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Lupus

General characteristics

General characteristics

Lupus (coming from the Latin for 'wolf') is the name given to a group of similar conditions involving inflammation that affects the skin and, in the more severe cases, major body organs and joints. Mainstream medicine considers lupus to be an autoimmune disease, that is a disease that causes the body's immune system to attack its own cells, tissues and organs.

There are several different types of lupus, the most common being discoid lupus, drug induced lupus and systemic lupus. Discoid and systemic lupus are much more common in women of child bearing age than men.

In discoid lupus the skin develops thickened, red scaly patches on the face, neck, scalp and sometimes the inside of the mouth. Hair often falls out and scarring can result when the disease subsides. Drug induced lupus can result from taking certain medications (over 100 types are either known of or suspected but the most common are those containing procainamide, hydralazine, minocycline, and quinidin) which usually resolves when the medicine is discontinued. Symptoms of discoid and drug induced lupus include fever, rashes, achy joints, fatigue and cold hands (Raynauds disorder).

Systemic lupus tends to be more serious and involves inflammation of the skin, joints, tendons and other organs including the blood vessels, kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, nervous system and possibly the brain. It may last a few months but can last for years and make the person suffering with it severely ill, in some cases proving fatal. Symptoms include rashes, fever, painful achy joints, arthritic like deformities to joints, swollen glands, Raynauds disorder, swollen legs and hair loss. Symptoms tend to get worse in women just prior to menstruation, suggesting a hormonal involvement. Systemic lupus is often misdiagnosed as flu, rheumatism, ME, Lymes disease, MS or chronic fatigue syndrome so a variety of tests are needed for a correct diagnosis.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Eat organic foods wherever possible to avoid the effects of harmful chemicals such as hormones (in animal and dairy products), pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. All these chemicals provoke an immune response and consuming them regularly can cause abnormal reactions in our immune systems.

Avoid simple sugars, refined carbohydrates and foods containing them. Some people find a reduction in symptoms and attacks after adopting an anti-candida type diet.

Avoid exposure to exogenous oestrogens wherever possible as oestrogen is known to worsen symptoms in many sufferers.  Outside sources of oestrogen are surprisingly and increasingly common including contraceptive pills, non-organic animal and dairy foods, farmed fish, plastics from water bottles and food packaging (NEVER use plastic containers in the microwave or those cook in the bag type meals), non-organic foods, cleaning products and cosmetics. A more extensive list of exogenous oestrogen sources (oestrogens not produced in the body) and their effects on the body can be found here.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Take a pinch of the powder in a drink twice daily.

The mushroom reishi has an immuno-regulating action that can lessen an overactive immune response. Take a teaspoon of the powder daily in capsules or in a tea.

Nettle tea is incredibly nutritious and cleansing to the entire system and helps maintain an alkaline environment in the body. Drink a strong cup daily to gain the many benefits of this extraordinary plant.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Take 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar in water daily to improve symptoms.
Avoid fluoride wherever possible. Fluoride is a potent neurotoxin, disrupts collagen production and leads to the breakdown of healthy cells when ingested regularly or in high doses. It is known to aggravate lupus and other auto-immune type diseases. Use non-fluoridated toothpastes and consider a reverse osmosis water filter for your home if your water supply is fluoridated.
Many lupus sufferers are deficient in vitamin D.
Be careful of vaccines. Vaccines nowadays are loaded with harmful chemicals and toxic metals and are suspected by many now of being harmful to the immune system. Harmful chemicals contained in many common vaccines include squalene (a potent trigger of chronic immune related joint inflammation!), mercury like compounds, formaldehyde, antifreeze like compounds, antibiotics, chemical dyes and diseased animal cells and tissues.

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