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Can a certain diet help Lupus?

Discussion in 'Complementary therapies' started by Kiewi5, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Kiewi5

    Kiewi5 Member

    Hey everyone,
    I’m willing to bet some of you can relate to friends and family suggesting that modifying diet can alleviate or cure lupus. Right after I was diagnosed last year I heard that so many times it made me want to scream. I felt like people were saying I caused my lupus by the way I eat. I know people genuinely want to help, but it is frustrating nonetheless. I have been a vegetarian for 14 years, since I was 18. Some people have suggested being a vegetarian and eating too much soy is why I have lupus, others say I eat too much processed food, everyone has an opinion. I have been trying to listen with an open mind, although I will admit at times I feel my blood start to boil a bit. The other day my mom, who has been amazing on this journey of mine, cautiously handed me a book a well-intentioned family friend gave her to give to me, and jokingly stated that it was probably the last thing I wanted right now but she told this person she’d give it to me (I should note that about six weeks ago I had scary pleurisy for the first time which brought on another slew of opinions about my diet, hence why receiving a book about diet would be the last thing I’d want right now). The book was Goodbye Lupus by Brooke Goldberg, MD. I just finished reading it, and the main point is how this physician cured her lupus with a vegan diet free of unprocessed foods (along with a couple of other things like increased water, lots of raw fruits/veggies, etc. but I’m just going to focus on the vegan and unprocessed part). I find myself wondering, is there a diet to reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms, and if so, what is it? I’m not going to eat meat, so I told my family and friends, nicely, to give up trying to change that one, haha, but I DO see the value in eating a plant based diet free from processed foods. However, vegan diets often include nuts and I am anaphylactic to nuts, and I freaking LOVE cheese. I have always wanted to go vegan because of my love of animals but in truth I found it very difficult, especially due to the inability to eat nuts, which are used in many dairy and cheese substitutes. Anyway, sorry for the rant, I may have gone over board with the coffee this
    morning (another no no according to the book?), but I have a couple questions for my friends here: 1. Has anyone had success with diet modification and symptom reduction? Was it a vegan, unprocessed diet or something else? 2. What are your thoughts about adopting such a diet (vegan, unprocessed, as recommended in the book)? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe I will be cured from such diet modifications or won’t need medications, I’m just wondering if it could help. I’d greatly appreciate your thoughts, as I feel like nobody understands better than others that are in a similar boat. Thank you in advance for reading this crazy post, and wishing you all the best this new year!
  2. Robin Jackson

    Robin Jackson Member

    Interestingly, I just found out that Chef Michael Symon has DLE and RA and has a cookbook called Fix it with Food. I plan on checking it out.
    wolf1 and Kiewi5 like this.
  3. Kiewi5

    Kiewi5 Member

    That is interesting! Thanks for the info; I will check it out as well!
  4. Skatingsadie

    Skatingsadie New Member

    You might want to checkout autoimmune secrets or Dr Maggie yu. It was explained to me in a different way. Some people don't reaction to food like an allergy. Instead the food causes an autoimmune response. Gluten is a big one. Everyone is not the same but some foods cause inflammation natural like sugar and processed foods. Not sure why some doctors are so knowledgeable about it and others say nothing. The research has been out for awhile
    Vitamin d deficiency is another one, hormones, sorry I forgot the others.

    Diet helped significantly but not completely
    Kathryn Roberts likes this.
  5. Kathryn Roberts

    Kathryn Roberts New Member

    I'm still trying to figure this one out completely myself. How frustrating for you that so many people (who don't probably understand at all what you're going through) are giving so much unsolicited advice! I'd be pretty sensitive about that, too.

    Although I don't agree with a vegan diet, (sorry, my body needs meat!) I say you know your body better than anyone. And I've also read that with lupus you can eat something for a really long time and then suddenly it can turn into a trigger. For me the only thing that never stops being a trigger is sugar (processed, white, brown... Not fruit sugars or honey however). As the years go on sugar becomes more and more dangerous for me, so it isn't even a temptation anymore. Honey on the other hand (raw honey at least), gives me a lot of energy. I love it! But I can't eat that constantly either or I gain weight. But I have it usually 1-3 times a week as a treat.

    Other than that I'm still learning. My biggest triggers other than sugar aren't food related though. I'm glad you mentioned that food didn't cause your lupus. It just seems to make it worse. Sometimes I'm hard on myself and think maybe I somehow caused it too. But the more I think back on my life I've always been different than other people and diet couldn't have been the cause. My mom had us eating very healthy all through my youth.

    Anyway, good luck! I hope you find some answers!
    Lupusdude likes this.
  6. Lupusdude

    Lupusdude Registered

    Kathryn, don’t ever blame yourself for having lupus. It’s genetic and we’re born with our genes. Take care.
    Kathryn Roberts likes this.
  7. GinaS

    GinaS New Member

    I have been on Plaquenil for a year and a half and currently have no traces of Lupus in my labs.... everything is normal, and my ANA and anti Ds DNA are negative for the first time! When I was first diagnosed with Lupus, I changed my diet completely. I have mostly eliminated dairy, wheat, all processed foods from my diet. I can eat a wee portion of any of the above and be ok, but large amounts give me GI distress and cause my joints to hurt. I believe that the Plaquenil is putting me into remission, and my diet is helping me to feel good.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Lupusdude

    Lupusdude Registered

    I’ve told others on here before, but it’s worth repeating. I’ve spent 40 years testing and trying many diets from macrobiotic to paleo and vegan. I’ve had small and large successes. I believe there are foods that cause inflammation like Gina has related above and it’s good to know why you wake up feeling like an old person with swollen joints. However, here’s the dilemma. I met my wife almost 30 years ago at a lupus group. She entered the room munching on a Big Mac, fries and a coke. She was previously diagnosed with lupus at age 16 and had been given large doses of prednisone like most of were back in the ‘70s. Over the years and during the births of our 3 lovely children, she has had few if any lupus symptoms, takes no medicine for the lupus and still eats her fast food on a regular basis (though she did switch to the nuggets and cheeseburger combo).
    My dsDNA is always high unless I’m on some disease modifying drug while hers has been normal for 30 years. I’ve long since given up the idea of being treated unfairly and gotten over the guilt that family continues to shower upon me. This is my destiny and I accept what I’ve been given. I feel blessed to have woken up to another glorious day (notwithstanding the aches and pains).
    I know the books will tell you otherwise, but seriously you need to take all these fad diets with a grain of salt. I have other stories with similar outcomes, but I’ve got yoga to do right now while wifey munches away on her sugary yogurts and chocolate chip muffins.
  9. Lissy

    Lissy New Member


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