Lupus and the immune system
Like other autoimmune diseases, lupus occurs when your body is trying to defend itself against something potentially dangerous, such as an allergen, a toxin, an infection, or even a meal, but it can not distinguish between the intruder and your own body. Your immune system has a very sophisticated system to keep you safe that leads to identify all the foreign substances that come in contact. If your immune system considers something dangerous, it will produce antibodies to protect itself from harmful intruders.
In lupus and all autoimmune diseases, this process fails. By confusing your own tissues with foreign substances, your body puts these antibodies against yourself, wreaking havoc on it and destroying your organs.
Most autoimmune diseases affect a specific system, for example, rheumatoid arthritisinvolves the joints and multiple sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord. Lupus, on the other hand, affects more than one system simultaneously . In any case, all autoimmune diseases are similar since they are an immune response caused by systemic inflammation that leads to your body attacking you.
Signs and symptoms of lupus
The symptoms of lupus vary from mild to severe, even fatal. Nicknamed “The great imitator,” lupus imitates other diseases due to their involvement of multiple bodily systems and the fact that the symptoms often come and go or change completely.
The most common symptoms of lupus are:
- Joint inflammation and pain
- Butterfly-shaped eruption through the nose and cheeks
- Hair loss
- Ulcers in the mouth and nose
- Edema ( water retention ) in the hands, feet and face
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light, especially sunlight)
- Raynaud’s disease (extremities turn white or blue when exposed to cold)
How is lupus diagnosed?
Lupus is not easily diagnosed because it resembles many other diseases. Generally, a doctor will review your medical history and family history, and look for signs of systemic inflammation. Because lupus can affect internal and external organs, the doctor will rely on observation, as well as laboratory tests in order to make a diagnosis of lupus. There is no evidence for lupus generally, many different criteria will have to meet, and it may take years to arrive at a diagnosis.
The conventional treatment for lupus
Conventional medicine focuses on managing the symptoms of lupus instead of finding the root cause. For this reason, the treatment is based solely on medications. The first line of treatment for lupus is to prescribe medication for specific symptoms, such as diuretics for fluid retention or aspirin for pain.Next, the doctor will usually prescribe a corticosteroid such as prednisone, which has a variety of unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Long-term prednisone treatment can cause muscle loss and osteoporosis, and these side effects require supervision and additional medication. If the steroids stop controlling the symptoms, a series of serious medications are prescribed either to modulate or inhibit the immune system as a whole. Plaquenil and belimumab (Benlysta) are some of the medications that are used, and they have very severe side effects, including hair loss, muscle atrophy, blood disorders and increased susceptibility to infections.
Conventional medicine does not look at the body as a whole, but sees in terms of isolated systems, with a doctor for each. In general, patients with lupus are under the care of a rheumatologist and a doctor who specializes in the area in which they are experiencing the symptoms, for example, a nephrologist for the kidneys, and a skin dermatologist, etc.
But the bodily systems are not really separate. Functional medicine focuses on the health of the whole body based on the fact that the health of one system affects the function of the others. Its objective is to reach the true cause of the disease.
5 underlying causes of lupus
If you suspect that you may have lupus, it is advisable that you take a functional medicine approach and find the underlying cause why your immune system does not act correctly and is attacking your own tissue. Below are the first five causes.
Gluten has been linked to more than 55 diseases and is often called the “big masked”.The reason for this is that most of the symptoms of gluten intolerance are not digestive by nature, but rather neurological ones such as pain, cognitive decline, sleep disturbances, behavioral problems, fatigue and depression.
In order to absorb nutrients, the intestine is somewhat permeable to very small molecules. Many things including gluten, infections, medications and stress can damage the intestine, allowing the particles of toxins, microbes and undigested food – among other things – to enter directly into the bloodstream . The leaky gut is the gateway for these infections, toxins and foods like gluten to start causing systemic inflammation that leads to autoimmunity. It is important to heal your bowel before attempting to heal yourself.
The toxic hogo (mycotoxins) and heavy metals like mercury, are the two main toxins that are seen in people with autoimmune diseases . Mycotoxins are very toxic substances produced by toxic fungi. Only about 25% of the population carries genes that are susceptible to the effects of mycotoxins. The conventional environmental mold test only verifies the levels of mold spores and not those of mycotoxins. It is advisable to have a urine test of mycotoxins in a clinic to determine if you have been exposed to toxic molds.
Infections and stress
Scientists have suspected for years that infections of bacteria, viruses and other toxins were likely to cause the development of diseases such as lupus . While they have not been able to identify a single culprit, they have found a strong correlation between a number of bacteria and viruses. It has been shown that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) triggers lupus in some individuals .
The levels of illnesses related to stress are increasing, and stress, both emotional and physical, demonstrates the power to activate and intensify autoimmune disorders . Stress alters many different types of immune functions through several different pathways. Stress is the body’s response to a threat, injury, injury or infection. Acute stress accelerates the immune system to help cope with an immediate crisis, and then calms down once the threat is removed. On the other hand, chronic stress (the kind that many people face these days) leads to long-term inflammation that never really calms down, and contributes largely to autoimmune diseases. Once the autoimmune response is in place, stress immediately worsens it.
Ways to treat Lupus
1. Eliminate gluten, cereals and legumes from your diet
It is recommended that everyone who suffers from lupus eliminate gluten from their diet because it is simply an inflammatory food. For people with autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, it is convenient to eliminate all grains and legumes from the diet as well. These foods contain proteins known as lectins, which act as a natural pesticide for crops and can wreak havoc on the lining of the intestine. Changing the diet is the first step to getting relief.
2. Heal the bowel
The healing of the intestine is essential to heal yourself, as mentioned before.
3. Find and treat infections
Ask your doctor for a test for infections such as HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) and EBV (Epstein Barr Virus). Monolaurin in coconut oil can be a very effective treatment for both. Lysine and a diet rich in lysine may be effective in the treatment of HSV infections.
4. Test of heavy metals and mycotoxins
We are exposed to heavy metals in a number of different ways: amalgams, fish consumption, and the environment. It is recommended that you test your MTHFR genes and do a DMPS chelation provocation test through a functional medicine practitioner to determine if mercury or other heavy metals are a problem for you.
5. Controls stress and supports the immune system
It is important to prioritize stress reduction. Take care of yourself by taking some strategies to relieve stress, such as exercise, meditation, and art. If you are having trouble relaxing, try a yoga class or a guided meditation. Even give yourself five minutes to sit quietly with an aromatic cup of herbal tea (no caffeine, of course) that can do wonders for your adrenal glands.
Take your time to pause and experience the moment; try not to worry about what might happen next, or things you can not control. Remember that this is not a selfish action is a necessary step to recover your health.
It also supports the immune system with supplements such as vitamin D , omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils , and glutathione, which are powerful immune modulators, which means they can help maintain your immune system. Vitamin D has been shown to help regulate the immune system. Omega 3 fish oils help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body that can help reduce inflammation and improve detoxification.