Supplements, Vitamins and
Herbs for Lupus - These
Can Really Help!
Should you take supplements, vitamins and herbs for lupus? Well, that's your decision, but studies have shown that many people with lupus have been helped and
found relief from the symptoms of lupus with various supplements, vitamins and herbs. While they may not be a cure for lupus, they can be an effective part of a
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. Symptoms such as inflammation, swelling,
joint pain, and skin rash can be treated with supplementation. Following is information on the most reliable natural herbs and supplements used for treating lupus.
Because everyone is different, and symptoms may be different, I am not going to recommend dosages here. Please take this as a starting point - the supplements below
have helped others - see what works for you!
Specific Vitamins Have Been
Shown to Reduce Lupus Symptoms.
Supplements and Herbs For Lupus -
See What Works for You.
Supporting your immune system is important, especially for people with autoimmune disorders like lupus. Acidophilus and other probiotics are the
"good" bacteria found in your gut. Keeping your gut supplied with quantities of these beneficial bacteria can help your body stay strong. A good quality, highly rated probiotic is
Align Digestive Care Probiotic.
- Aged Garlic Extract: Garlic contains sulfur compounds and is a potent anti-inflammatory. It's also great for your heart. If you don't want the breath associated
with eating raw garlic, garlic supplements are a great option!
- Calcium and Vitamin D: Calcium is extremely important in treating lupus. Why? It has been determined that people with lupus are a greater risk for osteoporosis
than people without lupus. And, because lupus patients need to avoid the sun, that can result in lower absorption of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is necessary to help the
body absorb calcium. Also, current studies are taking place to determine whether or not vitamin D itself may be helpful in relieving lupus symptoms. It's important
to take Magnesium along with your calcium and vitamin D - it will help absorption also.
- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a male hormone produced by the adrenal glands and testes in men, and by the ovaries in women. A steroid hormone, DHEA is not
something you can get in your diet, so it's impossible to get DHEA from eating certain foods. DHEA supplements are made from plant extracts of the barbasco root,
or from wild Mexican yam.
These plant hormones are altered chemically in the lab so that they may be taken as an effective treatment for lupus.
DHEA supplements decrease symptoms such as lupus skin rash and lupus joint pain. These supplements act much like the steroid prednisone
(one of the commonly prescribed lupus drugs) to reduce the inflammatory process. As lupus disorders are autoimmune diseases, DHEA is thought to be helpful in
the treatment of lupus by providing immune support.
At this time, DHEA is available over-the-counter, but I recommend you not take it without discussing first with your doctor. Hormones like DHEA may cause an
increased risk of heart attack and certain cancers, so it really needs to taken under the supervision of a physician. Additionally, your doctor will be able to make
sure you are getting a quality supplement - there are prescription forms which may be more reliable.
- Licorice Root has been found to be an effective anti-inflammatory. Like other anti-inflammatory herbs, it can help reduce your need for prednisone
(which comes with many unpleasant side effects). It can help ease symptoms during a lupus flare.
- Co Q-10:
Coenzyme Q-10 has been found to be extremely beneficial for heart health. Because those with lupus have a higher incidence of heart disease,
this co-enzyme should be part of a supplementation plan. A high-quality, easily absorbed Co Q-10 is
Jarrow Formula Q-Absorb.
- Fiber: If you aren't getting lots and lots of fiber in your diet (think lots of fruits and vegetables), be sure to add a fiber supplement to your diet - it's
important in keeping your digestive tract healthy!
- Digestive Enzymes: Most people with lupus can't absorb their food nutrients properly. Taking these extra enzymes supports the healing process.
- Gamma Linolenic Acid or GLA is the main component of evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid that is hard to
come by in the diet. It is an effective anti-inflammatory agent with none of the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. It also promotes healthy growth of skin,
hair, and nails.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been found to decrease inflammation. To learn how to increase the amount of these healthy fatty acids in your diet, please refer to my
page on lupus and diet. If you can't get enough in your diet, however, be sure to supplement with a high-quality fish oil
(check out VitalChoice.com for an
amazing fish oil capsule).
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and one of the most beneficial herbs for lupus. For more information, refer to my page on the amazing
benefits of turmeric.
While we can find ways to get turmeric into our diets, it is not easy to get enough.
Studies have shown that, in some cases, turmeric is as effective as steroids in reducing inflammation and
lupus joint pain. You can also try taking an all-natural anti-inflammatory agent, such as
(from New Chapter) containing ginger and turmeric.
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As always, it's a good idea to discuss with your healthcare provider your desire to start a supplementation program for lupus.
He or she may have recommendations on dosing these supplements and herbs for lupus.
Treating lupus with supplements, vitamins and herbs is a great addition to a healing plan that includes healthy eating
and healthy exercise. For more information
about eating and exercise specifically for lupus, please read my pages on lupus and diet
and lupus and exercise. And, as always, check back often - as I discover
more information on supplements and herbs for lupus, I will let you know!
RN, Certified Wellness Coach
More Information on Autoimmune Diseases
Lupus Diagnosis - What Living With Lupus Will Be Like.
Lupus Treatment - Here Are The Natural Ways To Treat Lupus!
Autoimmune Diseases - When Your Body Attacks Itself.
Other Links of Interest!
- For additional information on Natural Cures,
including information on acid reflux, hypothyroidism, and allergies, please visit our friends at Natural Health Lifestyles