|Amino Acid / Protein||Not recommended:|
Tryptophan / 5 HTP
| ||Some doctors caution against the use of tryptophan in patients with SLE. Because of abnormal tryptophan metabolism and the possibility of promoting auto-antibody production SLE patients should avoid supplementation with tryptophan or 5HTP unless determined to be tolerated by any particular patient.|
| ||Through his clinical experiences with thymic supplementation, Dr. Burgstiner said he observed 12 cases of systemic lupus go into remission. Some of the patients were using as many as 22 different drugs and are now diagnosed as asymptomatic.|
| ||Some authors and practitioners believe that cetyl myristoleate may have the ability to normalize hyper-immune responses, thus producing the favorable results in such autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. However, it seems to function more effectively as a lubricant and an anti-inflammatory.|
Lei Gong Teng (Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F)
| ||In patients with lupus nephritis unresponsive to prednisone and other immunosuppressive drugs, combined administration of prednisone and TP (polyglycoside extract of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F) resulted in reduction or even complete disappearance of protien in the urine in 40-50% of cases. Many side effects, however, have been reported. [Chin Med J (Taipei) 1996; 57: S35]|
| ||Animal-based proteins (beef and milk) seem to be the prime offenders in aggravating the symptoms of Lupus. However, certain plant-based proteins appear also to be. These include soy beans, corn, spinach and carrots. [Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 1982;17: pp.417-24]|
Alfalfa sprouts and legumes, to a lesser extent, should also be avoided as the constituent L-canavanine causes SLE-like diseases in primates. [Acta Medica Scandinavica 1984;216: pp. 67-274] Peas and lima beans are alright to eat in this regard.
lupus flare-ups have also been reported after the ingestion of large amounts of foods containing psoralens (celery, celery salt, parsnips and figs).
| ||A one-month trial period of avoiding dairy products and foods containing gluten/gliadin should indicate whether there is going to be any change in symptoms or lab values in individual patients. If there are improvements then these foods will need to be avoided on a permanent basis.|
Dairy Products Avoidance
Raw Food Diet
| ||Some people with Lupus have reported much improvement, even testing negative for Lupus, after being on a raw food diet for many months.|
| ||If there is kidney involvement, bromelain can be added as a cleansing agent. Flax oil or fish oil along with bromelain between meals is a good natural anti-inflammatory combination.|
LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone
Conventional Drugs / Information
| ||Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is one of a number of drugs, like chloroquine or quinacrine, which have been used for many years in the treatment of malaria. It was discovered that these drugs often are helpful in the treatment of various rheumatic diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis. Although chloroquine is sometimes used, the preferred antimalarial drug is hydroxychloroquine due to its greater safety. These can be used in combination also, sometimes with better success.|
| ||Hair dyes contain high levels of hydrazines and other similar chemicals that are absorbed through the scalp, thus increasing the risk of contracting Lupus. [Am J Med 1983;75: pp.365-70] Hydrazines are also present in mushrooms, some food dyes, tobacco smoke and some cooked foods, especially meats.|
Diindolylmethane DIM / Indole 3 Carbinol IC3
| ||There is an acceleration of the testosterone to estradiol conversion by an increase in aromatase activity in healthy SLE patients when compared to controls. Interestingly, "among SLE patients the aromatase activity varied inversely with the disease activity. Patients with SLE had decreased androgen and increased estrogen levels. Aromatase activity in SLE patients had significant direct correlation with estrogen levels. These data suggest that abnormal regulation of aromatase activity may partially explain the abnormalities of estrogen synthesis in SLE." These patients are relatively testosterone deficient. [Lupus 1992;1(3): pp.191-5] Aromatase blockers like DIM (diindolylmethane) and Chrysin can be considered. Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a stable indole found in cruciferous vegetables|
Plant Sterols / Sterolins (Phytosterols)
| ||It is thought that the condition results from the uncontrolled activity of specific cells of the immune system leading to the production of auto-antibodies. It is these auto-antibodies that destroy healthy cells and organs. The body is literally attacking itself. Research indicates that the trigger for this attack may be caused by a virus or by an increase in stress.|
Sterols and sterolins, by balancing the immune system, target the specific cells (the T cells) that can inhibit the formation of antibodies. These plant fats also increase the secretion of immune factors that activate killer cells to seek out and destroy the virus.
