Lupus

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lupus and diet, vitamins, supplements etc..

Eating healthy is very import for everyone especially when you suffer from an illness.  Certain foods lupus patients are told to stay away from like, alfalfa sprouts and beef.  There are also certain herbs we should steer clear of like echinacea or anything else that claims to boost the immune systemAlways speak to your doctor before starting a new diet or any supplement,or herb. Although there is no cure for lupus, there are things that we can do to make our quality of life better.  

Diet and Nutrition

http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_learnliving.aspx?articleid=2281&zoneid=527 There is no special diet for lupus, despite the numerous claims on the Internet and in various books and other publications. In general, you should try to eat a nutritious, well-balanced, and varied diet that contains plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, moderate amounts of meats, poultry, and oily fish, as fish oil has been found to help reduce inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease and may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure. For these reasons, omega-3 fatty acids are important for women with lupus, who are at a 5-10-fold higher risk for heart disease than the general population.
One food for people with lupus to avoid is alfalfa. Alfalfa tablets have been associated with reports of a lupus-like syndrome or lupus flares. The lupus-like effects may include muscle pain, fatigue, abnormal blood test results, changes in how the immune system functions, and kidney problems. These reactions may be due to the amino acid L-canavanine (found in alfalfa seeds and sprouts, but not in leaves), which can activate the immune system and increase inflammation.
If you plan to add herbs, dietary supplements, or vitamins to your diet you should first discuss your decision with your lupus doctor. This is especially important as herbs or supplements may interact with medicines used to treat lupus. Herbs or supplements should never be used to replace medicines prescribed to control symptoms of lupus or medication side effects.
You may have to cut back or eliminate certain items from your diet because of the medications you are taking, or because of the damage that lupus has done to certain parts of your body.
  • Moderate use of alcohol is usually not a problem for people with lupus, but alcohol can lower the effectiveness of some of the drugs used to treat lupus, can cause new health problems, and can make existing problems worse. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin®), naproxen (Naprosyn®), and celecoxib (Celebrex®) -- can cause ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines at any time during treatment; the chance of developing an ulcer or internal bleeding increases with alcohol use. Also, anticoagulant medicines such as warfarin (Coumadin®) and the chemotherapy drug, methotrexate, may not be as effective if you are drinking alcohol.
  • Corticosteroids can elevate blood pressure and the levels of cholesterol and lipids in the blood. Therefore, if you are taking steroids, you should limit the fat and salt in your diet, as both can contribute to these conditions.
  • Corticosteroids also can cause or worsen osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break.
  • If you have osteoporosis you should eat foods rich in calcium every day to help with bone growth: examples are dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli, collard greens), milk, cheese, and yogurt or calcium supplements that contain Vitamin D.
  • If you are experiencing fluid retention that causes swelling (edema), you should lower the amount of salt and sodium-containing foods you eat; in particular, processed foods should be avoided.

  •  http://www.everydayhealth.com/lupus/manage-diet-to-control-lupus.aspx
    Although there are no specific dietary recommendations for people with systemic lupus, research has shown that some foods and vitamins may be beneficial while others may actually be harmful. As is the case with most chronic conditions, if you have lupus, the best approach to staying well is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
    Donna Jackson Nakazawa, researcher, writer, and author of The Autoimmune Epidemic, says "patients with lupus do better if they follow an 'anti-autoimmune diet,' which means consuming whole foods, rather than processed foods. This means lamb, chicken, or turkey; fish with low mercury content; hormone-free eggs; organic vegetables and fresh fruits; whole grains from gluten-free sources; nuts and seeds; and olive, sesame, and flaxseed oils. It also means avoiding highly processed foods, including preserved bread products, cereals and snacks, preserved meats, and other foods that are often full of chemicals, preservatives, and additives."
    If you have lupus you may have noticed that certain foods tend to lead to lupus flares. A lupus flare is a period when the symptoms of lupus become more active. Kathleen LaPlant, of Cape Cod, Mass., was diagnosed with systemic lupus several years ago. "I have learned to be careful with foods that seem to trigger lupus symptoms. The biggest trigger for me has been fried foods. I have had to eliminate these from my diet," says LaPlant. It is hard to predict which foods may trigger a lupus flare, but you can start by paying close attention to your diet. If a particular type of food repeatedly causes problems, try taking it out of your diet and see if it makes a difference.
    What Foods Should You Avoid if You Have Lupus?
    Certain types of foods can bring on lupus flares in some people. These include:
  • High protein foods. Although protein is an important part of any diet, too much protein can be a problem, especially if you have lupus-related kidney disease. Research has shown that a diet too high in protein can contribute to kidney damage. Ask your doctor about how much protein you should be including in your diet.
  • Soy products. Soy products are high in a type of estrogen called phytoestrogen, and estrogen is known to be a risk factor for lupus. In animal studies, researchers noted that a diet high in soy seemed to make lupus symptoms worse. Although there is no definitive evidence that soy products cause lupus symptoms, you should be cautious about including large amounts of soy in your diet.
  • Alfalfa sprouts. There is some evidence that a substance in alfalfa sprouts can trigger a lupus flare. In addition to sprouts, alfalfa is included in some herbal teas, so read labels carefully.
  • Caffeine. Coffee and tea can reduce the amount of iron your body absorbs by half. Iron is important in preventing anemia — a common complication of lupus.
Foods You Should Add to Your Lupus Diet
These foods can be helpful for people living with lupus:

