Natural Lupus Treatments

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I am not a doctor. Only you and your doctor can decide the treatments for your lupus. I supply this information for educational purposes only. I got this information from https://draxe.com/top-5-lupus-natural-treatment-remedies/

Natural Lupus Treatment

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, people turn to diverse natural therapies and alternative medicines to help manage their symptoms. These can include homeopathy and use of herbs, chiropractic care, traditional Chinese medicine (such as acupuncture and tai chi), Ayurveda and yoga, naturopathy, massage therapy, meditation, and prayer/spirituality.

Here are some of the most effective natural lupus treatment options:

1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Heal Gut Issues

Research shows that a healthy, unprocessed diet is very important for managing lupus because it helps control inflammation stemming from poor gut health, reduces risk for complications like heart disease, helps build strength and energy, and reduces side effects of medications. (5)

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. (6)
  • 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.
  • Bone broth: can reduce autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms that are associated with lupus. Consume eight to 16 ounces of bone broth daily as a beverage or as part of a soup.

Certain foods can also help relieve skin irritation and dryness that’s very commonly associated with lupus. Foods to help moisturize skin from the inside out include:

  • avocado
  • nuts and seeds like chia, flax, walnuts and almonds (also great sources of fiber and omega-3s)
  • coconut oil and olive oil
  • wild-caught fish
  • raw milk
  • cucumbers and melon
  • drinking plenty of water and herbal tea and green tea

 

 

2. Exercise

According to a study published in the Journal of the Arthritis Health Professionals Association, getting regular exercise is important for treating lupus for many reasons. Exercise lowers stress, helps with sleep quality, makes your heart and lungs stronger, strengthens bones, lowers joint pain, improves flexibility and range of motion, and lowers risk for complications. (7) Research done by the National Institute of Physical Activity and Sport Science in Spain has found that “physical exercise is a useful tool for improving cardiovascular fitness, reducing metabolic abnormalities and fatigue, and improving quality of life in people with lupus.” (8) This means you can add lupus treatment to the list of exercise benefits.

Because lupus can cause chronic fatigue, electrolyte imbalances and anemia, it’s crucial to start slowly and not overexert yourself. Give yourself enough rest between workouts to recover and eat within a short window after exercising. Activities that can be beneficial for people with lupus include about 20–30 minutes of the following exercises at once: brisk walking, swimming, water aerobics, tai chi, yoga, cycling, Pilates or using an elliptical machine.

3. Stress Reduction

Research shows that psychological and emotional stress can set off lupus (and other autoimmune diseases) or bring about a lupus flare-up by increasing inflammatory responses. (9) Systemic lupus erythematosus can also be very unpredictable and cause changes to the central nervous system, which leads to severe psychological distress and anxiety. (10)

Different stress relievers work for different people, so keep in mind this might take some experimenting. Many people have found meditation, yoga and acupuncture to be treatment modalities worth considering since they have numerous benefits for both body and mind. Other ways to help manage stress include spending time in nature, breathing techniques, exercising, praying, keeping a journal, reading, joining a support group, seeing a therapist and using essential oils for anxiety.

4. Getting Enough Sleep and Rest

Studies published in the International Journal for Clinical Rheumatology have shown that 53 percent to 80 percent of lupus patients have identified fatigue as one of their primary symptoms. (11) Because fatigue is a big obstacle for most people with lupus, taking measures to make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep every night and also rest during the day is important.

Most people with lupus need to sleep at least eight to nine hours every night, and some need to also take a short nap during the day to keep their energy up. One problem is that insomnia can also be a side effect of lupus, sometimes due to increased anxiety levels, but also due to oversleeping during the day.

Tips for reducing and dealing with fatigue caused by lupus include:

  • Try going to bed before 10 p.m. every night.
  • Stick to a regular sleep/wake schedule in order to regulate your circadian rhythm and fall asleep more easily.
  • Sleep a cool, very dark room, and avoid artificial lights from electronics at least one to two hours before bed.
  • Give yourself 10–15 minutes in the morning to breath and be still in order to wake up calmly.
  • Always eat a substantial breakfast to give you energy in the morning.
  • Cut back or eliminate caffeinated drinks.
  • Try doing something active in the morning to get your heart rate up.
  • Make a schedule for the day to stay organized and calm, leaving yourself time for short breaks.

