December 3, 2008

Alternative Treatments for Lupus

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

Lupus alternative treatment has gained a lot of importance in recent years because of the incurable nature of the disease and the high cost of conventional lupus medications and their serious side effects. Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that is more prevalent among women. In lupus the patient’s immune system, which normally fights off infections from invading foreign organisms, turns on the patient’s own body tissue, attacking healthy tissue and organs. This disorder leaves almost every system of the body vulnerable to attack. The cause of lupus is not known, but it has a lot do with genetics and is most often inherited.

Since there is no cure for lupus the only way to overcome and survive the condition is through self care and medication. Prolonged treatment with conventional medications can leave you not just financially drained, but also with some severe side effects. For this reason many patients prefer alternative forms of treatment and patients and health care professionals alike are exploring these options. Dietary and lifestyle modifications are the most important methods of combating and living with lupus.

Common lupus alternative treatment approaches

  • Special diets: Regardless of the cause of your condition and the method of treatment you chose, your diet is of the utmost importance, and is the main focus of any lupus treatment plan. Avoid any food items that are known or suspected allergens as they stimulate the immune system and can significantly worsen your symptoms. Follow a diet as natural as possible; low in saturated fats and sugar. Try to increase your consumption of fish oil, linseed oil and flaxseed oil as they are good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are rich in omega 3 and help to reduce inflammation. For a thorough diet plan, fine tuned to suit your particular needs, make sure that you visit a dietician or nutritionist.
  • Rest and Exercise: Lupus severely impacts and reduces your energy levels making it important for you to get adequate sleep and rest. While rest is important make sure that you do not spend too much time in bed as this can worsen arthritis symptoms. Instead, pace yourself and take periodic breaks during your work. Follow a regular exercise routine with light aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, pilates or yoga. This will help to develop your endurance, preserve muscle tone and maintain flexibility. Light weight training will also help to maintain muscle mass and strength.
  • Stress reduction: Stress stimulates the secretion of cortisol and corticotrophin, which are hormones that injure the immune system. Stress reduction is therefore an important aspect of lupus alternative treatment, and can be easily achieved through yoga or meditation.