Holistic Lupus Treatment Center in Scottsdale, Arizona
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that causes many symptoms and complications for an individual and their family. The cause of this disease is unknown and its course often varies from patient to patient. It is an inflammatory auto-immune disease of connective tissue (which forms the skin, joints, and muscles), where the immune system is overactive.
Conventional treatment aims at various pathways to block the immune system. This treatment is often necessary to get the disease process under control so that the patient can function. The treatment of lupus with Naturopathic medicine involves the evaluation of the whole body, including how it is affected by inflammation.
Naturopathic treatment of lupus may involve the use of acupuncture, homeopathy, lifestyle and stress counseling, and herbal therapies to address immune system over-activation. Often there is alternative and integrative testing that may be performed to assist with the treatment approach.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues in the body causing a wide range of health issues. The inflammation that occurs with lupus and the attacks on the healthy tissue can affect the skin, hair, brain, joints, organs, and blood vessels. Because symptoms can come and go, many people don’t realize they have an autoimmune response happening. Rather they may think they are simply sick with a virus, or they may have been diagnosed with some other health issue since lupus symptoms mimic those of other diseases.
Lupus Disease Symptoms
Lupus disease symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms are:
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Unexplained fever
- Facial rash presenting in the shape of a butterfly over the cheeks and nose
- Hair loss
- Kidney problems
- Lung problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Thyroid issues
- Skin lesions
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Dry eyes and mouth
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
As you can see by looking at this list, it would be easy to misdiagnose a person with some of the symptoms listed. For example, some of these issues occur with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Others are common with diabetes or arthritis.
Lupus Disease Causes
The medical community at large does not know the causes of lupus. Some claim it has to do with exposure to the sun, infections, or medications a person takes. Others say it is related to genetics and environmental factors.
At the Brio Medical integrative wellness center in Scottsdale, Arizona, we know that there are multifaceted reasons the body develops an autoimmune disease like lupus. We know for example that most disease is caused by one or a combination of these three things:
- Deficiency: The body needs something.
- Toxicity: The body has something in it that it shouldn’t have.
- Allergy: The body is allergic to something.
An autoimmune disease like lupus can develop when there are proteins that are coming into the body that it thinks are foreign. For example, lupus may be caused by leaky gut syndrome, where the lining of the intestine is damaged and food proteins and toxins get into the bloodstream. Because these substances are not supposed to be in the blood, the immune system reacts by attacking them, which creates collateral damage in surrounding tissues and organs. The intestinal wall can be damaged by:
- Food allergies
- Bacterial infections
- Yeast overgrowth (Candidiasis)
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Environmental toxins
- Heavy metals
Lupus Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
Often the medical community treats lupus and other autoimmune diseases by suppressing the immune system. While these treatments may help temporarily, they do not solve the problem, and they put the individual at an increased risk of other health issues.
At LifeWorks Wellness Center we believe in finding and treating the root cause of the disease. As such we do a functional evaluation to help determine what is really going on. We look for whatever may be causing lupus and treat that, naturally.
Because the underlying cause of lupus can vary, each natural treatment protocol is specifically tailored to each individual. These may include a combination of:
- Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)
- Ozone Therapy
- IV Therapy
- Leaky Gut Syndrome Treatments
- Major Autohemotherapy (MAH)
- Heavy Metal Toxicity Therapy
- Lyme Disease Treatment
At least 38 different drugs have been reported to cause a syndrome in humans that resembles lupus, although drug-induced lupus differs somewhat from typical lupus in its clinical and laboratory presentation. The fact that different drugs can cause lupus raises the possibility that environmental chemicals and pollutants might play a role in the spontaneous formation of the disease. Specific drugs implicated in lupus include aromatic amines (e.g., procainamide), or contain hydrazine groups (e.g., hydralazine, phenelzine), and similar compounds are present in the environment in the form of pesticides, plastics, and dyes to name a few.
In an observational study of African Americans living in Gainesville, Georgia who had been exposed to industrial emissions for a long period of time, the prevalence of lupus was 6-fold higher in that community, and the incidence was 9-fold higher; the highest values that had ever been reported.
In addition, patients with lupus tend to have a genetic variation that renders them to acetylate slowly. Thus chemicals like aromatic amines and hydrazines are metabolized by the acetylation pathway slowly and linger in the body causing toxicity. Consequently, individuals who are slow acetylators are at an increased risk of developing lupus from procainamide or hydralazine.
In one case report, three patients with long-standing lupus resolved their symptoms by adopting a gluten-free diet. One of the patients had diagnosed with celiac disease. Two of the three patients also had IGA deficiency. Additional lupus case reports describe resolved or improved lupus symptoms after identification and avoidance of allergenic foods.
Dhea-sulfate levels have been found to be lower in patients with lupus and numerous studies have demonstrated a reduction in disease activity, and in some cases complete remission, during treatment with DHEA.
Testosterone: Levels of testosterone are low in patients with lupus, and the decrease is accentuated by the administration of steroid medication to control lupus in some patients. The treatment of testosterone in the animal model of lupus has produced good results.
Several practitioners have reported that some patients with lupus improved after undergoing an “anti-Candida” program of diet, supplements, and antifungal medications. The diet involves avoidance of refined sugar, yeast containing foods, and total carbohydrates.