Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Lupus

Lupus is often triggered by an allergic reaction to food. People with lupus commonly have trouble with foods such as peanuts, soy, wheat, corn, meat, dairy, and oranges. A diet that is easy on the kidneys is low in fat, salt, and animal protein. Get plenty of sardines (a good source of essential fatty acids), brown rice, fish, green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, whole grains, and non-acidic fresh fruits. Asparagus, eggs, garlic, and onions contain sulfur, which you need to repair bone, cartilage, and connective tissue. It also enhances the uptake of calcium. Consume fiber daily.

It is important to get your iron from food sources rather than supplements. Iron supplements can cause pain and swelling. Eat fresh pineapple often, as it contains bromelain, which is great for reducing inflammation. However, avoid peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and white potatoes, as these foods contain solanine, which contributes to inflammation and pain. Also avoid alfalfa, caffeine, tobacco, and any foods that contain sugar.

Follow these daily recommendations:

Most Important

calcium (1500 mg)-balances pH and protects against bone loss

magnesium (750 mg 2 times daily)-balances with calcium

N-acetyl cysteine and L-methionine (500 to 1000 mg each, on empty stomach)-vital to skin formation and in white blood cell activity

L-lysine (500 to 1000 mg)-prevents mouth sores

Also Recommended

flaxseed oil (as directed on label)-protects skin cells; aids in the reproduction of all body cells

glucosamine sulfate (as directed on label)-important for healthy skin, bones, and con nective tissue

N-acetyl glucosamine (as directed on label)-may help to prevent lupus erythematosus

garlic (as directed on label)-protects enzyme systems

zinc (50 to 100 mg; do not exceed this amount)-promotes healing; protects organs

vitamin B complex (including 50 mg each of folate, B6 and B12)

(Consult your health care provider regarding the duration of treatment; also ask about DHEA supplementation.)

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture Acupuncture may be helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with lupus. It also can be used to strengthen the patient's immune system.

Chinese Herbal Therapy Many of the same herbs used to treat arthritis can be helpful in cases of lupus jojnt pain as well See "Traditional Chinese Medtclne" in the "Arthritis" entry for more information on specific Chinese herbs and dosages. Likewise, see the "Kidney Disease" and "Kidney Infection" entries for herbs that may be used to treat lupus-induced kidney problems.

By Robin Brain

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