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Lupus - Lupus and Nutrition Supplements

Lupus and Nutrition Supplements

Can nutrition supplements benefit those of us with lupus
Dateline: 03/29/99

First, a word about safety

The tremendous interest in nutrition supplements and phytochemicals is extremely exciting, especially for those of us with chronic illnesses with no known cure. At the same time, it's important to remember that these substances act as drugs in our body. patients with autoimmune disorders shouldn't self-medicate. Make your physician your partner in exploring herbs, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. At baseline, your doctor should know what you are taking to help you avoid food-drug interactions.

preventing Osteoporosis

Corticosteroid intake increases the likelihood of this bone-thinning disease, which targets women. post-hormonal changes, and a lack of weight-bearing activity also contribute. A liberal intake of Calcium and vitamin D will help women keep healthy bones. The recommended intake of calcium has been increased to 1200 mg daily. Most dairy products are supplemented with vitamin D, which is where most of us get it. Being photosensitive also cuts out a major source of vitamin D; sunshine. A calcium/vitamin D supplement (1200 mg/400 mg) is a good idea in these cases.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents

If your lupus symptoms run the the arthritic side, fish oils and flaxseed oil are sources of natural anti-inflammatory agents with documented benefits. These oils are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Since fish oils also have a blood-thinning effect, it's important to tell your physician if you are taking them. Natural sources of fish oil are delicious. The best choices are fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel. Flaxseeds can be ground into meal and used in baking, or as a cereal topper.

Immune System Enhancers

The flowering herb, Echinacea, is popularly thought to prevent colds, because of its immune-boosting properties. However, persons with lupus, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune disorders should avoid echinacea for just this reason. Our immune systems are already in overdrive, and echinacea can make this even worse. So why do people with lupus get colds I haven't figured that part out yet.

Anti-Oxidants Keep the pipes Clean

Is appears that lupus patients are at risk for high blood cholesterol, especially on prednisone. The role of anti-oxidants is to prevent the oxidation of chemical bonds in fats. This helps prevent cholesterol buildup in the blood vessels. Vitamins E, C, and the beta carotenes are key food sources. Consider taking 400 IU's vitamin E supplementally. It also has a blood-thinning effect, so, once again, let your doctor know.

Nutrition supplements can neither prevent nor cure lupus, but they may be able to relieve some of the symptoms. Living better with lupus; isn't that what it's all about

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