  • Foods high in iron. Eating leafy green vegetables, fish, and lean meat like liver can help offset your risk of anemia. Many breakfast cereals are also fortified with iron.
  • Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring, contain natural anti-inflammatory substances and may help reduce swelling and inflammation associated with systemic lupus. Your lupus diet should include plenty of fish.
  • Antioxidants. Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which are natural healers. Berries, apricots, and sweet potatoes are especially good sources.
  • Vitamins. Vitamin E, zinc, vitamin A, and the B vitamins are all beneficial in a lupus diet. Vitamin C can increase your ability to absorb iron and is a good source of antioxidants. Vitamin D is especially important for people with lupus because lupus patients need to avoid the sun, and that can result in lower absorption of vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are known to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis, which is common in people with lupus. Your doctor may also recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D supplements to help protect your bones. Current studies are specifically exploring whether or not vitamin D may even help relieve lupus symptoms.
Lupus and Weight Control
"Keeping my weight under control has been a battle. I have tried diets. I know that being overweight increases joint stress and stress on my heart, both of which can be affected by lupus," says LaPlant. Some of the medications that people take for lupus can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Prednisone, one of the most common medications used to treat lupus flares, can increase your appetite and lead to significant weight gain. Regular, low-impact exercise can help offset weight gain and also improve your health in general.

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to designing a lupus diet for yourself, try to include a wide-range of foods that contain antioxidants and fatty acids. Make sure you get enough iron and vitamins, especially vitamins C and D. Use coffee and tea in moderation. Avoid highly processed and preserved foods, and keep track of foods that seem to trigger your lupus symptoms.
If you are having problems managing your diet, ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician. Having a diet plan in place can help you keep your symptoms under control and enhance your overall sense of well-being.
  • Diet

    http://www.hopkinslupus.org/lupus-info/lifestyle-additional-information/lupus-diet/
    No overarching diet exists for people with lupus. However, lupus is a systemic disease, so maintaining good nutritional habits will help your body remain as healthy as possible. Generally, doctors recommend a diet composed of about 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein, and 30% fat. However, since people with lupus often experience symptoms like weight loss or gain, inflammation, osteoporosis, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis, certain specific nutritional concerns may also need to be taken into consideration. If you need help managing your weight or making healthy food choices, please speak with your doctor. S/he can give you more specific information and refer you to a registered dietitian if needed.

    Foods to avoid

    Certain foods, including garlic and alfalfa sprouts, should be avoided by people with lupus. [For a more complete list of items to be avoided, please see the article “Things to Avoided” in the Lupus 101 section.] Recently controversy has also arisen over whether aspartame induces lupus. However, scientists have concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that aspartame causes lupus.

    Weight changes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease

    Often, people with lupus experience weight loss or gain due to loss of appetite, unhealthy dietary habits, or decreased energy and mobility. If you experience weight loss or loss of appetite, talk to your doctor. S/he can help you determine the cause of the problem and take strides to correct it. Weight gain can be caused by many factors, including reduced activity levels and overeating due to steroid use or increased stress. However, remember that women with lupus between the ages of 35 and 44 experience a risk of heat attack that is 50x that of the normal population. Therefore, it is very important that you try to stick to a diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated fats. A low-sodium diet is also essential for people suffering from high blood pressure (above 120/80 mmHg for people with lupus) and kidney disease.
    Steroid medications such as prednisone can also cause significant weight gain and redistribution of fat stores in the body. While taking steroids, your cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar (glucose) levels may increase. For these reasons, it is absolutely essential that you follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. You do not need to cut out all of the foods you love, but concentrate on eating whole grain breads and cereals and lean sources of protein such as chicken and fish. When you need a snack, look to raw vegetables—they are low in sugar and calories and provide the perfect food for “grazing.” Try to eat them without Ranch dressing or vegetable dip, because these items carry lots of fat and calories. If you need something to accompany your vegetables, try lighter dips like hummus. It is also important that you minimize alcohol intake ,because combining alcohol with corticosteroids, Tylenol, warfarin, and other lupus medications could be very harmful to your liver and stomach. For those taking methotrexate, alcohol is never allowed.

    Inflammation

    A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may help to mitigate inflammation. Although omega-3s have not been adequately studied in lupus, studies of the general population suggest that these essential fatty acids may also boost mood and improve cardiovascular health. Fish, nuts, and flax are excellent sources of omega-3s and can be easily incorporated into everyday meals. Try to avoid saturated fats, such as those in beef and fried snack foods, since these fats are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and may actually stimulate the immune system.

