Understanding the condition will help ensure you eat well and live the best possible life.
A chronic autoimmune disease, lupus has the potential to affect numerous parts of your body. Some of the most commonly affected include the blood, skin, kidneys, and joints. While it is unknown what causes lupus, the symptoms are very well known. From fever and painful and swollen joints to tremendous fatigue, hair loss, abnormal blood clotting, and anemia, lupus is accompanied by very serious symptoms. Unfortunately, these symptoms occur in many other conditions, making it sometimes difficult to determine if lupus or another condition is present.
Have lupus or know someone who does? Then you should know everything you can about the condition, including how food affects lupus.
It’s Very Personalized
At this time, there is not a lupus-specific diet that has been approved by a recognized scientific or medical organization. Instead, the lupus diet hinges on your awareness. Depending on how lupus affects your body, you may have to remove one or more food items from your diet. Have bad lupus flare-ups when you eat tomatoes? Then you’re going to have to say goodbye to tomato sauce, ketchup, and raw tomatoes off the vine. Or are your issues made worse when you consume dairy products? Then it’s time to do away with milk, cheese, and even ice cream.
Regardless of what body part is affected by lupus, recognizing how different foods affect your lupus symptoms is key to controlling the disease. Living with lupus may demand some rather extreme dietary changes, but you don’t have an option, unless you prefer living with out-of-control lupus symptoms.
Avoid Alfalfa and Alcohol
Though every person with lupus will have different dietary needs and foods that affect him or her negatively, alfalfa is one food that should be avoided by each and every person who is living with lupus. According to lupus experts, lupus symptoms flare up when individuals with lupus consume alfalfa. Symptoms experienced because of alfalfa consumption include fatigue, muscle pain, kidney issues, immune system dysfunction, and muscle pain. Instead of risking any or all of these symptoms, it is recommended that individuals with lupus completely avoid this plant-based food source.
Additionally, alcoholic beverages may pose a problem for those with lupus. An occasional drink here and there doesn’t seem to have any negative impact by itself. But when coupled with certain lupus-controlling medications, symptoms can grow worse or the medications can be rendered useless. Instead of risking exaggerated symptoms or ineffective medications, you may want to avoid alcohol altogether if you have lupus.
Balance, Balance, Balance
Regardless of what else you do to use food help your lupus symptoms, you should always remember to keep your diet as balanced as possible. Because no matter what you do with your diet, your body requires a variety of foods for optimal health. Without plenty of diversity in your diet, your body will not have sufficient vitamins and nutrients to remain healthy and fend off viruses and bacteria that surround you each day.
To keep vitamins and nutrients in your body, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. You may also want to eat a good amount of fish, as researchers have determined that fish oil gives your body a helping hand in reducing lupus-related inflammation. However, you will want to limit your intake of fatty meats, as they can cause health issues whether or not you’re living with lupus.
5 Million and Counting.
An estimated 5 million people are currently living with lupus across the world. If you’re one of them, don’t suffer alone. Contact your physician to learn how to control your symptoms and to connect with others in your area who are struggling with the disease.
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