Are There Any Natural Treatments For Lupus?
Author: Dr Mosaraf Ali
I have just been diagnosed with lupus. The treatment seems to be steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, but the thought of having to take them fills me with horror because of the side effects. Are there any natural treatments that will help?
Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that affects many organs and systems in the body. Normally the immune system produces antibodies against invading elements from outside, such as germs or allergens. In the case of autoimmune disease, the antibodies are produced against a perceived enemy within the body’s organs. It’s really a question of mistaken identity examples of autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis (which affects the joint); scleroderma, vitiligo and psoriasis(t he skin); ankylosing spondylitis (the spine and hip joints), and sarcoidosis (which manifests in the lungs, eyes and lymph nodes). Lupus, however, is an extreme form, in which man), organs and systems are attacked together or individually. The symptoms occur as a result of the inflammation that is set up by the attack.
We don’t know what initiates this bizarre reaction. Steroid drugs are frequently used to prevent the antibodies from homing in on the different organs and causing inflammation and destruction. Sometimes, however, the immune response is so violent that powerful immunosuppressant drugs are used to contain the reaction. But these can have many side effects, ranging from gastrointestinal problems to more serious damage.
The immune system is controlled by the master pituitary gland through the adrenals, which produce natural steroid hormones. I have experimented with a multidisciplinary and multisystem approach to manage autoimmune disease such as lupus. The logic behind it is that, since you do not know the cause and because of the way that the disease manifests itself, it is wise to treat the whole being. The body seems to respond to this approach and many of my patients have experienced a remission.
I usually ask the person to change their entire lifestyle. The programme of diet massage, exercise and relaxation is explained in more detail in my book The Integrated Health Bible and on Dr Ali’s Lifestyle DVD (Integrated Health Group).
To boost energy and relieve strain on the body, I recommend the following
* Juice fresh carrots, apples and peeled root ginger and drink daily.
* Make a broth by boiling a chopped organic chicken with cinnamon and bay leaves for two hours, then cool, skim and strain. Drink one mug of stock 30 to 45 minutes before dinner every day.
* Avoid yeast products, which produce toxic alcohols and may lead to leaky gut syndrome, draining the body’s energy system. This puts extra strain on the immune system and reduces the body’s ability to deal with crises.
* Also avoid alcohol, caffieine, excess salt, sugar, citric fruits, canned products, spicy foods, cheese, mushrooms and vinegar. These alt overexert the digestive system.
* Ashwaganda: take one twice daily for three months to boost energy and help the immune system to regulate itself.
* Chawanprash: take one tablespoonful of this Ayurvedic tonic after breakfast for three months.
* Haldi: take one twice daily for three months to help with the inflammation.
* If you have to take strong drugs that affect your stomach, take Stomach Formula two twice daily for two months, to control stomach acid.
The neck and shoulder area with Lifestyle Oil, or mix two tablespoons of sweet almond oil with three drops of lavender essential oil, to improve the blood flow to the brain and help regulate the function of the pituitary gland. Do this twice a week for three to four months; it is a very powerful and effective physical therapy. Rub the affected joints with Joint Oil or Weleda Massage Balm, daily for three to four months.
Daily, such as walking, swimming, yoga or t’ai chi.
Practise relaxation breathing in the evenings and whenever you feel stressed. Inhale for a count of three, hold the breath for three, then exhale for six. Also listen to music, meditate, pray and/or chant. All this helps to relieve stress and calm the mind so that the pain and distress become easier to bear.