Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, in which antibodies mistakenly identify
the body's tissues as foreign substances and attack them, causing
inflammation and pain. The disease most often strikes women in their
childbearing years; only 10 percent of people with lupus are men. For
reasons that are as yet unknown, African American women are three times
more likely to receive a diagnosis than are their Caucasian counterparts,
and American women of Asian or Hispanic descent are also more susceptible.
Lupus is a rare condition, but, as with other autoimmune disorders, the
number of incidents has been on the rise in recent years.
Lupus takes two related but quite distinct forms:discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In DLE, the only
symptom is a scaly red rash that spreads across the cheeks and the nose,
and sometimes the forehead and the scalp. We tend to think of this rash as
butterfly-shaped, but in a different era, the pattern reminded doctors of a
wolf's face-hence the name lupus, which means "wolf" in Latin. The red
patches usually come and go in cycles, but sometimes they leave disfiguring
scars. Scars that occur on the scalp may prevent hair from growing in the
area they cover. DLE can be distressing, but it does not pose a serious
health threat. Since the rash is often triggered by exposure to sunlight,
the most effective treatment is to remain inside during peak daylight hours
and to shade the face and the head when outdoors.
Sufferers of SLE may also experience a rash, and their disease, like DLE,
goes through periods of remission and activation, but the similarity
between the two disorders stops there. Systemic lupus, as the name implies,
affects not just the skin but the entire body. The process that produces
the red rash spreads to the joints and the muscles, creating pain and
inflammation very similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis. People with SLE
suffer from frequent low-grade fevers that may spike when the disease cycle
is at its peak. Not surprisingly, the fever and the pain leave their
victims exhausted and sometimes depressed. For some people, the symptoms
never progress beyond this point. In other cases, the inflammation spreads
to the kidneys, the liver, the heart, of the spleen, creating dangerous and
even life-threatening problems.
No one knows the exact cause of lupus. Conventional medicine focuses on
factors that often trigger flare-ups; certain medications, viral and
bacterial illnesses, birth-control pills, pregnancy, and periods of extreme
stress are all suspects, but it is likely that there is no single culprit.
We take a close look at other factors; when these are addressed, it can be
quite helpful to people with this disease. The factors include food
allergies, hormone balance, digestive function ("leady gut syndrome") and
detoxification, heavy metal toxicity, and nutritional deficiencies.
Earlier in this century, lupus was fatal within a few years of its onset.
Now almost all people with lupus live out a normal lifespan, provided that
they and their doctors monitor the symptoms and control any threatening
developments. Today, quality of life is the most pressing issue for the
majority of lupus sufferers. Although some people experience very little
inflammation and pain, others are nearly crippled by it. Doctors can help
ease the worst flare-ups with medications for pain control and antibody
suppression, but it's best to try to avoid the need for aggressive
measures. An anti-inflammatory diet, adequate rest and stress control, and
specific natural treatments can all help you to reduce the chance of
flare-ups and minimize the symptoms when they do occur.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of
effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help
The Prescription for Natural Cures by James F. Balch,
M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1
- LifeSource Products -
See All of our Omega 3 – Fish Oil Products.
Take as directed. High doses of fish oil were shown to
be of help in a human study. Super Omega 3, 6, & 9
is also an excellent choice.
Super Prescription #2
Phyto Greens - Super Greens
- LifeSource Products - See All of our
Phyto Green Products.
Take as directed daily on an empty stomach. These
naturally occurring plant chemicals were shown to have
a balancing effect on the immune system for people with
Super Prescription #3
- LifeSource Product
Take up to 100 mg daily, under the supervision of a
doctor. Studies have shown DHEA to improve symptoms of
systemic lupus in women.
Super Prescription #4 Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
and herbal bitters
Take 300 mg or 10 to 20 drops five to fifteen minutes
before meals. Gentian root and herbal bitters formulas
improve overall digestive function.
Super Prescription #5
– LifeSource Product
Take 2,000 to 5,000 mg daily. MSM has natural
anti-inflammatory benefits and contains the mineral
sulfur, an integral component of cartilage. Reduce the
dosage if diarrhea occurs.
Super Prescription #6
Enzymes – Super Enzymes
- LifeSource Product
Take 1 to 2 capsules of a full-spectrum enzyme product
with each meal. Enzymes help you to digest food more
efficiently. Protease enzymes can be taken between
meals for an anti-inflammatory effect.
Super Prescription #7 Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
Take 1,200 to 1,500 mg of a standardized extract
containing 60 to 65 percent boswellic acids two to
three times daily. This herb has powerful
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studies for Lupus
Symptoms of DLE
A butterfly-shaped facial rash that may spread to the forehead or the
Symptoms of SLE
Fatigue and malaise
Joint and muscle pain
Sensitivity to the sun
Vulnerability to illness
Enlarged lymph nodes
Constipation or diarrhea
Recurring bladder infections
Presence of lupus antibodies in the blood
The cause or causes of lupus are unknown. Following are some of the top
An allergic reaction to medications or vaccines
Bacteria, especially streptococcus
Extreme and prolonged emotional or physical stress
Estrogen disruption related to pregnancy or birth-control pills
Use of synthetic hormones
Deficiency of certain hormones (especially DHEA, progesterone,
testosterone, and growth hormone)
Poor digestion and detoxification
Heavy metal toxicity
Give your body optimal support by eating well-rounded, varied meals of
whole foods. Buy organic products whenever possible, to reduce your
exposure to toxins and pesticides. If you must buy conventional produce,
wash it thoroughly in clean water before eating.
