What Foods You Should Avoid with Lupus
Living with Lupus
Even if you have lupus, it is possible to live life fully! Sure, you have modifications that you should adhere to, but you can live a happy and healthy life just like everyone else. Because lupus is an autoimmune disease (a disorder that causes the body to attack itself), your diet should include foods that help restore your body's immune system. Discussion still exists as to the effectiveness of food restrictions or diet additions. However, many people who live with lupus have noticed some differences.
Which Foods to Avoid
Alfalfa seeds and sprouts should be avoided because they contain an amino acid called L-canavanine. This amino acid can aggravate the symptoms of lupus.
Animal meats, dairy, eggs, nori seaweed, and peanuts contain arachidonic acid. When used excessively, arachidonic acid can actually be destructive to the body.
Beans and mushrooms, though tasty, contain amines and hydrazines, which increase lupus symptoms.
Cured meats like hot dogs are bad because they contain components that have been proven to trigger lupus symptoms.
Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes (also known as nightshade vegetables) should be avoided because they contain solanine, an agent that triggers inflammation and pain common to lupus sufferers.
Fat reduction can reduce up to 25% of the aches and pains of a lupus patient.
Herbs like andrographis, echinacea, eleutherococcus, garlic, ginseng, and Panax should be taken with caution since they are known to increase autoimmunity.
Dietary supplements for iron could promote joint destruction, pain, and swelling. Foods containing iron, however, are okay.
Oils like corn, poppy seed, safflower, and sunflower actually encourage lupus episodes, called "flares." You should replace salt with herbs. It is important to learn how to read the nutrition labels on foods you buy and also remember to stay away from excessive salt.
What Others Have Tried
There have been some dietary studies conducted that show promise, but they remain unconfirmed. For instance, there have been experiments with fasting. The results, though not confirmed, showed a reduction in joint pain, medication needs, and stiffness! There's another study that showed rheumatoid arthritis sufferers experienced relief when they ate a vegetarian diet. This is important because rheumatoid arthritis, like lupus, is an autoimmune disease. A more recent study supplemented lupus sufferers with fish and polyunsaturated fatty acids to produce less inflammation.
It's up to You
Living with lupus was not your choice; it was not your decision. But you can choose how to live with your lupus, and these dietary choices may make a big difference.