Lupus / Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE)
© by Dr. Samuel Verghese
Symptoms of SLE:
- Severe fatigue, muscle aches
- General feeling of poor health
- Joint pain and swelling; swelling of ankles
- Low grade fever
- Moderate to excruciating pain in fingers with poor circulation
- Weakened immune system
- Red rash over both cheeks
- Small ulcers in the mouth, nose or throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Blurred or diminished vision
- Discolored and decreased amount of urine
- Shortness of breath, chest pain and cough
- Seizures, stiffness, a tingling sensation or temporary paralysis
- Swelling of the abdomen
- In some cases, high level of uric acid
- Intermittent, irregular heart beat
- Depression, amnesia, insomnia, psychosis or personality changes
SLE is a persistent inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune mechanisms mistakenly forms antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. DLE is mild and does not pose a threat to overall health. It is associated with the tubercle bacillus causing chronic and disfiguring skin disease. Other causes of SLE have been identified (like virus, genetic and hormonal) the precise reason is still unknown.
SLE may affect many organs throughout the body, including the cardiovascular, renal, musculoskeletal and neurological systems. Severity varies widely from mild to life threatening, depending upon which organ systems are involved and how much they may be affected.
The early inflammation and pain typically occurs in the joints, with swelling and pain in the fingers. The pain could become intolerable. The characteristic butterfly red rash may appear across the cheeks.
For those who suffer from muscle weakness, raising your arm to brush your teeth or comb your hair takes effort. It takes a few tries to empty the trash or carry the laundry basket. You may be ambushed by severe pain and spasms while bending down to pick up a piece of paper off the floor.
In severe cases, SLE may inflame and damage all the connective tissues in the joints, muscles and skin, leading to kidney or heart failure. However, many people never experience the most severe symptoms; with integrated treatment they are able to recover and live a normal life.
According to the American Rheumatism Association, diagnosis requires the presence of four of the following eight symptoms:
- Blood test results for anti-DNA antibodies to show if you have antibodies to the normal genetic material in certain cells. The presence of a specific antibody in the blood is found in 50% of the people with lupus, and is the most accurate way to identify lupus.
- Blood test results showing decreased number of white blood cells and platelets, or hemolytic anemia.
- Urine test results showing excessive red blood cells and protein in the urine.
- Butterfly rash over both cheeks.
- Sun sensitivity.
- Mouth sores.
- Seizures or psychosis.
A spinal tap, kidney biopsy, MRI or other imaging may be requested.
Treatment Recommended by Faith & Family Nutrition
1st Month: Get a blood test. Natural Joint Integrity, Bone Density Calcium/Mag+D, Brain Food,Heart Prolongevity, L-Carnitine, Neuro Relaxer, Natural 5-HTP, Complete Nutritional Mix or Gender Specific Multivitamins for Men/Women.
If you have mouth sores, take L-Lysine and Ester Vitamin C.
If liver enzymes are high, take Liver Detox & Regenerator (3 capsules every day for 1 month. After that take 1 or 2 of each every day depending on the severity).
If you are a female, 50 or older, you may need Female Hormone Balancer.
2nd Month: Lower the doses to ½ for all supplements. Take only as needed. You may add Brain Igniter, 1 capsule a day for 2-4 weeks or less. Avoid alfalfa sprouts, which interfere with protein metabolism. Get a blood test taken and compare to the test prior to taking the supplements.
Most experts agree that an integrated, customized treatment approach produces the best results.
Alternative Choices are many, and are useful to successfully treat the disease when in the mild to moderate stage. Although useful in the later stages of SLE, a promise of full recovery is guarded.
Homeopathy offers promising options, all of which require a trained healthcare provider to give correct constitutional remedies.
Naturopathy is very effective but beyond the scope of this article.
Biofeedback can help reduce pain, spasms and increase blood flow to the fingers. In fact, biofeedback therapy is regularly recommended for Reynaud’s disorder.
A Moderate Balanced Diet can also help reduce inflammation, pain and promote a better total wellness. Consult your healthcare provider for correct supplements and dosages.
- Consume mostly good fat foods.
- Eat a diet of green leafy vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, lentils, fermented soy foods (tofu); fish high in omega-3 fatty acids – such as salmon.
- Drink plenty of pure water
- Eat fresh fruits including lots of pineapple.
- Add fiber in your diet.
In your cooking, add plenty of garlic, cabbage, and squash.
AVOID Alfalfa sprouts; they contain canavein, a toxic substance that replaces arginine in the protein synthesis.
AVOID eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, white potatoes when the symptoms are severe; they (nightshade vegetables) contain a substance called solanine, which can enhance inflammation and pain.
AVOID or reduce dairy products, caffeine, sweet foods, salt and tobacco. For some people, plain yogurt eaten in moderation is helpful.
AVOID aspirin if you have high level of uric acid.
In Conventional Medicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin are used to relieve minor pain and reduce fever. Based on the severity of symptoms, oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone to reduce inflammation, immunosuppressive drugs, anti-depressants, anticonvulsants, hydroxychloroquine for severe skin rash and antibiotics for infections are prescribed to manage various symptoms of SLE. Dialysis may be needed to treat kidney failure or a transplant is an alternative to dialysis.
AVOID sun exposure. Get plenty of sleep.
- Herbal Massage Therapy provides pain relief. Correct massage therapy during daytime is useful to reduce spasms, deactivate active trigger points and promote wonderful relief.
- Do light chores. Allow your damaged muscles to repair themselves without causing further damage.
- Resume exercise slowly while you are in treatment. Slow exercise movements like yoga, increases oxygen to the muscles and could increase the body’s output of endorphins (natural pain killers).
- An herbal warm bath for soreness or stiffness can improve circulation to damaged tissues and remove muscle waste products like lactic acid.