The ideal method for managing lupus is through natural remedies instead of medication. With a multitude of side effects ready to strike, medication can bring more harm than good to your health. These should only be taken when you absolutely have to.
When treating lupus naturally, your first task is to change your mindset and accustom yourself to making drastic changes in your lifestyle. This can be challenging at first, but you'll reap the rewards of having a healthier body and lower chances of lupus attacks.
The Right Diet: What You Should and Shouldn't Eat
Eating the right food is important as it can lower your lupus symptoms. Introducing healthy food into your system is a much better alternative to medication. Below is a list of foods you can consume to lower your chances of lupus attacks:
• Fruits and vegetables: Vitamins and minerals from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables can reduce inflammation and promote a healthier body. Aside from that, they are a great source of fiber, which can help create a healthy digestive tract.
• Calcium-rich foods: If you're taking medication for lupus, you could get osteoporosis as a side effect, which increases your risk of fractures as you age.
To help counteract this problem, consume calcium-rich foods such as raw milk and dark green leafy vegetables. They're also great natural sources of vitamin D, since vitamin D generated from sun exposure can increase your chances for lupus flares.
• Coconut oil: Research has shown that coconut oil has a multitude of nutrients that promote heart health, proper thyroid function and healthy skin – areas that can be affected by lupus. It is highly recommended you start adding it when cooking or baking to reap the benefits right away.
• Bone broth: This food can promote healthy digestion, which is crucial if lupus attacks your digestive tract.
The nutrients in bone broth are also helpful in fighting off infection from the environment, such as cold and flu viruses. It's also noted to reduce joint pain and inflammation, a symptom common among many lupus patients.
Diet is not just about eating the right food. What you shouldn't eat (or reduce at the very least) is just as important. By avoiding certain foods and habits, you can lower your risk of lupus-related attacks. These include:1,2
• Caffeine: Coffee in itself contains numerous health benefits, but if your stomach is affected by lupus, it is recommended you cut back on caffeine to reduce inflammation this area.
• Alcohol: Similar to smoking, alcohol can worsen lupus symptoms. If you happen to take any medication for lupus, alcohol may also negate the medication's effects.
• Sources of unhealthy fat: Fried foods, processed meat and other sources of unhealthy fat increases your cholesterol levels, leading to higher chances of a heart attack and other diseases, and making it harder to manage lupus in the long run.
Supplements: Getting Help From Other Healthy Sources
Supplements, as the name implies, can provide nutrients that your body needs if you don't have access to natural, organic food. One of the best supplements you can get is krill oil. It has several benefits that can help lupus-related conditions like:
• Cardiovascular disease
• Kidney problems
• Cognitive problems
Krill oil is rich in omega-3 fats that lower triglyceride levels in your blood, which may cause heart disease. Research has shown that in just six weeks of taking krill oil supplements, you can lower your “bad” cholesterol levels by 33 percent – an astounding benefit, especially to lupus patients whose hearts have been affected by the disease.
Aside from krill oil, omega-3s can also be obtained from food sources such as Alaskan salmon, flaxseed, chia and hemp seeds. When buying Alaskan salmon, make sure to purchase the wild-caught variety, as the fish you purchase can be contaminated with toxic chemicals.
Calcium supplements can also be an option in place of calcium-rich food. However, be aware that excessive consumption of these supplements can lead to calcium deposits in your arteries, which can be fatal over time. Keep in mind that you need to take vitamin D and vitamin K2 supplements as well to control calcium absorption in your body.
Turmeric is another supplement you can take, as it provides a good source of manganese, iron, fiber, vitamins B6 and C, potassium and magnesium. One of its notable benefits is improving your skin health, which can be helpful if rashes have already formed. Turmeric can also help reduce bloating, making your digestive tract feel better.
If your kidneys are affected by lupus, you can take green superfood supplements such as chlorella and spirulina. They help create electrolytes that can boost kidney function.3 Chlorella in particular, can also help with cleaning your bloodstream by binding to pesticides like PCBs and heavy metals and eliminating them from your body.
Other Healthy Lifestyle Habits You Need to Implement
• Stop smoking: It's no secret that smoking is bad for your health in general, but your lupus symptoms can worsen due to continuous smoking.
• Get enough sleep: Lupus can make you feel exhausted, so adequate rest is needed. High-quality sleep allows your body to repair itself and regain energy, thus your overall mood will improve, too.4
• Exercise regularly: Exercising a few times a week can help improve cardiovascular function and maintain weight. It also releases hormones that promote a good mood, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression.5
• Protect your skin while outdoors: The sun is a good source of vitamin D, but it can become your enemy due to its risk of triggering lupus rashes. Covering yourself up is the logical step, but remember that this can prevent you from getting vitamin D from the sun. You can take a vitamin D3 supplement to counteract this predicament.6
• Stress reduction techniques: Lupus can be emotionally draining, so adopting positive affirmation methods, such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), can promote a more optimistic outlook in life.