5. Protecting and Healing Sensitive Skin

Cutaneous lupus erythematosus is the type of lupus that encompasses a wide range of dermatologic symptoms. Studies show that up to 90 percent of people with lupus develop skin rashes and legions, including a “butter-fly shaped” rash that covers the cheeks and nose. (12)

It’s possible to develop coin-sized skin lesions, red skin, itchiness, peeling and a very high level of sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity). In the case of skin lesions, patients might find that as one lesion/patch goes away another one starts to appear and form a scale, usually at the same time that symptoms like fatigue and joint pain increase.

Skin rashes associated with lupus are caused by an underlying inflammatory response. It’s important to protect sensitive skin from irritants and also the sun if skin starts to show signs of a rash, hives or redness. Certain chemicals in household or beauty products (like lotions, detergents, washes and makeup) can worsen skin inflammation and make dryness and itchiness worse. Tips for helping to heal and protect sensitive skin caused by lupus include:

  • Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours of the day, especially from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Wear non-toxic sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat.
  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom to help keep skin moist.
  • Switch from conventional beauty and household products to those that are organic and made with natural ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter and essential oils.
  • Avoid very hot showers, and instead make the water lukewarm.
  • Take baths with colloidal oatmeal powder for extra moisture and then lubricate skin right away afterward.
  • Spritz dry skin throughout the day with mineral water.
  • Consume plenty of vitamin E or take a supplement.
  • Avoid wearing antiperspirants, perfumes, scented lotions and chemical-containing makeup.

6. Supplements 

Supplements that can help reduce nutrient deficiencies and lower inflammation include:

  • Omega-3 fish oil (2,000 milligrams daily): EPA/DHA in fish oil are critical for reducing inflammation. A 2016 study on female mice found that consuming DHA stopped lupus symptoms triggered by crystalline silica by ninety-six percent. (13)
  • DHEA (200 milligrams daily): can help improve symptoms but best taken with medical supervision
  • Vitamin D3 (2,000–5,000 IU daily): can help modulate the immune system and lower depression/anxiety. Also important for hormonal balance and bone health along with calcium (14)
  • MSM (2,000–8,000 milligrams daily): a natural anti-inflammatory that can greatly improve digestive symptoms
  • Green superfood supplement: ideally includes antioxidants and chlorellaor spirulina. This works by alkalizing the body, providing electrolytes, boosting liver and kidney functions, and providing healing nutrients.
  • Turmeric: works similarly to steroid drugs used to combat inflammation and pain

7. Treating Pain and Inflammation Naturally

  • Essential oils and aromatherapy: Essential oils for lupus include frankincense essential oil (effective at reducing inflammation, take three drops three times daily in water, in honey or in capsule form), helichrysum oil (supports the nervous system and can help reverse autoimmune reactions, take internally or applied to neck area), lavender and geranium oils (used to treat skin inflammation, add three drops to carrier oil and rub into skin), and ginger oil (used for digestive issues, take three drops internally two to three times daily).
  • Chiropractic adjustments: can help correct spinal problems, treat headaches, and reduce back pain or joint pain
  • Yoga and stretching: improve flexibility, can help lower joint pain and improve range of motion. According to John Hopkin’s University, “Yoga also encourages a meditative focus, increased body awareness and mindfulness and some evidence suggests yoga may help decrease inflammatory mediators including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6.” (15)
  • Detox baths using Epsom salts
  • Acupuncture: effective for treating chronic pain naturally
  • Massage therapy: can help reduce stress, muscle stiffness, soreness and swelling
  • Mindfulness meditation: can help people cope better with stress, depression, and chronic tension or pain

