Reversing Lupus naturally

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reversing Lupus naturally

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or "lupus") is an autoimmune disease of the blood vessels and connective tissues.

An autoimmune disease is one in which the immune system makes antibodies that attack one's own body tissues and organs. Other well known examples of autoimmune disease are rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, vitiligo, thyroiditis, Raynaud's disease and myasthenia gravis.

Lupus affects primarily the joints and skin but can involve other body organs, especially the kidneys. Women are affected eight times as often as men during non-childbearing years and 15 times as often in childbearing years, suggesting a hormonal influence. Lupus affects 15 to 50 people per 100,000 population and all races. It is more common in blacks than in whites. A mild case may require little or no treatment while severe forms are treated medically with aspirin, steroids and antimalarial drugs.

Prednisone and other similar drugs are used to block pro-inflammatory mediators in the body such as histamines, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Unfortunately these drugs, if taken for long periods of time, cripple the immune system. Some of the more common side effects include weight gain, fluid retention, increased appetite, increased risk of infection, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, ulcers, acne, weak muscles, osteoporosis, insomnia and an increased risk of blood clots.

Lifestyle Factors

Some predisposing factors can make a person more susceptible to getting lupus. Physical or mental stress, streptococcal or viral infections, exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light, immunization, pregnancy and genetic predisposition all play some role. Drugs like procaineamide, hydralazine, anti-convulsants, penicillins, sulfa drugs, the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy commonly prescribed for menopause are also involved.

Autoimmune diseases can also be triggered by chronic infection with parasites, fungi and bacteria, delayed food and chemical allergies, mercury and toxic heavy metal hypersensitivity and the "leaky gut syndrome."

In detecting food and chemical allergies, blood tests like the ELISA Act and some RAST tests are often misleading if the individual is on Prednisone or aspirin. The person must be off Prednisone for several weeks before blood tests for hidden food allergies can be done. The elimination/provocation approach is probably the best way to go for testing such cases. For those who are neither taking aspirin nor Prednisone, the blood tests combined with the elimination of the most common allergens (dairy products, gluten, yeast, caffeine, eggs, poultry and red meats) is the best approach.

The Candida Connection

Evidence now exists that candida/fungi, through their production of mycotoxins, are intimately connected to autoimmune diseases like lupus. Sugar in its many forms, dairy products, white flour products, foods containing yeast, peanuts, mushrooms (with some exceptions), melons and mouldy foods (ie leftovers) all contribute to worsening any fungal infection.

Natural anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory diets and supplements often work as well as or better than synthetic steroids. Saturated fats and arachidonic acid found in animal products increase the inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Vegetarian diets that use flax seed oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil, black currant oil and canola oil are higher in the essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids, which stimulate the synthesis of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

For non-vegetarians, cold water fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, swordfish, shark, cod and halibut provide high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids which also blunt damaging inflammation. Regular supplements of lactobacillus acidophilus or kombucha tea help normalize the gastrointestinal flora, inhibiting candida and fungal growth. Other options are garlic, caprylic acid, echinacea, colloidal silver and whole leaf aloe vera juice.

Autoimmune diseases are often associated with an insufficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. If acid is low or absent, amino acids, vitamins and minerals are poorly absorbed, notably vitamin B(12), iron, zinc and calcium. Low stomach acid may be the result of heredity, extended use of drugs such as antacids, anti-ulcer drugs, infection in the gut or food allergies.

One test that can reveal acid abnormalities is the comprehensive digestive and stool analysis. Low stomach acidity can be rectified by glutamic acid, betaine and pepsin, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, stomach bitters, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, PABA and vitamin B(6).

Mega-doses of vitamin E (above 2400 IU) have an autoimmune suppressing effect. Herbs such as alfalfa, comfrey, licorice root, white willow bark, echinacea, feverfew, devil's claw, yarrow, yucca and marshmallow may also work in this way. Pancreatin (pancreatic digestive enzymes), plant enzymes and bromelain (from pineapples) help with protein digestion and work as anti-inflammatory substances by reducing the number of pro-inflammatory mediators. The yellow pigment of turmeric, curcumin, has been documented to be an equally effective cortisone without the side effects.

Of possible importance to lupus is the role of mercury hypersensitivity from dental fillings. Some cases of lupus were resolved with the removal and replacement of silver mercury dental amalgams.

The use of antioxidants in lupus helps prevent tissue damage. These include vitamins like natural carotenoids (carotenes, lycopenes and others), bioflavonoids like rutin, hesperidin, quercetin, catechin and the proanthocyanidins (grape seed extract, pine bark extract, bilberry and other pycnogenols), vitamins C and E, cysteine, N-acetyl-cysteine, methionine and glutathione. Other important antioxidants are coenzyme Q10, B-complex vitamins, selenium, zinc and melatonin. Plant enzymes and phytochemicals found in spirulina, chlorella, barley green, green kamut, bee pollen, royal jelly and several herbs are all potent antioxidants.

Doses for all these supplemental nutrients are best prescribed and monitored by a natural health care practitioner. If you are taking a drug like Prednisone, do not go off it abruptly. The natural approaches must initially be used as complementary medicine. Later, as lupus reverses, the individual can be slowly weaned off the drugs under the supervision of a doctor.

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.

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By Zoltan P. Rona

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