I’m generally not a big fan of “awareness” days, months or events.
Many are centered on things that people are already VERY well aware of, they regurgitate the same old information, and don’t really serve any significant purpose other than funding drug research.
But I’ll make an exception in this case because May is Lupus awareness month, and that’s definitely something people need to increase their awareness of. Many people have heard of it, but don’t know exactly what it is.
Here is the scoop on this disturbing disease that affects mainly women in their childbearing years, and ways that you can fight back if it affects you.
Lupus—your immune system vs. your healthy body
Lupus is one of over 80 autoimmune diseases that have been identified so far. With autoimmune diseases, your body sees its own cells as enemies and wages war against itself.
Your immune system strikes out against your healthy cells, harming your tissues and eventually causing impairment or loss of normal bodily functioning.
With lupus the damage can occur in any part of your body—including skin, joints, or internal organs. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, 1.5 million US citizens and 5 million people worldwide currently suffer from lupus, and the majority (90 percent) are women between ages 15 to 44.
There are actually four different kinds of lupus:
1- Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
SLE is the most common form of lupus, and can affect different organs and areas, including your veins, lungs or digestive system. It can also cause kidney damage and an increased risk of heart disease.
Also common with SLE is nerve damage (leading to cognitive impairment, mood changes, and even seizures or stroke) as well as anxiety and depression.
With SLE you may suffer multiple symptoms, such as extreme fatigue, sensitivity to sunlight, severe shortness of breath, pulmonary hypertension, joint pain and skin rashes.
2- Drug-Induced Lupus
This type of lupus is caused by medications. Its symptoms are similar to SLE, but it’s only temporary and the symptoms usually go away after several months. Here are the drugs that are known to trigger lupus and what they are used for:
- Hydralazine: high blood pressure
- Procainamide: irregular heart rhythms
- Isoniazid: tuberculosis
- D-penicillamine: metal poisoning
- Minocycline: acne
- Anti-TNF: rheumatoid arthritis
3- Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE)
CLE is a form of lupus that only affects the skin, and is characterized according to the type of rash it creates:
- Chronic Cutaneous Lupus (CCLE)—causes disc-like rashes on the face. Scarring and hair loss may also occur.
- Subacute Cutaneous Lupus (SCLE)—causes red, scaly patches that resemble psoriasis (another autoimmune disease!).
- Acute Cutaneous Lupus (ACLE)—this type leads to sunburn-like rashes on the cheeks as well as the limbs and torso. Sensitivity to light is also common.
4- Neonatal Lupus Erythematosus
This rare condition affects unborn infants. Typically only the baby’s skin is affected and symptoms go away several months after birth.
The typical treatment for lupus is medications including NSAIDs, anti-malaria drugs, immunosuppressive medications and steroids, all of which can cause a plethora of side effects over and above your lupus problems.
For example, one of the most common side effects of NSAIDs is gastrointestinal bleeding. NSAID users are four times more likely to become hospitalized with bleeding ulcers or GI hemorrhage than nonusers.
Over and above the obvious complications of ulcers, GI bleeding can also lead to anemia, dehydration, chest pain, shock and, if severe enough, death.
Immunosuppressive drugs basically shut down your immune system functioning, leaving you far more susceptible to infections, viruses and even diseases like cancer!
But the good news is there are natural measures that can be a big help.
Since lupus is an autoimmune disease, the key to fighting back and getting relief is to encourage a proper functioning immune system and give your body the nutritional support it must have!
Nothing beats probiotics to help support a healthy immune system, and for the right probiotic to tackle this important challenge, Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula is your ticket!
Of special importance is the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus because it helps to strengthen gut-barrier function and has been shown to have a beneficial impact on autoimmune conditions.
Super Shield contains L. rhamnosus, plus a full-spectrum blend of 12 other strains that each have their own “specialty” in how they support a healthy gut microbiome and an effective immune system.
The right foods
When you have lupus, it’s more important than ever to have a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, coconut oil has been shown to help support healthy skin, and skin is an area commonly affected by lupus.
The calcium from dark green leafy vegetables can help, as well as nutrient-rich homemade broths (beef or chicken).
Lastly, just as important as what to eat and supplement is what to avoid—and these should definitely be avoided by anyone with lupus:
- Refined carbs, sugars and soda
- Processed foods and fast food
- Unhealthy fats (hydrogenated oils, margarine, processed vegetable oils)
The right nutritional supplements
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital to people with lupus, as they are Nature’s anti-inflammatory and lupus is a very inflammatory condition.
Omega-3 EFAs can be found in wild caught oily fish, but since fish is not something people eat every day, supplementation with a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 is crucial.
VitalMega-3 provides a whopping 1,200 mg of inflammation-soothing Omega-3 fats in every daily 2- capsule dose, including the superstars EPA and DHA which are vital for brain and heart health!
Vitamin D is also extremely necessary for people with lupus. Vitamin D helps to counteract the immune system’s excessive overreactions that are common with autoimmune diseases.
Since people don’t regularly get the unprotected sun exposure their bodes need to manufacture vitamin D, and food sources of it are limited, a supplement like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B is the way to go to ensure your body has what it needs.
Optimum DK Formula provides a complete therapeutic dose of 5,000 IUs of vitamin D3, plus its partners vitamins K1, K2 and boron, which work together to support a strong, smart immune system, as well as healthy bones and cardiovascular system too—ALL of which are important to people with lupus!
There is definitely hope for people with lupus, and you can make a big difference in how you feel by supporting your precious immune system and your body’s nutritional needs.
To your health,