Precautions for Treating Lupus & Key Takeaways

  • Lupus is a chronic inflammatory, autoimmune disease that causes widespread symptoms that usually come and go.
  • Because lupus can be very serious and even life-threatening at times, always make sure to discuss treatment options with your doctor, and don’t stop taking any of your medications without guidance first.
  • Whether you choose to take various medications or not, natural remedies for lupus, including an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise, essential oils for pain and stress reduction, can help manage symptoms and prevent further complications.
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Foods That Can Make Lupus Worse

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I got this information from Dr. Axe’s website. I am going to post different sections of this article over time. I am not a doctor, nor will tell anyone how to treat their lupus. Only you and your doctor can decide your treatment. I am sharing this for educational purposes.

https://draxe.com/top-5-lupus-natural-treatment-remedies/

Foods that Make Lupus Worse

Some foods that can contribute to lupus and make autoimmune disease symptoms worse include:

  • Gluten: Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye and most flour-containing products. Gluten intolerance is common because it’s difficult for many people to digest properly. This can increase leaky gut syndrome, inflammation or trigger a lupus flare-up.
  • Trans fat and sometimes saturated fats: These fats are found in fast food, many fried foods and packaged/processed foods, and can lead to inflammation and heart problems. Some people with lupus have a hard time metabolizing saturated fats and should limit cheese, red meat, creamy foods and packaged foods.
  • Added sugar: Too much sugar can overstimulate the immune system and increase pain.
  • High-sodium foods: Because lupus can damage the kidneys, it’s best to try to keep sodium and salt levels low to prevent fluid retention, worsened swelling and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Alcohol and too much caffeine: These can increase anxiety, worsen inflammation, damage the liver, increase pain, and cause dehydration and sleep-related problems.
  • Certain legumes: Alfalfa seeds and sprouts, green beans, peanuts, soybeans, and snow peas contain a substance that has been shown to trigger lupus flare-ups in some patients (although not all). Negative reactions in certain patients are believed to be caused by the amino acid L-canavanine. (4)

It’s also very important to avoid smoking cigarettes and using recreational drugs. These can worsen lung damage and inflammation significantly, leading to complications, such as infections.

Seasonal Woes

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I know seasonal changes can wreak havoc on a lupies body. Been there done that too many times to count anymore. I kind of forgot though since I have been feeling so good recently. Well, the cold weather is here and ouchie! So is the pain! Not as bad as previous years but still pain. I have found myself sleeping later and reluctant to get out of the bed. I am taking tylenol most nights. I hurt. I have been using the hot tub and it truly does help a lot!

My supplements have been doing a wonderful job and I have felt better than I have in years lately.  I told myself I would take it easy at season change to make sure I did not have a ton of pain. Oops! I forgot and have been busy, busy, busy. Overdoing it at season change is not a wise thing to do.

I don’t know how it is where you live but here in Kentucky you cannot get meds for pain hardly at all. Seriously. I had all my lower teeth pulled in January and I was given 10 pain pills. No more. Here in our state they are dealing with the opioid addiction and methamphetamine. That is wonderful but those of us who truly have pain must pay the price now. Anyway, in our state all prescriptions are in a database that any health care provider can access to make sure you are not getting too much and abusing the pills.

I went to the ER this summer when I fell in the parking lot of Rite Aid chasing down my runaway buggy. Yes, I am graceful enough to fall in front of everyone! Anyway, when I was at the ER, the doctor asked me if I had any pain meds left from January when I had my teeth pulled. I said no so he said ok I will give you ten. Seriously. I felt like some low life wanting drugs, in spite of the wrist that was huge and swollen and the scratches and bruises all over me.

So, I take tylenol for now. Hope you are doing well everyone! Stay warm!

Lovely Ride Enjoying Fall Colors

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We went for a ride down a few local roads and up the mountain to view all the beautiful fall colors of our area. We were not disappointed! I have several more pictures but thought these represented the gist of what we saw.  We live in Estill County, Kentucky “Where The Bluegrass Kisses The Mountains”. So many meandering roads with breathtaking views around each corner.

We had an adventure too. I wanted to find a cemetary up on the mountain that has some ancestors buried there. We drove up and down, around and over creeks, dirt roads, had to pull off for a school bus (I couldn’t believe it was on this dirt road), found old churches long closed, new houses being built and old homes deteriorating from neglect (empty). We gave up and turned around. It was a beautiful day though and we had so much fun! I will have to research to find where that graveyard is before we go up next time! I love geneaology!

