January 16, 2017

Healing Lupus Diet

By Amanda Box

One of the basic principles of natural medicine states, “All disease must be treated at the root.”  I have yet to find a disease or ailment this did not apply to.  However, so much of what allopathic medicine promotes is pharmacies full of drugs that “control symptoms” and doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem. Although these pharmaceutical drugs can temporarily make life more comfortable, they don’t cure the disease with this band-aid style treatment.

Lupus is one of those conditions in which allopathic medicine strives to control it’s symptoms.  Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that currently affects over 1.5 million Americans, most of which are women.  When someone battles with Lupus, their immune system begins to attack their own tissues, not just foreign invaders as it was designed to do.

lupus root by flickr Photomatt28
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The Devastation of Inflammation

Many of Lupus’ symptoms are caused by the extreme amount of inflammation. Inflammation is used to bring healing quickly to an injured area. But, when the inflammation becomes chronic, as with Lupus, it begins to destroy tissue and damages the body. This inflammation is a response brought about by the extreme autoimmune reaction in the body.

Lupus has no known exact cause.  Diagnoses is typically based a combination of both symptoms and blood work.  The most common lupus symptoms include:

  • Rashes (particularly, a butterfly rash on the face)
  • Poor kidney function
  • Arthritis
  • Heart and lung inflammation
  • Positive blood tests like the ANA (antinuclear antibody)
  • Low blood cell count, low white blood cells or low platelets
  • Anemia

Steroids are usually involved for treating Lupus because they lower the body’s immune system response. Since Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, this can help stop the body from attacking itself.  Unfortunately, this is a temporary solution and, again, doesn’t treat the root cause.  The use of steroids also comes with a plethora of side-effects, some of which include:

  • Weight gain
  • Acne
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Increase in cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Susceptibility to diseases and ailments due to lowered immunity
  • Osteoporosis

Millions of people suffering with Lupus are left believing that steroids are their only option.  They put up with the side-effects because they believe this is their only option.  I am here to tell you that chronic inflammation can be stopped in a safer, more natural way!  And it starts with what you put in your mouth!

The Leaky Gut Connection

Around 12 years ago, I began to hear the term “leaky gut” being used in correlation with health conditions like ADD and Autism.  Then as the years passed, testimonies of “leaky gut” causing  more than psychological issues began to circulate in natural medicine health circles.  It has now been suggested that this severe digestive disturbance is a major factor in autoimmune disorder like Lupus.  Other conditions associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome include:

  • IBS
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Celiac Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

I personally believe that the majority of people suffering with Lupus have Leaky Gut Syndrome.  And if they didn’t begin with it, they will likely develop it due to years of inflammation and pharmaceutical drug use.

When you understand what a leaky gut does to the body, it makes a lot sense that it is a large contributing factor.  Our intestines are meant to be a barrier that protects microbes, undigested food and toxic chemicals from entering into our bloodstream and circulating through the body. But when the intestines become inflamed, Leaky Gut Syndrome begins and sets off an immune system response.

Leaky gut2 fix by flickr ian boyd
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This inflammation of the gut can be caused by:

  • Parasites
  • Ingesting toxic chemicals
  • Improper bacteria in the gut
  • Antibiotic use
  • NSAID drugs
  • Food allergies
  • High sugar intake
  • Intestinal infections
  • Chronic candida overgrowth

Once the intestines are inflamed, the mucosal wall is damaged and becomes permeable.  This allows the microbes, food particles and toxic chemicals to pass through the wall and out into the bloodstream.  Hence the name, Leaky Gut Syndrome.

The body sees these particles as foreign invaders and the immune system goes to work. Inflammation is the autoimmune response and causes even more stress on your system.  The little battles are starting to be ignored, like filtering out the blood, calming inflamed areas of the body, fighting bacteria, regulating the gut, etc.  This process flow can lead to your body fighting itself and an array of autoimmune disorder such as Lupus. Inflammation, allergic reactions and psychological issues can result from this internal poisoning.  The good news?

Leaky Gut can be healed and it’s symptoms along with it! Treating Leaky Gut is a multi-faceted approach that requires many different pieces of the puzzle to fall into place.  If each one is utilized, the holes in the sinking ship will plug up and allow the body to return to a more normal state.

Because so much of Lupus is rooted in inflammation, healing the gut can result in giant steps towards a resolution of it’s symptoms! Here are a few of the most agreed upon avenues for healing Leaky Gut and reversing Lupus!

Healing Leaky Gut

Books that address healing Leaky Gut such as, Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha  Campbell-McBride, have taken the nation by storm.  This GAPS (Gut And Psychology Syndrome) diet has become the saving grace for thousands suffering with Leaky Gut and many of it’s accompanying conditions.

I have seen the GAPS diet change the lives of people suffering from things as simple as eczema and allergies to more intense ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia and Lupus.  The results can truly be amazing! However, the principles must be adhered to rigorously over a period of 6 months to 2 years, depending on the severity of the condition.

There are other diets targeted towards healing the gut.  Many of them contain the same principles as the GAPS diet and are designed to soothe an inflamed intestinal tract.  I don’t advocate that GAPS is the only path towards healing.  But my mantra is that I only recommend what I have personally seen work.  I have seen the GAPS diet give people the 180 degree turn they needed in their health!

4 Steps to Healing Leaky Gut

The GAPS Diet can be broken down into 4 main principles:

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