Raw vegetables and citrus fruits will help return your body to an alkaline
state. These foods are also high in fiber, which relieves digestive
problems, and in antioxidants, which counteract inflammation.
For extra antioxidant protection, eat wheat germ and cold-pressed oils
(like olive oil) for vitamin E.
Essential fatty acids are the "good" fats that actually help reduce
inflammation. Eat cold-water fish from a clean water source several times a
week, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds flaxseed oil to a
During a flare-up of lupus, antibodies will attack your own joint
cartilage. You can repair some of the damage by eating foods that are high
in sulfur. Good sources include onions, garlic, and asparagus.
If you're prone to bladder infections, drink unsweetened natural cranberry
juice every day.
Corticosteroid use is associated with bone loss and osteoporosis. If you
must take these drugs, increase your intake of calcium by eating plenty of
green leafy vegetables and soy products.
For good general health, drink a glass of clean water every two waking
hours. You'll also keep your joints lubricated: water makes their cartilage
soft and flexible and maintains proper levels of joint fluid.
Foods to Avoid
Saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, and partially hydrogenated fats make
inflammation worse; in fact, some people find that their pain goes away
completely when they eliminate animal meats and fried or greasy foods from
An internal acidic environmental also promotes inflammation and pain. You
already know to avoid saturated fats, but you'll also need to radically
restrict your intake of eggs, sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and
If you need another reason to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates, here
it is: these products damage the immune system and leave you even more
susceptible to infection and illness.
Food allergies can mimic lupus symptoms or make them worse. Try to
determine whether there's a food or foods that you should avoid. Wheat, in
particular, tends to cause problems in people with lupus.
You are highly vulnerable to microorganisms and toxins, so never drink tap
Be kind to your kidneys. Along with avoiding saturated fats and animal
meats, restrict your salt intake.
Anyone with an autoimmune disorder should practice regular juice fasts to
keep the body functioning at its peak. Try a three-day juice fast once a
month. You can support the fast with plenty of green drinks and cleansing
Vitamin E may be helpful for people with discoid lupus. Take 800 to
2,000 IU daily.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has anti-inflammatory benefits. Take a product
containing 450 mg of curcumin twice daily.
Take a super green food supplement, such as chlorella or spirulina, or
a mixture of super green foods, each day. Take as directed on the
A high-potency multivitamin contains a strong base of the antioxidants
and other nutrients that protect against tissue damage. Take as
directed on the container.
A probiotics is a supplement that contains friendly bacteria, such as
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus, that aid in digestion and
detoxification. Take a product containing at least 4 billion active
Evening primrose oil, black currant, or borage oil contain the
essential fatty acid GLA, which reduces joint inflammation. Take up to
2.8 grams of GLA daily.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains a rich source of antioxidants
and substances that assist detoxification. Drink the organic tea
regularly (2 cups or more daily) or take 500 to 1,500 mg of the capsule
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) improves liver function and protects
against the potential damage of pharmaceutical medications. Take 250 mg
of a standardized extract of 80 to 85 percent silymarin three times
Ginkgo biloba improves circulation through the kidneys and has
anti-inflammatory benefits. Take 60 to 120 mg twice daily of a product
standardized to 24 percent flavone glycosides.
You can often avoid harsh conventional painkillers by using analgesic
herbs. White willow bark (Salix alba) will soothe join pain. Find a
while willow extract that is standardized for salicin content, and take
30 to 60 mg twice daily. A lotion or a cream made with capsicum will
also reduce the pain.
Devil's claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) root is a potent herb that will
control inflammation. Take 2.5 to 5.0 grams twice a day, or use 1 to 2
cc of a tincture three times a day. Expect to take devil's claw root at
least two months before you see results.
Teas made with burdock root (Articum lappa) or red clover (Trifolium
pratense) have a detoxifying effect. Drink them during a fast or any
time you want a little extra housecleaning.
Lupus can send stress levels soaring. If you've lost weight and are
very slender, however, a very strong relaxant might be too much for
you. Instead, try tea made with a moderately potent herb, like skullcap
or hops. If neither of these herbs works, or if you have a larger
frame, move on to valerian (Valeriana officinalis) or kava kava (Piper
Avoid the bright sunlight, especially in the warm months or when snow
(which reflects the sun) is on the ground. When you do go outside,
always wear a hat and protective clothing. Your skin may be sensitive
to some sunscreens; if so, talk to your doctor about nonirritating
prescription sun block.
Although you may not feel like exercising, gentle movement is highly
recommended to reduce pain and promote good general health. A daily
walk in the early morning sunlight is an excellent idea.
Birth-control pills and synthetic hormones may trigger flare-ups, so
it's wise to avoid them.
Women with lupus were once counseled to avoid pregnancy, but pregnancy
can sometimes actually lead to a remission of the disease. For many
women, it's the stressful months after the baby is born that cause a
flare up. The decision regarding the safety of pregnancy must be made
on a case-by-case basis, so talk to your doctor.
Chinese herbal therapy can be helpful. See a qualified practitioner.
Bruce Brightman – founder
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