Lupus erythematosus is an auto-immune disease, in which the body's immune system attacks the connective tissue of the body as if it were foreign, causing inflammation. The connective tissue is the matrix, the glue that surrounds body structures and holds them together.
The most common type, discoid lupus erythematosus or DLE affects exposed areas of skin. The more serious form is known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and affects the whole body including the skin, eyes, blood, nervous system, heart, joints and kidneys.
Lupus affects nine times as many women as men, usually those of childbearing age. The incidence is higher in certain ethnic groups such as blacks and Chinese, where it reaches one in 250 women. Over one million Americans and 50,000 Canadians have SLE.
Certain drugs, including anti-convulsants, penicillin, sulfa drugs and the birth control pill can trigger SLE. Other triggers include stress, exposure to sun, immunization, infections and pregnancy.
Chronic infections with yeast or parasites, delayed food and chemical allergies, mercury fillings, heavy metal hypersensitivity and the leaky gut syndrome are important triggers often overlooked in conventional medicine.
Natural medicine has much to offer, but supervision by an experienced practitioner is recommended.
Eliminating food allergies is one of the first steps. The best way to determine allergies is through an elimination diet or specialized allergy testing. Blood tests for food allergies will not be accurate if you are taking prednisone or aspirin.
Systemic lupus and other auto-immune diseases are often associated with hydrochloric acid deficiency in the stomach. Remedies include taking hydrochloric acid, the enzymes betaine and pepsin, or Swedish stomach bitters. Another alternative is to take half a lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water 20 minutes before meals.
Your natural health practitioner can order a comprehensive digestive stool analysis. This test can identify candida, parasites or bacterial infections as well as digestive weakness, which can then be corrected with natural remedies.
Dr. Zoltan Rona in his book, Return To The Joy Of Health , (Alive, 1995) recommends the antioxidant vitamins to protect against tissue damage. He suggests mixed carotenes, grape seed extract, bioflavonoids, vitamin-C, vitamin-E, N-acetyl cysteine, glutathione, methionine and co-enzyme-Q-10. He also notes that high doses of Vitamin-E have an immune suppressive effect (above 2,000IU's daily).
At the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, Dr. Patrick Bouic has done extensive research on plant sterols and sterolins, which were first isolated in the lab in 1922. Plant sterols and sterolins are the plant fats which are usually bound to plant fibres, making them difficult to digest. Bouic found that these compounds decrease the inflammatory response in auto-immune diseases, while at the same time decreasing the antibody response to the body's own tissues. This makes the recently released product Sterinol (TM) valuable for treating both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to nutritional physician, Dr Jonathan Wright , vitamin-B-12 injections 1,000 to 2,000 micrograms twice weekly are very helpful. In addition, he recommends very high doses of vitamin-B-6, between 200 to 500mg three times a day which must be taken under the supervision of a doctor who can monitor for signs of nerve toxicity.
Wright says that over 80 percent of SLE patients have severe deficiencies of hydrochloric acid and 100 percent have food allergies. Additionally, in his experience, over 50 percent of women have low levels of DHEA and testosterone and improve when they take these hormones in appropriate doses.
Other important supplements include a high quality multi-mineral vitamin, a supergreen drink, B-complex, vitamins E and C, flaxseed oil, fish oil, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and bioflavonoids.
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