Having a healthy lifestyle and proper diet is beneficial for people to have a quality life. It is true that not all diseases are preventable, but many complications can be avoided if an individual has a healthy lifestyle and eating the right food that has benefits in the body. However, not all people can benefit on an individual diet plan, and worse, can affect their present complication.
Many people who suffer from different disease and illnesses has restrictions on what to eat. These restrictions always intend not to trigger symptoms and to worsen the complication. However, eating necessary foods could treat a particular disease or may have positive effects on the health.
A specific disease that the symptoms might be triggered by eating certain foods is systemic lupus erythematosus or simply called lupus. It is a condition called when the immune system attacks tissues in different parts of the body. The inappropriate behavior of the immune system can lead to tissue damages and various illnesses.
Before we proceed on knowing what foods trigger the flare-ups of lupus, let us know first about lupus and its symptoms. Experts say that the symptoms of lupus may differ from person to another. Some people have many symptoms, while some have fewer. Symptoms include arthritis, fever, skin rashes, hair loss, nose or mouth sores, fatigue, sensitivity to the sun, and many more. Lupus Foundation of America stated that there are approximately 1.5 million people in the United States who have lupus. 90% of this population is women.
Given the essential information about lupus; we can now proceed on the foods that trigger lupus symptoms. Doctors noted that even though there is no standard diet for lupus-diagnosed patients, however, certain foods may trigger symptoms. Here’s the list.
1. Processed foods
Many people enjoy the convenience of food in a can or from the box. Even though it gives us lesser time to prepare for what we eat, it is still not good if you have lupus. Processed foods have too many unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt. Even on healthy diets, one should skip the salt and instead find an alternative food flavor such as curry powder, turmeric, and alike. Doctors say that eating salty foods can raise one’s blood pressure and it increases the risk of heart disease. Lupus, on the other hand, already puts the patient at a higher risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.
Excessive sugar may also affect a lupus-diagnosed patient. Weight gain alone in people without complications may bring risks of many diseases, what more if you have lupus. Doctors say that weight gain is associated with numbers of heart disease. Saturated fats from processed foods, on the other hand, can raise cholesterol levels that may cause inflammation. These foods include processed meat products, fried foods, red meat, and many more.
Occasions, parties, and even meetings include alcoholic beverages as a social lubricant. Sometimes, alcohol cannot be avoided when getting to know a person or joining a group. Given that alcohol may help you to widen your social connections, it can also affect your health if you have lupus, or even without the condition.
Excessive and heavy drinking can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Lupus-diagnosed patients should stay away from binge drinking which can worsen their health. However, doctors also believe that a small amount of alcohol, wine, in particular, have a good effect on heart health.
On the other hand, many people with lupus have medications to manage their condition. Alcohol can interact with certain medications and may negatively affect health resulting in stomach bleeding, ulcer, and liver damage. Also, the interaction may affect the effectiveness of the medications to the condition.
3. Alfalfa sprouts and garlic
Some doctors have alfalfa and garlic to their top lists because of what can it do to trigger the symptoms of lupus. Given that lupus is an autoimmune disease, it is evident that patients should avoid foods that may affect the immune system. Alfalfa sprouts, for example. This food contains L-canavanine; an amino acid that can activate the immune system leading to increased inflammation. Also, overeating garlic may stimulate the immune system. Garlic has ajoene, allicin, and, thiosulfinates that serves as a pro-inflammatory that triggers the immune system.
Studies have been proven the effects of alfalfa to lupus-diagnosed patients. Patients have reacted symptoms like fatigue and muscle pain after eating alfalfa sprouts. Also, there are significant changes in the patient’s blood test results. In addition, experts noted that eating alfalfa is associated with lupus symptoms and kidney complications.
Given these top three foods to avoid, many doctors have been studying the effects of nightshade vegetables to patients. These include tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, to name a few. Many studies say lupus-diagnosed patients find that they are sensitive to these foods.
As was stated above, a proper diet is essential to people with lupus. It can help them manage their symptoms, and it can strengthen them to fight the disease. That is why we provide a healthy and proper diet for people with lupus. Here’s the list.
1. Calcium-rich foods
Doctors say that the common concern regarding lupus is the patient’s bone health. Lupus medications can increase the risk of patients to have osteoporosis. It is a bone condition that makes it less dense and gets easily break. To prevent such fractures, patients should eat foods that are high in vitamin D and calcium. These foods include tofu, yogurt, low-fat milk, dark green leafy vegetables, and many more.
2. Fish that has high omega-3s
Omega-3s which are fatty acids can protect the heart and reduce inflammation in the body. Eating fish can be an alternative to meat that has a lot of unhealthy and saturated fats. Doctors advice is to eat more salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.
Overall, doctors and dieticians usually recommend foods that fight inflammation. These foods that have anti-inflammatory properties are fish, nuts, olive oil, and some fruits and vegetables. Many doctors agree with the sole purpose of this diet. Its purpose is not to treat the condition per se but to help patients to fight the disease. Changing one’s eating habits is not hard if one has the willingness to live a quality life. Lupus can affect your life negatively, but with a positive attitude, one can live happier and longer.