Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (aka: Lupus or SLE), is an autoimmune disease that effects the body as a whole. It is a connective tissue/inflammatory disorder that can harm multiple systems such as the joints, muscles, digestion, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, skin, blood vessels, and nervous system. It is a condition of hyper-reactivity to something by the immune system and is typically treated by conventional medical doctors by suppressing immune function. This may cause it to go into "remission," where symptoms are not so pervasive, however, it does not address why the immune system is responding that way.
For those not appreciating the conventional drug therapy approach, treating Lupus naturally will take some effort. The approach needs to be multi-faceted. First, things need to be calmed down. Runaway inflammation, which is the cornerstone of symptoms, can be addressed using herbs, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements. Essential fatty acids, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil are important because it gives the body what it needs to make anti-inflammatory hormones. Some herbs are great at reducing inflammation, and acupuncture not only has anti-inflammatory effects, but also helps reduce the pain and achiness that generally accompanies Lupus.
Elimination is another important action. Almost without exception, there is an allergic response to something that triggers Lupus. It may be chemicals in the household, in the environment or at work, or it may be foods, mercury in the mouth, or heavy metals found in such places. When stable, detoxifying the body of these things could be beneficial, at very least, taking a load off the immune system.
Strengthening and regulating immune function is important too. Most panic at this idea, however, I'm not referring to stimulating an already theoretically hyper-immune response. Eating a clean diet (no junk foods, sugar, coffee, or processed foods) and ensuring quality nutrients (organic vegetables and fruits, grass-raised meats, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains - if no gluten sensitivity, etc.) are essential components to supporting healthy immune function.
Hormonal balance is a required component to supporting appropriate immune response. Addressing blood sugar health, adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones and other hormones such as cortisol and DHEA, are quintessential. Handling digestion is also needed. Hydrochloric Acid deficiency, contributing to improper protein metabolism has been associated with triggering Lupus, as has constipation, malnutrition (lack of ability to digest and/or assimilate the nutrients needed for proper immune functioning) and other digestive maladies have been fingered as accompanying challenges or causes.
If your goal is to address your Lupus more naturally, you must look for a practitioner that supports all systems in the body, including digestion, hormonal health, environment, allergies, etc., and not just focused on immune function. Being able to resolve the inflammation and pain is undoubtedly advantageous as well.
To learn more attend our upcoming health class, "Battling Auto-Immune Disease Naturally," Wednesday, February 27th 7 p.m. in Cd'A. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.
Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over 34 years of experience. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d'Alene clinic. Visit Dr. Carling's website at www.vitalhealthandfitness.com to learn more about Dr. Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Dr. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.