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August 6, 2007 at 1:09 PMComments: 10 Faves: 0

What Foods You Should Avoid with Lupus

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

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.

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  • Hi, Tina.

    If you are seriously concerned about your health, you should see your doctor. We cannot give you any more specific advice here. Also, you can check out the Lupus Foundation of America at

    All the best, Tina.

  • Ask your Doc to give you a referal to see a nutritionist. Getting the nutrition you need makes a difference in your health.My sisters kids noticed that not only was she doing better after improving her diet but two of her three saw improvement in their energy levels and schoolwork by also following diet changes.

  • Some really good quality info there. Thanks. I have also put together some over here :
    Hope it helps.

  • I want to know what food to eat, that lessen the sufferer of lupus, can u please give me some advise? and what type of exercises needed to fight this desease?

  • I found the Cilton Diet works for Lupus. A big part of it is taking lots of GLA (3 Primrose oil capsules twice a day) with some DHA (1 Fish Oil capsule twice a day). When I get a lupus flair I simply increase the above dosages by 50% to 100% while it lasts. This tretament keeps me almost symptom free, but when I go off it the symptoms come back. Chilton's book sets out the foods you should not eat if you have an autoimmune disease. They are similar to the list above, but rank them by their inflammatory intensity. For instnace farmed salmon is the worst.

  • I have MS and am currently under diagnosis for lupus. Does anyone have both and, if so, what information can you pass on for treatment and research that slows the progression of lupus? Thanks for any guidance you may be able to give.

  • Two year ago I was told I had lupus. I doing better with God's help. I am now on a green juice fast
    this is a 9th day after this I will eat vegetables and fruits . this is working for me. you can see what Iam doing on Linda

  • Hi, my name is Paula. I was diagnosed with Lupus and Fibromyalgia in 2011. I suffered with muscle and joint pain for about a year before I decided that I had had enough. After finding out, I changed my diet completely. Eating healthy is expensive but to me my life is priceless. I feel soooooo much better now. I have not had a flare up or major pain since changing my eating habits. I guess, I also need to give credit to Dr. Joel Furhmans book, Eat To Live Not Live To Eat. This book is amazing. If it can help me, I know that it will help all of you.

  • i suffer from lupus and i have just been told i have complex reiginal pain syndrome wich my right leg goes numb and i get pins and needles like my leg goes to sleep the same way when you sit on your foot also is there any more diets that i can try

  • What I have found about lupus and diet is that diet without preservatives almost totally reduces the quantity of symptoms. You could find out more here:

    Hope that helps someone.

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