    Osteoporosis / Osteopenia

    If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your doctor will most likely recommend that you take calcium and vitamin D supplements in addition to your regular bone medications, since vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium. It is important that you also try to eat foods rich in calcium, such as milk, light ice cream/frozen yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding, almonds, broccoli, fortified cereal, oranges, yogurt, hard cheese, soybeans and soymilk, navy beans, oysters, sardines, and spinach. These foods will help to keep your bones as healthy and strong as possible.

    Other medications

    Certain medications require the observance of strict dietary controls. Your doctor and pharmacist will most likely update you on these regulations, but more information on the dietary restrictions and considerations that accompany certain medications can also be found in the “Lupus Treatment” section.

    Things to Avoid

    If you have lupus or  a condition that predisposes you to lupus, such as undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD), there are certain foods and medications that you should avoid. The substances listed below have shown to induce lupus signs and flares and should be avoided by people with lupus or autoimmune diseases suggesting “pre-lupus.”

    (1)    Sunlight

    People with lupus should avoid the sun, since sunlight can cause rashes and flares. Some people are more sensitive to sunlight than others, but all people with lupus are advised to be cautious when they are outside. Of course, it would be impractical to completely avoid going outdoors, but try to be prepared. Carry a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 70 and be sure that your sunscreen contains Helioplex, an ingredient that blocks UV-A and UV-B rays, both of which are harmful to people with lupus. Apply sunscreen to all areas of the body, even those covered by your clothes, since most normal clothing items only protect your skin to the level of SPF 5. In addition, carry a hat with you when you know you will be outside. Certain sportswear manufacturers now make hats with SPF built into the material, which may be helpful for people with greater photosensitivity.

    (2)    Bactrim and Septra (sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim)

    Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. They are grouped as “sulfa” antibiotics because they contain a substance called sulfonamide. Bactrim and Septra are often prescribed for bacterial infections, especially urinary tract infections. They are also sometimes given prophylactically (i.e., to prevent infection), especially in people taking immunosuppressive medications. However, it is very important that you avoid Bactrim and Septra, because these antibiotics are known to cause an increase in sun sensitivity and lower blood counts in people with lupus, resulting in lupus flares. Several medications can be used instead of Bactim or Septra for the prevention and treatment of infection; perhaps the most frequently used substitute is Dapsone (diaminodiphenyl sulfone) to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia.

    (3)    Garlic

    Scientists believe that three substancs in garlic—allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates—rev-up your immune system by enhancing the activity of white blood cells, particularly macrophages and lymphocytes. Scientists also believe that the sulfur components of garlic help to prevent and suppress cancer in the body. For this reason, garlic is often used as a supplement to combat colds and infections. Unfortunately, the enhancement of immune response is counterproductive in people with autoimmune disease such as lupus, because their immune system is already overactive. As a result, people with lupus and lupus-like signs should avoid cooking with garlic and adding it to food. Of course, a tiny amount of the herb will not harm you, but try to consciously avoid purchasing and preparing foods with garlic.

    (4)    Alfalfa Sprouts

    Alfalfa sprouts contain an amino acid called L-canavanine that can increase inflammation in people with lupus by stimulating the immune system. As a result, people with lupus and similar autoimmune conditions should avoid alfalfa sprouts completely.

    (5)    Melatonin and Rozerem (ramelteon)

    Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in your brain that regulates other hormones in the body that control how your body reacts to daily patterns of light and dark. Melatonin release is suppressed during the light hours of the day and stimulated by dark, helping you stick to patterns of nighttime sleep and daytime wakefulness. As a result, melatonin is often used as a sleep aid over other medications. Melatonin and melatonin-containing supplements should be avoided in people with lupus and other autoimmune disorders because they may stimulate the immune system. In addition, people with these conditions should also avoid the prescription sleep aid Rozerem (ramelteon), because it mimics melatonin in the body. It is important that you understand the necessity of avoiding both melatonin and Rozerem, since sleep aids are often used to help people with fibromylagia and other conditions to attain normal sleep patterns. In general, be sure that you speak with your physician before taking any new medications or supplements.

    (6)    Echinacea

    Echinacea is often used as a dietary supplement to boost the immune system against colds and other illnesses. However, because Echinacea boosts your immune system, it may cause flares in people with autoimmune diseases such as lupus. In fact, Echinacea supplements sold in Europe bear warning labels that advise against use by people with autoimmune diseases. As a result, people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases should avoid these supplements. In general, it is important that you speak with your physician before taking any new medications or supplements.

15 comments:

  1. Great information and Great post!

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    1. Kristy, I am happy you found it informative! Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to comment. xo

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Shalonda, you have a wonderful blog that I love reading!! <3

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  3. Replies
    1. Your welcome, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. xo

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  4. Thank you very much for all of this very important information. I was taking some of the no no's and I'm so interested in starting the vitamin and omega 3 regime I took before and felt so much better. Thanks again for sharing this extremely important information. :)

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  5. Jennifer,
    I am so glad you found it helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Gentle hugs.

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