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Nutrition and Lupus


I always knew I wanted to help people. Making people feel better, in turn, made me feel better. When I was implementing my rotations at Saint Vincent's Hospital, I worked with a young woman who was diagnosed with lupus. Our personalities clicked right away! Every time I'd see her she would ask when I was opening my clinic, but I always responded saying I wasn't quite ready. She taught me the greatest learned lesson and I'll never forget it, "Stephanie, the best teacher in the world is failure. Find something you love and fail until you're great at it." That is exactly what I did and how I was finally able to open my own clinic. She inspired me to specialize in rheumatology and until this day, she is still a client of mine and an amazing friend.

When you have lupus, it is important to look after your whole body. Mind, body, soul. The body wants nutrients where they need it to be; however, in cases like Lupus, inflammation takes it away from where it should be and instead uses it in areas where it does not belong. This is why it is crucial to minimize/avoid saturated fats, sugar, too much salt, processed foods, and AGEs -as these can cause a cyclic series of increased stress to your allostatic load.

Essentially, diets high in processed foods will lower levels of vitamin B6. It can be replenished with supplementation, but this will not reduce inflammation or cure the initial reason for the deficiency. In my observation, supplementation of vitamin B6 can raise serum levels; however, individual nutrients will not reduce the complex metabolic problem. While vitamin B6 supplementation seems absolutely necessary in the treatment of lupus, this is also evidence that our ailing population needs even more. Therefore, in my opinion and clinical experience, it seems reasonable to consider the fact that deficiencies in vitamin B6 may be a derivative of chronic inflammation. Therefore, we look at meal plans that help to lower allostatic loads and excess inflammation. We look at supplementation that supports your ailments; while, also serving a purpose to lesson your inflammatory reactions. This is completely DIFFERENT for EVERYONE. No one individual with lupus is the same as another. There is no simple answer to your lupus, nor to losing or increasing weight, but you can improve your health by following a sensible eating plan, eating at regular times, and not using food as a compensation for other problems.

Just do yourself one favor, have the right people on your health-care team and on your side.

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