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Living with Lupus May Mean Changes in Diet

If you're living with lupus, you likely already know there are many things that can cause you to experience a flare-up. Stress, illness and environmental factors all contribute to an increase in symptoms. But did you know that an unhealthy diet can also be a trigger of lupus flares?

Fatty Foods

Foods high in cholesterol, trans fat and saturated fats have been found to increase inflammation levels in the body, which can cause your lupus to flare. Potentially risky foods include fried foods, creamed soups, creamed sauces, red meat and processed meat like deli meat, pepperoni, bacon and sausage. High-fat dairy products like whole milk, butter, some cheeses and ice cream can also contribute to inflammation.

Switch to low-fat dairy options, lean meats, chicken, turkey and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, mackerel and salmon.

Avoid Alfalfa, Too

Some researchers believe that people with lupus should avoid alfalfa sprouts and garlic, too. This is because alfalfa sprouts contain the amino acid L-canavanine, and garlic contains allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates. L-canavanine, allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates activate the immune system, which can cause intense flare-ups in lupus symptoms. Some people with lupus report feeling muscle pain after ingesting alfalfa and garlic.

Skip (Some) Veggies

Some people living with lupus also report reactions after eating vegetables in the nightshade family. Nightshade vegetables include white potatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant and tomatoes.

Tip: Many of the medications for lupus deplete calcium, which causes weakened bones and can lead to fractures and osteoarthritis. Combat this by adding in calcium-rich dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and beans to your diet instead.

Limit Libations

It is just fine to have the occasional glass of wine or beer, but imbibe too much and you may find you experience an increase in your lupus symptoms. Alcohol can also affect the medications you take to control your symptoms.

Skip the Salt

While salt does not necessarily increase the symptoms of lupus or trigger flares, too much salt can raise your blood pressure, which puts a strain on your heart. People living with lupus have a higher risk of developing heart problems because of their condition, so it is essential to be mindful of your salt intake.

Are you living with lupus? Struggling with flares? Learn more about how Innovations Stem Cell can help reduce inflammation, pain and other symptoms of lupus. Call us today for more information at 214-256-1462.

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