Lupus can be a debilitating and frustrating disease. Increasing numbers of sufferers who have found only partial or no symptom relief through conventional medicine, are exploring the option of natural treatments to better manage their symptoms.
These include the following:
Anecdotal evidence suggests that following an anti-inflammatory, detoxification diet, may be beneficial. While weight loss is not the purpose of the diet, this may be a secondary result. The main purpose is to provide optimal nutrition, minimize inflammation, and promote stable energy levels to support health. This includes the elimination of certain foods that can reportedly trigger lupus flare ups, and the inclusion of foods with anti-inflammatory properties.
Foods to Avoid
Saturated fats should be minimized, as they can raise cholesterol levels and lead to inflammation. These foods include commercially processed baked goods and meat products, high fat dairy products (butter, cheese, whole milk etc.), and animal fat.
Avoid gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye); eliminate legumes and grains, (which contain lectins – natural pesticides for crops). All of these foods are difficult to digest and can lead to inflammation which can damage your gut lining and make lupus symptoms worse.
Avoid fruits and refined sugar, including all products that contain it, to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Foods to Eat
Quality protein such as lean grass-fed meats (such as chicken or lamb) and organic free range eggs.
Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, including wild caught oily fish (such as salmon and sardines) and flaxseed, which can improve kidney function in lupus patients, who are more susceptible to kidney and renal failure. Omega 3 may also be taken as a supplement in capsule or liquid form, such as fish oil.
Eat plenty of fresh, non-starchy vegetables, such as cabbage, celery, spinach, chard, etc.
Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin that can help reduce inflammation. Take it as 1 teaspoon in a cup of warm milk (sweetened with honey if required).
Ginger is a potent remedy that can help reduce pain and swelling in joints because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Coconut oil has myriad health benefits, and helps balance the adverse response of your immune system on your body.
An Epsom salt bath will aid magnesium absorption, the removal of toxins, and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Exercise and Stress Reduction
Gentle, regular exercise, such as walking, pilates or tai-chi will reduce stress and muscle tension, as well as build strength, flexibility and stability. It will also help clear toxins from the body.
Since there is no cure for Lupus, you can help manage the symptoms so that you can live a fairly normal life. Part of living with Lupus means changing your diet to avoid flare ups and living a life with fewer symptoms. Here are some foods to avoid if you have Lupus.
Avoid Red Meat
You need a diet rich in protein but red meat isn’t the best source of protein, it has a lot of fat and it contributes to heart disease. Instead trade in your burgers and bacon for some fatty fish rich in Omega 3s. Try having some sardines, salmon, tuna or mackerel not only are these fish loaded with the right fats they will help you fend off heart attacks and strokes.
Ditch the Processed Foods
Processed foods are bad for everyone not just patients with Lupus, but having Lupus makes it even more important to try and eat healthy. Processed foods have little or no nutritional value, contain a bunch of empty calories, they are also high in trans fats and steroids. These foods don’t even satisfy your hunger causing you to eat more and gain weight over time.
Cut Back on the Alcohol
This doesn’t mean giving up alcohol completely but having a glass of wine or a beer every night with dinner is too much. Save that glass of wine for a special occasion like your birthday or anniversary. Also bear in mind that alcohol can interfere with some of the medication that you may be taking for your Lupus.
Cut Back on the Salt
Salt makes food taste good, which is why there is so much of it in processed foods. But too much salt can hurt you, it raises your blood pressure and increases the chances of getting heart disease. Avoiding salt is hard it is already in so much of our food. Here are some things that you can do. When eating out ask for your meal to be cooked without salt or order dressings and sauces on the side. They have a ton of salt in them. If you are worried about flavor there are plenty of tasty salt substitutes, experiment with spices to give your food great taste.
Yes, garlic is good for most people but not so great for Lupus patients. There are several compounds in garlic that can trigger a flare up and leave you feeling miserable. Again experiment with spices to find something that tastes great but doesn’t leave you feeling sick afterwards.
Eating a healthy diet is crucial to managing your lupus symptoms and your overall health. These are some of the foods you should steer clear of that will help you avoid flare ups.
When you have discovered that your teenager has a drug and alcohol problem, you may not know where to turn. It is very possible that your family is in a crisis situation, meaning that a decision should be made as quickly as possible.
Drug and alcohol treatment for teenagers can be quite different from treatment designed for adults. Emotional and stress factors play a big role in addiction recovery in young people. Teenagers face unique social pressures as well as biological changes so it is essential that the treatment addresses these needs.
It is therefore important that you choose a program that is designed specifically for teens. Since adolescents face unique challenges such as dealing with their families and friends and obtaining an education, it is important that the family is actively involved in the treatment. Regardless if it is a residential alcohol treatment program that is being used or a drug and alcohol dependency support group, family involvement is key. In most cases, it will be you (the parents) paying for the recovery program and since most teens live at home, their recovery will depend on how supportive the family is in helping them build new lives free of alcohol and drug use.
Many parents who recognize that their teenager is struggling with a substance abuse problem choose to put their teen into a drug and alcohol treatment center. However, the teenager must first admit that he/she has a problem, otherwise the treatment will be ineffective. There are both short-term and long-term drug addiction treatment center for teenagers. If a short-term center is chosen, the patient generally stays for thirty days or less and he/she is provided services by therapeutic and medical staff. The long-term treatment center provides a higher level of support through counseling and education so that the social and mental issues are addressed – this approach leads to the building of a strong foundation for a successful recovery. Long-term drug and alcohol treatment centers are the most popular of the two because the patient lives away from home for a longer period of time and away from the negative influences he/she was exposed to – which most likely led to the drug and alcohol problem he/she is facing.
A good drug and alcohol treatment center will provide your teenager with schooling so that he/she does not fall behind. The center that you use also should help your teen meet his/her spiritual needs. Many treatment centers do this by following twelve-step programs. A good facility also will offer detoxification support as detox often is the first step towards sobriety. If you feel your child needs detox, ask the center what type of support is offered. There should be trained medical personnel on staff who can help your child with his/her withdrawal symptoms.
The most successful drug and alcohol treatment centers will help teens learn to cope with life after treatment so that they can maintain their sobriety once they have returned home and back into mainstream society. Be sure to inquire about re-lapse therapy and aftercare services as it is important that your teenager has someone to turn to when peers pressure him/her to drink or do drugs.
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