Minimize or Avoid a Lupus Flare

April 22, 2009  
Filed under Lupus

If you’re living with Lupus on a day-to-day basis you know that a flare-up is different for every person. Some people will flare for a few weeks, others a few months.  Regardless of the duration  of your flare-up:  you hurt, you’re tired all the time, you’re depressed, and nothing seems to be helping.

With so many people losing their jobs in this economy, and their health benefits along with it, more people are turning to alternative therapies as a more cost-effective, and more natural means, of managing such health conditions as Lupus.  My sister, who has suffered through various stages of flare-ups for as long as I can remember, is a strong proponent of alternative therapies. In fact, her doctors wrote her off many times over the years and each time she’s managed to baffle them with her amazing recoveries, which would not have happened had it not been for the combination of healing modalities she uses.

Between the cost of the medications used to treat lupus and the potential for serious side effects from the drugs, many people seek other ways of treating the disease. Some have tried acupuncture, nutritional supplements, fish oils, herbal remedies, chiropractic treatment, and homeopathy. Some, like my sister, use a combination of alternative therapies.

One common denominator amongst those who have tried various natural healing modalities is that all have discovered that Lupus symptoms seem to be alleviated when certain foods are added to, or excluded from, their diet.

The short list of foods to avoid (and this holds true regardless of your current state of health):  Anything white – sugar, salt, white flour, refined carbohydrates, and cow’s milk

The short list of foods to include as the major part of your diet:  “alkalizing foods” such as nuts, cinnamon (which is also purported to help lower your cholesterol), lean chicken breast, green tea, most fruits, ginger, herbal tea, garlic, and most vegetables are defined as alkalizing foods.

Since most people with Lupus have a hard time actually absorbing the nutrients from food, some professional practitioners suggest that you support your body by supplementing with digestive enzymes and probiotics.

Many people with lupus may be at risk for early and aggressive heart disease, so that’s all the more reason women (and men) to follow a general heart-healthy diet – you know the drill: low in fat, high in fiber. Basically, the best possible diet is one consisting of whole-foods, and definitely not processed/packaged foods. Drinking plenty of water is also important.

Also, including some form of daily relaxation through meditation, or Yoga, can help you cope or reduce some of the stress associated with living with Lupus.  If you are taking any sort of medication, be sure to let your doctor know if you’re also taking any herbal supplements as they may conflict with your medication.

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