Hope for Lupus Patients

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), commonly referred to as Lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause damage to any part of the body, but especially the joints, skin and organs. It is a disease of progressive damage, resulting in aberrant immune system function. It is characterized by inflammation, pain, fatigue, skin rashes and fever.

Roughly 250 people out of 100,000 have been diagnosed with Lupus. The diagnostic aspect is difficult because the symptoms are complex, and differentiating them from other diseases with similar symptoms can be difficult. Unfortunately, it is generally diagnosed when no other cause for a certain symptom picture is identified, and typical treatments are not working.

The fatigue is persistent, extreme, and not relieved by rest. Joint issues include stiffness and swelling, in addition to pain. A butterfly-shaped rash across the bridge of the nose, used to be the only way to conclusively determine lupus, but many have lupus, without that telltale rash. The fever is generally low grade and comes and goes. Sometimes there is shortness of breath or the taking of a deep breath that hurts. Hair loss, mouth sores and dry eyes and mouth are common. Diagnostic criteria initially involves a comprehensive history and examination, then lab testing which includes testing for inflammation such as ESR or CRP and CBC looking for blood discrepancies. An ANA will help determine if there are auto-antibodies, culminating in eventual testing for other autoantibodies commonly high in lupus patients, or skin or kidney biopsies (kidneys, lungs and the heart are the organs most commonly damaged by progressive SLE).

Acupuncture offers hope for people suffering from Lupus. Acupuncture is effective in reducing the pain and inflammation associated with SLE. It is an invaluable treatment method for reducing the stress, anxiety and sleep disorders commonly associated with SLE. Hormonal balance (especially estrogen) and immune system regulation are key to helping with lupus and acupuncture has a known history of its effectiveness in accomplishing those things. Improved circulation, moisture content in mouth and eyes and better energy are also helpful components. Another valuable asset of acupuncture treatments is the ability to support healthy digestion, which tends to be the root of all diseases, and patients experience an overall sense of wellbeing.

Nutrition can also be helpful. Avoiding inflammatory and immune-suppressing foods and drinks such as coffee, sugar, gluten, and others can be helpful. Supplementing certain nutrients key in reducing inflammation, pain and other symptoms can be beneficial. Avoiding hydrogenated fats and bad oils and fats support the healing process. Chemicals, UV light and medications with a side effect of triggering lupus should be avoided if at all possible.

There is hope for lupus. Consulting with an acupuncturist and nutritionist is a positive step towards improving the outcome of lupus.

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©2024 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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