The link between stress and autoimmune disorders lies with the balance between cortisol (the stress hormone) and DHEA. An increase in stress leads to an increase in cortisol and a decrease in DHEA. High levels of cortisol cause immune cells to make more factors that lead to the production of autoantibodies. A balance between cortisol and DHEA is essential for optimum immune function.
Research has shown that sterols and sterolins lower cortisol levels in the body and normalize DHEA thus achieving a balance between these two hormones.
| ||One hundred-twenty women with active SLE were randomly given 200mg per day of DHEA or placebo for 6 months. During the study, 18.3% of the patients in the DHEA group experienced a flare-up of their disease, compared with 33.9% of those in the placebo group. The incidence of disease flare-ups was 46% lower in the DHEA group than in the placebo group. No serious side effects were seen, but DHEA treatment increased testosterone levels and increased the incidence of acne.|
In other conditions, DHEA is typically administered in much lower doses. But, it has not been demonstrated that lower doses will provide any benefit in SLE. [Arthritis Rheum 2002;46: pp.2924-2927]
Tests, General Diagnostic
| ||Diagnosing lupus can be a difficult and slow process. It may take months or even years for doctors to piece together the symptoms to diagnose this complex disease accurately. |
No single test can determine whether a person has lupus, but several laboratory tests may help the doctor to make a diagnosis. The most useful tests identify certain autoantibodies often present in the blood of people with lupus. For example, the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is commonly used to look for autoantibodies that react against components of the nucleus, or "command center," of the patientís own cells.
Most people with lupus test positive for ANA; however, there are a number of other causes of a positive ANA besides lupus, including infections, other rheumatic or immune diseases, and occasionally as a finding in normal healthy adults. The ANA test simply provides another clue for the doctor to consider in making a diagnosis.
In addition, there are blood tests for individual types of autoantibodies that are more specific to people with lupus, although not all people with lupus test positive for these and not all people with these antibodies have lupus. These antibodies include anti-DNA, anti-Sm, anti-RNP, anti-Ro (SSA), and anti-La (SSB). The doctor may use these antibody tests to help make a diagnosis of lupus.
Hydrochloric Acid (Trial)
| ||Stomach acid levels are generally lower in patients with autoimmune diseases. Inadequate digestion can add to the immune system malfunction.|
Test for DHEA
| ||DHEA is almost always low in patients with autoimmune conditions such as SLE. |
One of the first medical publications to report the beneficial effects of anabolic steroids on Lupus erythematosis was performed at Stanford University Medical Center under the direction of JL McGuire, M.D. He reported in 1995 that DHEA, an over-the-counter hormone, was able to decrease proteinuria and fatigue symptoms in female lupus patients. [J Rheumatology 1998:25(12): pp.2352-6] In a follow-up study in by his associate van Vollenhoven [J Rheumatology 1998;25(2): pp.285-9], they confirmed the beneficial effects of DHEA in both premenopausal and menopausal women followed for one year.
Van Vollenhoven reported that "the weakly androgenic adrenal steroid dehydro- epiandrosterone (DHEA) raised not only DHEA and DHEA-S levels, but also the level of testosterone. His patients showed a decrease in disease activity measured by the SLE Disease Activity Index score, patient global assessment and physician global assessment over the entire year. Other than mild acne, there were no complaints.
MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane)
| ||"MSM has been shown to be clinically helpful in lupus and may be beneficial in other autoimmune disorders as well." [Stanley W. Jacob, M.D.] However, some Lupus patients have reported an intolerance to MSM, so caution is advised. Please discontinue use if any negative reaction occurs.|
TMG (Tri-methyl-glycine) / SAMe
Essential Fatty Acids
| ||Flax seed oil and/or fish oil have been shown to reduce the severity of the disease in animal studies. One tablespoon flax seed oil bid is recommended.|
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
| ||Vitamin B6 at a dosage of 500mg tid causes some patients to feel better. Side effects such as pain, numbness and weakness in the limbs are a possibility at this dose. If found to be beneficial, supplementation may need to be long term or permanent.|
| ||See the link between Autoimmune Tendency and Vitamin D.|| |
Acne: A chronic skin disorder due to inflammation of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (secretion glands in the skin).
