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Lupus Erythematosus Print

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs.

Symptoms
  • severe fatigue
  • joint pain
  • joint swelling
  • headaches
  • a rash on the cheeks and nose, which is called a “butterfly rash”
  • hair loss
  • anaemia
  • blood-clotting problems
  • fingers turning white or blue and tingling when cold, which is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon
Cause
The direct cause of SLE is as yet unknown. Medication and diet can however assist one to manage the condition.  

Diet
The type of diet depends on the development of the disease, for example, patients would be advised to increase their intake of potassium, however, those with renal problems would restrict it.

Certain nutrients are vital to the functioning of the immune system:
  • Beta-carotene is found in orange fruit and vegetables, such as carrots. Eat these at least thrice a week.
  • Vitamin C is found in kiwi fruit and citrus fruits such as oranges. Have these once or twice a day.
  • Zinc is found in poultry and especially oysters. Have these thrice a week. (Note that oysters are not permitted for followers of the Hanafi School of Thought)
Have oily fish thrice a week, e.g. sardines, herring and salmon. These supply omega-3 fatty acids which help counter lupus inflammations. High doses of vitamin E supplements also help.

Obesity, depression and emotional isolation worsen the condition. Patients should keep their weight under check, especially if using steroids. Issues of emotional wellbeing should not be left unchecked.

Lupus sufferers are to avoid sunlight. Vitamin D should therefore be obtained from eggs, butter, milk, fish oils, margarine and vitamin D fortified cereals.

Lupus patients are at risk of kidney problems and high blood pressure. They should avoid foods high in salt and drink at least 1.7 litres of water per day to keep the kidneys working properly and avoid urinary tract infections.
 
 
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