How Diet and Nutrition Can Help Lupus Patients

There are no specific diet requirements for lupus patients. The main goals are to eliminate foods that may upset the digestive system and consume foods that will help patients stay in shape, as being healthy can help with fatigue, one of the major problems lupus patients suffer from.

MOREFive things to know about exercising with lupus

According to the Lupus Foundation of America and Healthline, here are some items to avoid:

Alfalfa
One of the main foods to avoid is alfalfa. Pills, sprouts and other variations are known to bring about “lupus flares.” Eating it could cause  side effects like muscle pain, kidney problems and immune system issues, among others.

Garlic
Garlic produces a similar reaction as alfalfa. It stimulates the immune system which can lead to flare-ups. However, the side effects of eating garlic are less extreme than the side effects that can be caused by eating alfalfa.

Saturated and trans fats (a.k.a. “bad fat”)
Things like red meat, processed meat, bacon, dairy and others are packed with saturated fats. Trans fats are in sugar-packed sweet foods like cookies and cakes. Limiting or cutting these out of your diet completely will help you lower your risk of heart problems.

Salt
Substitute salt with other options as salt raises your blood pressure. Lupus patients are already at risk of heart diseases.

MORE: Six foods lupus patients might want to avoid

Here are some items to add:

Calcium
Both calcium and vitamin D are important to maintaining your bones’ health. As lupus and steroids are a known cause of bone loss, it’s a good idea to make sure your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D to compensate.

Fish
If you like sushi, there’s good news: fatty fish is your go-to source of omega-3. A Michigan State University study found that omega-3s can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders.

All in all, every patient is different, so it’s best to work with your healthcare team to find out what works best for you.

MOREHow proper nutrition helped one patient’s lupus symptoms.

Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

 

2 comments

  1. Shelly Staniec says:

    I work with alfalfa hay and around lots of alfalfa dust. Could that exposure cause flares in SLE patients also?

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Hi Shelly! I am sorry but we can not really give out any medical advice concerning this issue. Possibly a reader might know something about this. However, we would encourage you to talk with your doctor about it.

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