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The role of Nutrition and the etiological treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s tissues, causing widespread inflammation and histological damage to the affected organs.

Multiple systems of the body can be affected, but inflammation, which develops gradually, is most commonly located in the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, cardiovascular system, blood vessels and brain.

Systemic lupus erythematosus can present with a variety of symptoms, including sensitivity to the sun, a butterfly rash, or a “wolf mask” covering the cheeks and nose, fatigue, pain and stiffness of the joints, hair loss, shortness of breath, discoloration of the fingers when it is cold, dry eyes and mouth ulcers.

This disease can affect people of any age. However, women aged 20-45 are more often affected.

 

The role of Nutrition in the treatment of lupus erythematosus

People with lupus, due to chronic inflammation, oxidative stress and serum lipid disorders, are at increased risk of kidney failure, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt a personalized diet plan.

 

Increase the intake of Ω-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, flaxseed) helps reduce inflammation and triglycerides. Excessive free radical production and oxidative stress are significantly involved in the development of lupus erythematosus. For this reason, consuming antioxidant foods, which are contained in various fruits and vegetables, can help significantly. Also, foods high in fiber (whole grains, etc.) help lower blood pressure.

 

Vitamin D and calcium to strengthen bones

For patients with lupus erythematosus, there is a high risk of osteoporosis. Therefore, adequate intake of Vitamin D and calcium is recommended, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the skeletal system.

In fact, according to literature reports, insufficient levels of Vitamin D can function as a major predisposing factor for the development of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

 

Avoid saturated and omega-6 fats, sodium, simple carbohydrates and processed foods

On the other hand, it is recommended to avoid the consumption of saturated fats, such as those contained in red meat and butter, because these foods lead to an intensification of the function of the immune system. Furthermore, it is advisable to reduce the consumption of salt and alcohol and avoid the intake of simple carbohydrates, processed foods and Ω-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils of corn, soy).

 

The importance of exercise under medical supervision and the avoidance of sun exposure for lupus erythematosus sufferers

Mild physical exercise, under medical supervision, can be effective in reducing inflammation, enhancing muscle endurance, preventing weight gain, and improving cardiovascular function in patients with Systemic Lupus erythematosus.

Excessive exposure to sunlight is significantly responsible for the worsening or recurrence of the disease, as it intensifies inflammation. Therefore, it is essential that patients avoid excessive sun exposure and, when exposed, always use sunscreen.

 

The Classical Therapeutic Approaches for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Drugs used extensively for the treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, antimalarial drugs, glucocorticosteroids (cortisone), and immunosuppressive drugs.

These are powerful medications whose function is to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. However, they can cause a variety of side effects.

 

The Modern Medical Treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Modern medical treatment is the clinical framework based on specialized diagnostic tests, which can detect the true causes of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Based on the diagnostic findings, therapeutic protocols are established, through which biochemical diversion (s) that led to alteration of the cells is treated, so that they are finally recognized as “foreign” by the immune system, resulting in the development of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

These are individualized treatments that gradually restore the cellular and hormonal balance of the body and may include micronutrient protocols, Therapeutic (Molecular) diet and hormonal recovery with Bioidentical hormones. With these methods, the symptoms of the disease gradually improve and any chances of recurrence are reduced to a minimum, while at the same time the health of the patients is promoted.

 

 

Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.

Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).

 

Read more:


Psoriasis & Nutrition

Symptoms and etiological treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Can They Suppress Inflammation And Autoimmunity?

 

References:

  1. “Handout on Health: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”. www.niams.nih.gov. February 2015. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  2. Lisnevskaia, L; Murphy, G; Isenberg, D (22 November 2014). “Systemic lupus erythematosus”. Lancet. 384 (9957): 1878–88. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.1008.5428. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(14)60128-8. PMID 24881804. S2CID 28905456.
  3. Davis, Laurie S.; Reimold, Andreas M. (April 2017). “Research and therapeutics—traditional and emerging therapies in systemic lupus erythematosus”. Rheumatology. 56 (suppl_1): i100–i113. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kew417. PMC 5850311. PMID 28375452.
  4. Gladman, Dafna (10 September 2015). “Overview of the clinical manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus in adults”. UpToDate. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  5. Frieri, M; Stampfl, H (January 2016). “Systemic lupus erythematosus and atherosclerosis: Review of the literature”. Autoimmunity Reviews. 15 (1): 16–21. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2015.08.007. PMID 26299985.
  6. Schneider, L; Dos Santos, AS; Santos, M; da Silva Chakr, RM; Monticielo, OA (August 2014). “Vitamin D and systemic lupus erythematosus: state of the art”. Clinical Rheumatology. 33 (8): 1033–8. doi:10.1007/s10067-014-2530-5. PMID 24573738. S2CID 28033436.
  7. Justiz Vaillant, AA; Varacallo, M (2019), “article-24526”, Lupus Erythematosus, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, PMID 30571026, retrieved 2019-12-21
  8. Couzin-FrankelMar. 6, Jennifer (6 March 2019). “Genetically engineered immune cells wipe out lupus in mice”. Science | AAAS. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
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