Lupus is a complex, long-term systemic autoimmune disease, that causes the immune system to become hyperactive and attack your tissues and organs. It causes inflammation that can affect many different body systems, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood cells, skin, and joints.
No two cases of lupus are the same, and symptoms can vary widely from person to person. However, most people have mild symptoms characterized by flare-ups that get worse for a while and then improve for a while. Symptoms may include fever, joint pain and stiffness, fatigue, a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, and skin lesions that worsen with sun exposure. Dry eyes, chest pain, headaches, confusion, and memory loss may also occur as symptoms.
Approximately 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported in the United States every year, while up to 1.5 million people may be living with the condition.
Underlying Causes for Lupus
A healthy immune system protects the body and fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. When you have lupus, your immune system can’t differentiate between these unwanted antigens and healthy tissues and starts to attack both. However, the exact cause is unknown and is likely a combination of genetics and environmental factors.
Researchers believe that changes in some genes may stop the immune system from functioning properly. Some researchers theorize that due to genetic factors in people with lupus, the body doesn’t get rid of cells that have died in a natural process known as cell death. They believe it is these dead cells that may release the substances that cause the immune system to attack healthy tissue.
Recently, some researchers have theorized that specific changes to gut microbiota may also be a factor in lupus, but more research is required.
Your sex, age, race, and family history can increase your risk of developing lupus. Women, those between the ages of 15 and 45, and certain races, including African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, are more likely to get lupus.
Environmental triggers that may trigger lupus include:
- Viral infections
- Certain medications (some anti-seizure medications, antibiotics, and blood pressure medications)
Lupus Natural Treatment
There is no known cure for lupus. There are natural lupus treatments and lifestyle changes that aim to control symptoms, prevent flare-ups, and improve quality of life.
Medical cannabis is seen as a valuable option for people with autoimmune disorders. That is because cannabis has been known to decrease inflammation in the body by suppressing the immune system and calming the abnormal immune response. This occurs in people with lupus by lowering levels of the inflammation-promoting protein interleukin-2 and raising the levels of an anti-inflammatory protein known as interleukin-10. By reducing inflammation, cannabis can effectively relieve pain as well.
People diagnosed with lupus may also benefit from using CBD, which is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis that’s legal nationwide.
If you’re interested in trying medical cannabis, book an appointment with Heally, and we’ll connect you with a doctor in your state to start your application for a medical marijuana card.
If medical cannabis isn’t legal in your state yet, consider CBD products, which are legal, available nationwide, and considered effective in reducing the symptoms of lupus. Browse the Heally marketplace to check out CBD products that may help relieve the pain and inflammation associated with lupus.
Top Recommended CBD Products for Lupus
WOW: Organics Terpene Enhanced Tincture Inflammation – 1000 mg
This full-spectrum, terpene-enhanced CBD oil is specially formulated to fight inflammation. It contains more than 80 cannabinoids and beneficial plant compounds.
Happy Elf: CBD Immunity Elixir 1000 mg, cherry
Specifically designed to boost the immune system, Happy Elf’s CBD Immunity Elixir contains full-spectrum CBD oil to reduce inflammation as well as vitamins E and D to enhance immune function.
Certain herbs have been proven effective as a Lupus natural treatment as well as for other autoimmune diseases.
- Turmeric: The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory effects and may improve disease activity.
- Ginger: This herb offers both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce the pain and swelling in joints in patients with lupus.
- Holy basil: Stress is a contributor to lupus flare-ups. Holy basil can help module the body’s response to stress. This herb also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Green tea extracts: Research suggests that green tea extracts can help reduce the number of lupus flare-ups
Apple Cider Vinegar
Some healthcare practitioners believe that patients with lupus have a deficiency of hydrochloric acid. Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, including increasing hydrochloric acid production in the body.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are an effective Lupus natural treatment in reducing inflammation in patients with lupus. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Just 30 grams of flaxseeds a day can help improve symptoms and kidney function. Eating oily fish, like salmon or sardines, or taking a daily supplement can help you increase your omega-3 intake.
To combat fatigue, joint pain, and inflammation, Epsom salt baths are recommended as they help remove toxins and improve magnesium absorption. Simply add a cup of Epsom salt to your bathwater and soak for 10-20 minutes.
Building a Healthy Gut
Building a healthy gut is often the first line of defense against lupus flare-ups. This can help prevent toxins from damaging your organs. Supply your gut with probiotics, immunoglobulins, and prebiotic foods. Eliminating dairy and processed foods as part of an alkaline detox diet may also reduce symptoms. Inflammatory foods like gluten and grains should also be eliminated.
Lupus can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, muscles, and nerves. Maintaining an active lifestyle with light exercise activities can help reduce pain. Try a short walk, gentle yoga, or Tai Chi.
It’s important to talk to a doctor before undertaking any natural treatments. Book a telehealth appointment with a functional medicine doctor at Heally to discuss natural treatments and lifestyle changes for lupus.