Acute: An illness or symptom of sudden onset, which generally has a short duration.
Alopecia: Loss of hair.
Anabolic: Anabolic compounds: Allow the conversion of nutritive material into complex living matter in the constructive metabolism.
Anemia: A condition resulting from an unusually low number of red blood cells or too little hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia in which the red blood cells are reduced in size and number, and hemoglobin levels are low. Clinical symptoms include shortness of breath, lethargy and heart palpitations.
Antibody: A type of serum protein (globulin) synthesized by white blood cells of the lymphoid type in response to an antigenic (foreign substance) stimulus. Antibodies are complex substances formed to neutralize or destroy these antigens in the blood. Antibody activity normally fights infection but can be damaging in allergies and a group of diseases that are called autoimmune diseases.
Antigen: A substance, usually protein or protein-sugar complex in nature, which, being foreign to the bloodstream or tissues of an animal, stimulates the formation of specific blood serum antibodies and white blood cell activity. Re-exposure to similar antigen will reactivate the white blood cells and antibody programmed against this specific antigen.
Anti-inflammatory: Reducing inflammation by acting on body mechanisms, without directly acting on the cause of inflammation, e.g., glucocorticoids, aspirin.
Arthralgia: Severe throbbing or stabbing pain along a nerve in one or more joints.
Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.
Autoimmune Disease: One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.
Candidiasis: Infection of the skin or mucous membrane with any species of candida, usually Candida albicans. The infection is usually localized to the skin, nails, mouth, vagina, bronchi, or lungs, but may invade the bloodstream. It is a common inhabitant of the GI tract, only becoming a problem when it multiplies excessively and invades local tissues. Growth is encouraged by a weakened immune system, as in AIDS, or with the prolonged administration of antibiotics. Vaginal symptoms include itching in the genital area, pain when urinating, and a thick odorless vaginal discharge.
Chronic: Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.
CRP: C-reactive protein. A sensitive measure of inflammation in the body.
Cytoplasm: The inner substance of a cell contained within the cell membrane other than the nucleus.
Cytotoxic: A compound that produces a toxic effect on cells.
DHA: Docosahexanoic Acid. A metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.
DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced by the adrenal glands and is the most abundant one found in humans. DHEA may be transformed into testosterone, estrogen or other steroids. It is found in the body as DHEA or in the sulfated form known as DHEA-S. One form is converted into the other as needed.
DNA: Deoxyribonucleic acid, the large molecule that is the main carrier of genetic information in cells. DNA is found mainly in the chromosomes of cells.
EPA: Environmental Protection Agency. Also: Eicosapentanoic Acid. A metabolite of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.
Essential Fatty Acid: (EFA): A substance that the human body cannot manufacture and therefore must be supplied in the diet.
Gastrointestinal: Pertaining to the stomach, small and large intestines, colon, rectum, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Herbs: Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.
Hormones: Chemical substances secreted by a variety of body organs that are carried by the bloodstream and usually influence cells some distance from the source of production. Hormones signal certain enzymes to perform their functions and, in this way, regulate such body functions as blood sugar levels, insulin levels, the menstrual cycle, and growth. These can be prescription, over-the-counter, synthetic or natural agents. Examples include adrenal hormones such as corticosteroids and aldosterone; glucagon, growth hormone, insulin, testosterone, estrogens, progestins, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones such as thyroxine and calcitonin.
Immune System: A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.
Lymphoma: Any tumor of the lymphatic tissues.
Metabolism: The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.
Metabolite: Any product (foodstuff, intermediate, waste product) of metabolism.
