Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. This results in symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. Under normal function, the immune system makes proteins called antibodies in order to protect and fight against antigens such as viruses and bacteria. Lupus makes the immune system unable to differentiate between antigens (a substance capable of inducing a specific immune response) and healthy tissue. This leads the immune system to direct antibodies against the healthy tissue – not just antigens – causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage.
The disease commonly affects women during their childbearing years, between 15 and 44 years old. African-American women are also two to three times more likely to develop lupus. However, lupus is a disease that knows no race or ethnic boundaries; while some groups are more susceptible, anyone can develop the disease.
Here are some alternative therapies to consider:
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): It has been found that supplements containing this hormone can be useful in stabilizing steroid levels in patients with lupus.
Flaxseed Oil: Since flaxseed contains a fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, it is beneficial in reducing inflammation. It has also been found to help patients with lupus that affects their kidneys by improving kidney function. However, using flaxseed oil supplements may cause abdominal pain and bloating.
Fish Oil: Though studies surrounding the benefits of fish oil supplements in treating lupus are in their early stages, there is evidence that the omega-3 fatty acids found …
By working closely with your medical provider(s) and being upfront about any complementary therapies you want to explore, together you and your medical provider can formulate a plan. In addition, let your medical provider know about any supplements you are currently taking in order to avoid preventing the efficacy of any proscribed medications.
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