8 Natural Remedies for Managing Lupus
Lupus can be a multifaceted medical condition that affects more than 1.5 million Americans. This autoimmune condition can attack any of your organs in the body including your skin, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain and blood vessels. Unfortunately, there has yet to be a cure developed for lupus and the disease causes lifelong issues for those who suffer from it.
Because the disease can attack so many areas of the body, there are a wide variety of symptoms associated with lupus. Lupus symptoms can include joint pain, muscle pain, swelling, fatigue, mild fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, shortness of breath, chest pain, and a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and nose.
The inconsistency and variety of symptoms makes it very difficult to diagnose lupus. Another issue physicians face when attempting to diagnose lupus is the lack of a reliable medical test for lupus. This is why lupus clinical studies, like the ones conducted here at Achieve Clinical Research, are so important.
Clinical research on lupus helps us to improve what we know about lupus and can lead to better methods of diagnosing and treating this condition. Hopefully, one of these breakthroughs in lupus research will lead to the development of a cure for lupus patients.
While you may not be able to cure your lupus for now, that does not mean you can not take steps to help manage and treat your condition. In this article we will take a look at some of the more popular and effective, natural remedies for managing your lupus symptoms.
1) Consume Healthy, Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Maintaining a healthy diet can go a long way in helping you manage your lupus symptoms. There are numerous benefits that come from a healthy diet, such as lower risk for heart disease and improved strength and energy. A good diet also improves the health of your gut, helping to prevent inflammation.
When planning a diet that benefits your lupus, aim for organic foods which are unprocessed. These foods help you to avoid toxins and pesticides that can be present in non-organic foods. You may also want to consider consuming raw vegetables. Eating vegetables raw can improve your digestion and reduce inflammation.
Make sure to eat foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries, leafy greens, onions, avocado, garlic, and asparagus. These foods can help ease joint damage and provide abundant energy. They are loaded with with healthy components, such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, and are high in fiber.
When looking for a good protein source to add to your diet consider wild-caught fish, such as tuna, salmon, halibut, herring, or sardines. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help lower your risk for heart disease and can reduce inflammation.
If your lupus causes you to breakout in a rash or have skin irritation some foods that can help moisturize your skin are:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Walnuts and almonds
- Chia seeds
- Raw milk
- Green tea
- Consume plenty of water
2) Make Sure to Get a Good Night’s Rest
One of the most common symptoms that faces lupus patients is fatigue. Many people with lupus find that they suffer from a lack of energy and feel very tired throughout the day. This is typically because they are not getting the amount of sleep they need with lupus or suffer from insomnia, another symptom of lupus.
To help combat fatigue, take measures to ensure that you are getting a good night’s rest. If you have lupus, you may need 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night and may even needs to take a small nap during the day to feel energized.
Regulating your circadian rhythm is an important part of getting a good night’s rest. Try maintaining a regular sleep schedule where you go to bed around the same time every night. It may benefit you to be in bed before 10 p.m. at night to ensure your get a full 8 to 9 hours of sleep before waking.
Be sure to avoid caffeinated or energy drinks late at night as they can prevent you from sleeping. When you wake up take, practice calming, breathing exercises for a few minutes before moving around. Start with a healthy breakfast and engage in something active to help boost your energy levels and get your heart rate up.
Keep your bedroom dark and cool at night to promote a better sleep and try to have an organized plan for the next day so that you are calm and in control in the morning.
3) Keep Your Skin Protected
If your lupus causes you to have dry, sensitive, and itchy skin, or breakout in rashes, lesions, hives or redness, you want to take precautions to help protect and heal your skin. To help heal and protect your skin you should:
- Use an SPF 50 or higher, non-toxic sunscreen
- Try to avoid getting direct sunlight
- Wear hats and sunglasses when out in the sun
- Use organic cosmetics
- Keep a spray bottle of mineral water handy to spritz skin throughout the day
- Keep a humidifier in the house
- Get plenty of vitamin E
- Take lukewarm showers and baths
4) Control Your Stress
Stress has been shown to exacerbate lupus symptoms. Emotional and psychological stress can increase the body’s inflammatory response which in turn can lead to a lupus flare-up. If you suffer from lupus you may want to consider engaging in stress relieving practices, such as:
- Using essential oils
- Massage therapy
- Breathing techniques
- Time spent in nature
- Spiritual healing
5) Engage in Regular Exercise
Exercise can be extremely beneficial for managing your lupus symptoms for a number of reasons. Benefits from regular exercise can include:
- Reduced joint pain
- Lower stress levels
- Improved quality of sleep
- Higher energy levels
- Improves heart and lung strength
- Decreases risk for health complications
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
However, if you are new to exercise, it is important not to overexert yourself when you are first starting. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day to begin with and improve from there. Some great exercises for patients with lupus are:
- Walking at a brisk pace
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
6) Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
As mentioned before, stress can be a big factor in lupus symptom flare-ups. A great way to help reduce stress and treat symptoms associated with lupus is through essential oils. Essential oils can help support the nervous system, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and suppress autoimmune reactions. The aromas from essential oils can also be calming and help relieve stress.
Some great essential oils for lupus include:
- Helichrysum oil
- Ginger oil
- Lavender oil
- Geranium oil
7) See a Massage Therapist or Chiropractor
Some of the most common symptoms experienced by people living with lupus is joint pain, back pain and headaches. A great way to help reduce these symptoms and relieve stress is through a chiropractor or massage therapist. Massage therapy is also great for reducing muscle soreness, swelling and stiffness.
8) Herbal Supplements
If you are not getting the necessary nutrients you need to help combat inflammation and other symptoms of lupus through your diet, supplements are a great alternative. Supplements to consider using for lupus treatment are:
- Vitamin D3: helps improve depression and anxiety, balance hormones, improve bone strength, and support
- the immune system.
- MSM: acts as an anti-inflammatory and improves digestive symptoms
- DHEA: helps with lupus symptoms
- Omega-3 fish oil: reduces inflammation and supports joint health
- Green superfood supplement: boosts liver and kidney functions, provides electrolytes, alkalizes the body
- Turmeric: helps with inflammation and pain
Be sure to read the labels of any supplement you are considering taking before taking it and use the proper dosage.
Natural remedies can be a great way to help improve your lupus symptoms. However, you should always discuss any plan of treatment with your doctor first to make sure it is safe and healthy for you personally.