Other Things In Life

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This post is about some of the things that make me happy, in spite of lupus and its attempts. What things do you enjoy doing to bring you happiness? I have several things I totally enjoy doing to fill my days.

First, my husband and I are working on developing a homestead. What is a homesteader? Here is a a little meme describing it:

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Ok, I admit it that we do not have chickens, although I would like to have some. However, I could not eat them. Yep, I am a phony when it comes to eating animals I have met. My chickens would live long lives and die in peace of old age. I still would like to have some though so I could have fresh eggs.

As for the other things on the meme, I do make my own breads and biscuits, I sew and quilt, I enjoy crafts like woodworking and scrap booking, love to take pictures, I plan on next year growing a bunch of our own non GMO heirloom foods which I will can, dehydrate or freeze to preserve for winter.

My husband and I have left the city and its problems, and now live in a small mountain town in Kentucky. We know all our neighbors. We all watch out for each other. We are learning more skills daily. We are eating less processed foods and more home grown foods. We fix things as they break, if possible. We re-purpose items and give them new life. We sit around our campfire on cool nights relaxing and looking at the stars.

I crochet. I paint as does my husband. We went out walnut gathering and found around 150 pounds of them. We kept 20 pounds of the black walnuts for ourselves and I cannot wait to use them in foods.

My brother in law and sister in law have a white walnut (or butternut) tree and they let me get all the nuts from it too. I have over 50 pounds of those. Free food from God and the trees. Yum!

As I posted before, I have come off most of my meds and seem to have energy and feel better now. My lab results came back and only two items were worrisome, my sed rate was 2 1/2 times higher than normal and my cholesterol was just a couple over the limit. As a lupus patient, I would be more worried if my sed rate was normal… I truly would. I do not think mine has been normal for years. It indicates inflammation in my body. Ok, whats new?

We are simplifying our lives more too. Throwing out or giving away a lot of things. We took our granddaughter pots and pans, dishes, and assorted other items on or last trip to Ohio. She just moved into her own apartment. I am getting other things together for the others as they move out.

My biggest news I have saved for the end here………….

I AM GOING TO BE A GREAT GRANDMOTHER IN APRIL!!!!

Yes, my granddaughter is having a baby.  She is 18, not married, and still in high school (senior year) but I am looking at the positives. She is healthy, happy and responsible. She will be a great mother. Plus, more granny nanny duty for me! I really cannot say a thing because I had my first child when I was a junior in high school and my second when I was a senior in high school. I graduated two weeks after he was born. Yes, I marched with my class. I was married. I hoped none would repeat it and instead live life a bit before settling down with kids. However, in this case, it is not going to happen so I will be here for her if she needs me and pray for the best. It is hard when you have your kids young, in many ways. However, she will be fine. She is a sweetie. My first great grandchild!

That’s all for now but I just wanted to share our progress in our quest to live simpler, self sufficiently, and purposeful lives. I will update as we do more. Have a great day everyone!

A Strange Thing Happened…

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Ok, first let me say that this has happened to me before. Not often but it is unnerving a bit. What happened you ask?

Question:

Have you ever had a sharp pain, look where it is and see a blood vessel has burst and a blood bubble is just below your skin? For no reason? I was sitting in my chaise and all of a sudden felt a very sharp pain on my right pointer finger. I had not hit it or injured it in any way. So, I looked down to see a blood bubble just below the skin. As I felt it, it went down leaving a bruised place.

I have had this happen before. I can be walking, sitting, anything really, and feel the sharp pain only to look and find this blood bubble appearing. It is disconcerting. It worries me. Why? Well, are my blood vessels having issues? You know, like losing elasticity or strength?

You be the judge. Have you ever experienced this type of thing? Is it lupus related or just some anomaly? Please help a girl out. I know we lupies have weird stuff occur all the time in strange ways hard to comprehend but this freaked me out.  Thanks you all and I hope you are having a pain free day!