Beating Lupus with Dietary Changes
In 2009, when I was first diagnosed with lupus, specifically Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, I was so upset that I fell into a state of depression. There were days when I could barely make it out of bed due to the pain and extreme fatigue. While I was prescribed medications, I still suffered from joint pain and just learned to live with it.
In May 2014, I suffered a second lupus flare up. Symptoms included extreme fatigue, fever, inflammation and more swelling. I was initially very disappointed and upset, but this time I decided things would be different. I decided I would be in control of the disease, not the other way around.
I knew I didn’t want to be on multiple medications, so I decided to research how food could help my body heal. I started by researching what foods could aggravate my symptoms, and began by eliminating them from my diet. Now, 6 months later, I’m off medications!
3 LESSON I LEARNED:
1. Eliminating meats and dairy products reduced my joint stiffness
2. Eating more raw foods increased my energy
3. Eliminating sugars and processed foods got rid of my migraines
How I Did It:
After eliminating all dairy products, meats and refined carbs, and increasing my fruit and vegetable intake, I quickly noticed how much better I was feeling. Next, I eliminated sugars, natural or man-made, and then decided to eliminate processed foods. I opted for a whole-foods diet. I ate based on foods that have been shown to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and improve joint health. I did learn that some foods could be healthy in one way, but detrimental to me in another. I evaluate any new foods by paying close attention to how my body reacts. One thing is for sure, my dietary changes not only helped keep my symptoms at bay, but have also improved my outlook on life!
What is there to lose?
Yes, it takes commitment and determination to embark on such a journey, but what is there to lose? I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome this. I wanted to prove to myself that I have lupus but lupus does not have me. So far, the disease does not define me, and it is not what drives me anymore; instead, I am driven by the desire to live as my healthiest, optimal self, every day.
What is lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body’s tissues, causing inflammation, swelling, pain and damage. Some symptoms include extreme fatigue, joint pain, fever, and in some people, a “butterfly” rash in the face.