Migraine: Not just a headache, but a disorder affecting the whole body, characterized by clearly defined attacks lasting from about 4 to 72 hours, separated by headache-free periods; progresses through five distinct phases. Prodrome: experienced by about 50% of migraineurs and starting up to 24 hours before the headache - changes in mood, sensory perception, food craving, excessive yawning, or speech or memory problems. Aura: experienced by about 15% and starting within an hour before the headache - disruption of vision (flashing lights, shimmering zigzag lines, blind spot) or sensation (numbness or 'pins and needles' around the lips or hand), or difficulty speaking. Headache: usually pulsating and occurring on one side of the head, it may occur on both sides of the head and alternate from side to side. Muscles in the neck and scalp may be tender; there may be nausea and the desire not to eat, move, see or hear. Resolution: the headache disappears and the body returns to normal. Resolution may occur over several hours during sleep or rest; an intense emotional experience or vomiting may also end the headache. Postdrome: After the headache stops, the sufferer feels drained, fatigued and tired. Muscles ache, emotions are volatile and thinking is slow.
Milligram: (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.
Millimeter: (mm): A metric unit of length equaling one thousandth of a meter, or one tenth of a centimeter. There are 25.4 millimeters in one inch.
Mononucleosis: An acute, infectious disease caused by the herpes virus, Epstein-Barr virus, with fever and inflamed swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck, under the arms, and in the groin.
Nervous System: A system in the body that is comprised of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia and parts of the receptor organs that receive and interpret stimuli and transmit impulses to effector organs.
Neuropathy: A group of symptoms caused by abnormalities in motor or sensory nerves. Symptoms include tingling or numbness in hands or feet followed by gradual, progressive muscular weakness.
ng: Nanogram: 0.000000001 or a billionth of a gram.
NSAID: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
Paresthesia: A skin sensation, such as burning, prickling, itching, or tingling, with no apparent physical cause.
Protein: Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.
Seizure: While there are over 40 types of seizure, most are classed as either partial seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain is limited to one area or generalized seizures which occur when the excessive electrical activity in the brain encompasses the entire organ. Although there is a wide range of signs, they mainly include such things as falling to the ground; muscle stiffening; jerking and twitching; loss of consciousness; an empty stare; rapid chewing/blinking/breathing. Usually lasting from between a couple of seconds and several minutes, recovery may be immediate or take up to several days.
Shingles: A severe infection caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV), affecting mainly adults. It causes painful skin blisters that follow the underlying route of brain or spinal nerves infected by the virus. Also know as herpes zoster.
Steroid: Any of a large number of hormonal substances with a similar basic chemical structure containing a 17-carbon 14-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides.
Testosterone: The principal male sex hormone that induces and maintains the changes that take place in males at puberty. In men, the testicles continue to produce testosterone throughout life, though there is some decline with age. A naturally occurring androgenic hormone.
Thrombocytopenia: Condition of abnormally small number of platelets circulating in the blood, characterized by inability to properly clot blood and easy bruising.
Thyroid: Thyroid Gland: An organ with many veins. It is at the front of the neck. It is essential to normal body growth in infancy and childhood. It releases thyroid hormones - iodine-containing compounds that increase the rate of metabolism, affect body temperature, regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate catabolism in all cells. They keep up growth hormone release, skeletal maturation, and heart rate, force, and output. They promote central nervous system growth, stimulate the making of many enzymes, and are necessary for muscle tone and vigor.
Ulcer: Lesion on the skin or mucous membrane.
Vasculitis: Inflammation and necrosis of blood vessels, including arteries, veins and capillaries. The damage may be due to infectious agents, mechanical trauma, radiation or toxins; often no specific causative factor is identified. It involves immune mechanisms such as deposition of circulating immune complexes and direct attack by circulating antibodies
Virus: Any of a vast group of minute structures composed of a protein coat and a core of DNA and/or RNA that reproduces in the cells of the infected host. Capable of infecting all animals and plants, causing devastating disease in immunocompromised individuals. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics, and are completely dependent upon the cells of the infected host for the ability to reproduce.
White Blood Cell: (WBC): A blood cell that does not contain hemoglobin: a blood corpuscle responsible for maintaining the body's immune surveillance system against invasion by foreign substances such as viruses or bacteria. White cells become specifically programmed against foreign invaders and work to inactivate and rid the body of a foreign substance. Also known as a leukocyte.
Yeast: A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.