Autoimmune disorders are becoming more and more common each day as our modern world becomes more toxic and our food supplies more altered.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies are made against high levels of circulating DNA. Self tissue gets presented to T and B cells in the lymph nodes by dendritic cells and the immune system then creates antibodies to self tissue which leads to tissue destruction and an autoimmune flare. The immune complexes that are formed get stuck in the body’s tissues and the body is unable to rid itself of these complexes and as a result, they get deposited almost anywhere in the body. The condition can be diagnosed from a test that shows elevated antinuclear antibody titre. Antibodies have also been demonstrated to RBCs, WBCs, platelets and clotting factors. Women between the ages of 18-40 account for 90% of cases.
There is also a milder form of Lupus known as discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and this type mainly affects the skin. There is usually patches of hair-loss on the scalp and skin rashes.
Etiology of SLE
A combination of genetic predisposition, exposure to environmental threats such (UV lights, canavanine toxin, high amounts of arginine found poorly sprouted alfafa sprouts and seeds, hydralazines or hair dyes, as well as viruses (retroviruses, adenovirus) and bacterial triggers. Aspartame is also very harmful as it can make SLE worse. Macrophages that are exposed to aspartame produce three times more leukotrienes and arachadonic acid. Aspartame can therefor make any inflammatory condition worse.
Signs and Symptoms of SLE & Scleroderma
SLE affects all parts of the body and is a very serious condition. Dr Lessard-Rhead shares the symptoms (and their frequencies in brackets) as: arthritis (90-95%), anemia (71%), pleurisy (45%), photosensitivity (30%), fever (90%), skin rashes (74%), kidney involvement (50%), butterfly rash (42%) and hair loss (27%). Early signs are fatigue, weakness, weight loss, fever and polyarthritis.
The kidneys are highly involved in SLE (and DLE as is the case for most auotimmune disorders) and the deposition of immune complexes in the glomeruli of the kidney nephrons results in inflammation locally. This interferes with normal kidney function. The kidneys become unable to filter uric acids and acidic toxins efficiently and this leads to a highly acidic state which then leads to more inflammation and a worsening of the autoimmune disorder. the nervous system also gets damaged and leads to mild cognitive dysfunction, depression and anxiety.
Conventional medical treatments usually suggest the use of non-steroidal antiinflammator drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs and cytotoxic drugs. NSAIDs have major side effects and should only be used in an acute condition (sprained ankle for a few days). *If you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds, they are PGE2 inhibitors and studies show that these if NSAIDS are used long term, they are resolution phase toxic which means your body will not be able to clear out toxins and neutrophils from the body before the undergo necrosis and spill out their toxins in the lymph which triggers more inflammation and tissue destruction.* Individuals with autoimmune disorders are very vulnerable to the side effects of NSAID. Anti-malarials are also used to treat the skin and joint symptoms but also has many side effects. Corticosteroids also have multiple long-term effects such as further weakening of the immune system. Always make sure to discuss the treatment options presented to you with your doctor in great length to make sure it is the best route for you.
Scleroderma is very similar to SLE in many ways. it involves the joints and similar organs and is also more common in women. In scleroderma, there is large amounts of collagen formation in the dermis and alot of healing with fibrosis. This results in induration of the skin and a mask-like countenance. Blood vessels dilate below the skin surface into spidery telangiectasia. The fingers may also get scarred and appear claw-like as a result. There are Raynaud’s symptoms also because the blood supply to the fingers is interuppted by the scarring. Difficulty swallowing is another symptom because of esophageal fibrosis.
Dietary Recommendations for SLE, DLE & Scleroderma
- Avoid coffee (SO IMPORTANT), tea, caffeine, stimulants and sugar beverages
- Avoid all sugar, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners
- Eat an organic diet to avoid further toxic burden
- Ensure adequate complete protein, including vegetable sources of proteins
- Vegetarian diet is best for inflammatory conditions (as long as you are able to consume and digest the major components of this diet)
- Drink plenty of pure, filtered water
- Increase fiber intake (soluble and insoluble)
- Avoid processed, hydrogenated and refined fats/oils
- Avoid refined and simple carbs
- Eat an alkaline diet (eat plenty of dark, green leafy vegetables and chlorophyll-rich foods)
- Avoid inflammatory foods
- Moderate iron and saturated fats, which can increase inflammation and flare-ups
- Avoid alfalfa sprouts (it is common in greens powders)
Supplement Reccommendation For SLE, DLE & Scleroderma
- Digestive enzymes, which improve digestion and oral tolerance, especially protein digestion preventing its putrefaction and production of toxins.
- Glyconutritionals, which are helpful to regulate the immune system.
- They help make special carb molecules found on immune cells that are important for the removal of the immune complexes. Alterations of these carbs have been found on T-lymphocytes in both SLE and Rheumatoid arthritis. Dietary supplementation of polysaccharides which are needed for these carbs in the immune cells is shown to be beneficial for improving the symptoms of RA and SLE.
- Pantothenic Acid, PABA, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, calcium and magnesium can be useful in the treatment of these conditions to support the body’s immune health
- Selenium is useful in decreasing muscle and joint pain
- Vitamin B5 and adrenal glandular support the adrenal glands which is the a source of anti-inflammatory cortisol
- Cysteine, methionine, SAM, MSM and glucosamine sulphate are helpful in rebuilding cartilage
- Cod liver oil, Quercetin, Bromelain, and sulforaphane can be helpful to reduce inflammation naturally without the use of NSAIDs
- Use immune builders but avoid immune boosters (echinacea, elderberry and inulin-containing plants such as Jerusalem artichokes and elecampane) which can increase flareups.
- Medicinal mushrooms (reishi, cordyceps, chaga) are helpful in regulating immune function and are immune builders
- Curcumin, ginger, stinging nettle, astragalus, vitamin D can help to reduce inflammation naturally
- Kidney and liver as well as colon drainage using homeopathics is an integral part of supporting the body and re-establishing homeostasis. Detoxification of these elimination pathways while improving digestion is essential to rebalance the immune system. A toxic gut can overload the liver and the entire body with toxins which leads to chronic inflammation.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep (use melatonin and GABA700 if needed)
- Maintain frequent and consistent exercise
- Reduce stress and practice deep breathing
- Address pathogenic imbalance (candida and parasitic,. viral and bacterial overgrowth)
- Anderson, J.R. (1980). muir’s Textbook of Pathology (11th Ed.). London: Edward Arnold Pub.
- Dykman, K.D., Ford, C.R., and Tone, C.M. (nove 1997). The effects of dietary supplements on Lupus: a retospective survey. Proceedings, vol 1(1):26-29.
- Havlick, H.D. (April 99). Overcoming Lupus Naturally. Vitality Magazine