy sun exposure, which is commonly between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.  Wearing sunscreen is the best type of prevention if you have to be in the sun. 
  • The skin is the largest organ of the body and is commonly the most affected part when Lupus is present.  Performing natural remedies that specifically help reduce inflammation in the skin and the severity of rashes can help.  Sea salt soaks are one of many natural remedies that help with skin issues.  Sea salt helps draw out toxins and fluids from cells while keeping them hydrated.  Taking the time to do these soaks regularly can help eliminate foreign invaders from the blood steam.  Steam rooms and saunas are also great remedies because they increase the amount of sweat.  Sweating is key to eliminating the things that are considered foreign to the body.  Coconut oil would the best thing to use on the skin as it has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties.  Because the cause of Lupus is somewhat unknown, it's best to do natural practices that help eliminate anything unnatural to the body.
  • If you wish to address Lupus naturally from a parasite’s presence, all of the natural remedies above would still be useful.  Three tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, a half teaspoon of quality cinnamon, and 1-2 cloves of finely chopped garlic are three things that can be taken on a daily basis to help remove parasites.  These three things help balance out pH levels, boost the immune system, and are powerful enough to help eliminate parasites. 

 

Things you should eat
  • All Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tomatoes)
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Red bell peppers
  • Guavas
  • Walnuts
  • Celery
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Kiwi
  • All leafy green vegetables (kale, romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli)
  • Pineapple
  • Flaxseeds
  • All berries
  • Almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin seeds
Dherbs Athletic Boost