How Diet and Nutrition Can Help Lupus Patients

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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

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

One of the main foods to avoid is alfalfa.  Tablets, seeds, sprouts and other variations of alfalfa have been linked to lupus flares. Eating it could cause side effects like muscle pain, kidney problems and immune system issues, among others.

Garlic produces a similar reaction as alfalfa. It stimulates the immune system which can lead to flare-ups and similar symptoms to the ones caused by alfalfa.

Saturated and trans fats (a.k.a. “bad fat”)

Food items red meat, processed meat, bacon, whole dairy products and others are packed with saturated fats. Trans fats are in sugar-packed sweet foods like cookies and cakes. Limiting your consumptions of these will help you lower your risk of heart problems.

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 to your diet:

Both calcium and vitamin D are important for 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.

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 you will need 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.