What is lupus?
An autoimmune and chronic disease that is capable of damaging any body organs like the skin, joints, etc. is called lupus. In case of diseases like HIV or AIDS, the immune system becomes underactive. However, in the case of lupus, the immune system becomes overactive thereby destroying the healthy body tissues. Lupus is chronic because its signs and symptoms can last over six weeks and sometimes more. Basically, the body is unable to differentiate between the foreign substances causing harm and the substances in the body which are healthy.
Additional facts on Lupus:
– Lupus is not contagious and one cannot get or give lupus from or to someone.
– Lupus, in any way, is not related to cancer.
– Lupus is not related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) because as already discussed, HIV causes the body to become under immune and lupus causes the body to be over immune.
– Lupus can range from a mild to a chronic condition.
– Almost 5 million people in the world are affected with some form of lupus.
Healthy diet for lupus
There is no such diet which has been established specifically for lupus, but it is necessary that one has an aim to eat healthy like in case of any disease. A healthy diet lupus should include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant fats, legumes, fish, etc. However, there are certain foods which would prove to be better in managing the lupus symptoms. So, here is a healthy diet lupus list.
Avoid red meat and switch to fatty fish. Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerels, tuna, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help protect the heart against any sort of heart diseases. Red meat, on the other hand, is full of saturated fat, which can contribute to various issues like diabetes high blood pressure, heart diseases, etc.
Eat calcium-rich food. The steroids or drugs for lupus can cause side effects like causing thinning of the bones and thereby make your bones more susceptible to fracture. In order to avoid this situation, it is essential to eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D so that the bones can constantly be strengthened. The foods to be included in the diet are low-fat milk, dark and green leafy vegetables, yogurt, cheese, beans, and soy. It is better to ask the doctor whether you are getting adequate calcium to nullify the effect of the drugs on the bones from the food alone. In case of a negative response, you might need a calcium supplement along with the food.
Avoid garlic and alfalfa because alfalfa contains an amino acid known as L-canavine and garlic contains ajoene, allicin, and thiosulphates. These substances can cause the immune system to flare up thereby catalysing the lupus symptoms.
Limiting the intake of saturated fats and transfats is essential. It is better to try and focus on including foods like raw vegetables, pop corn, and fruits in the diet more.
There is a possibility that alcohol can interfere with the drugs for lupus. For example, alcohol can lower the effectiveness of methotrexate or warfarin. It is better to keep a control on the alcohol intake.
The effect of lupus on each person is different, and while a healthy diet lupus may work wonders for someone, it may not do the same for you. So it is essential to have proper communication with the doctors and dietitians.