I have notice in recent years the increase rates of people being diagnosis with this chronic, autoimmune disease called Lupus. There has been a lot of big misunderstanding about this disease. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys but the problem with this disease is that no one knows the cause. The symptoms of Lupus are affecting so many different organs and the wide range of symptoms can occur very frequently. Lupus being an autoimmune disease has cause the immune system not being able to tell the difference between foreign body invaders and the body’s healthy tissues and creates auto-antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. It is not contagious nor is it not like or related to HIV or Cancer. It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus and women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus. A diagnosis of lupus remains with you for the rest of your life and unfortunately there is not a cure yet.
For a person living with Lupus it is important to engage in exercise regularly or some kind of movement such as such as walking, swimming, bicycling, low-impact aerobics, certain types of yoga, Pilates, stretching, or using an elliptical exercise machine will strengthen your bones and tone. Fatigue does happen with 80% of the Lupus patients but there are things you can do to manage this.
- Establish good sleep patterns.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Napping during the day for rest.
Some people with lupus have increased sensitivity to ultraviolet rays, either from sunlight or from artificial inside light. It is important to wear clothing made of sun-protective fabric and use Sunbrellas when being in the outdoors for a long time.
Another misnomer about Lupus is diet and nutrition that there is no special diet for lupus unlike what is written on the internet, in various books and publications. 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 (high in Omega-3 fatty acid) has been found to help reduce inflammation. There is one food that lupus patients should avoid which is alfalfa. Alfalfa has been associated with lupus-like syndrome or lupus flares.
How can you become successful in managing Lupus? First you can start with recognition of this disease.
- Recognize your particular symptoms and how your illness affects you.
- Recognize what you can do to prevent flares and what to do if you do experience a flare.
- Recognize any changes in symptoms or physical conditions that could suggest disease activity.
- Recognize the tension and stress that often accompany chronic illness.
- Recognize the best coping strategies and techniques to reduce that stress.
The best way to help you have a life with Lupus by educating yourself and get involved in finding a cure. For more information about Lupus check out the Lupus Foundation of America website: www.lupus.org .
Remember to Live Healthy!
Check out the www.livinghealthy1.org website for more nutritional consultations.