Lupus

Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one of many systemic, inflammatory disorders which fall under the heading of autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one in which your immune system starts to attack the organs and tissues in your body. Ordinarily, your immune system should be there to simply protect you from external invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. It’s not normally there to attack you! Lupus or SLE is an autoimmune disease which can attack many different parts of your body, with varying degrees of severity. Symptoms and their severity therefore usually vary a lot from patient to patient. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, Advance Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic, Hertford is here to help. Many people with autoimmune disease come to see us. Our acupuncture, dietary, nutritional and other lifestyle care is designed to reduce the inflammation found in SLE and other autoimmune diseases. With reduced inflammation, you’ll usually find your symptoms improve too. Why not call Advance Clinic for more energy and get up and go.

What is Lupus? What Causes It?

Lupus or systemic lupus erythamatosus (SLE) is classed as an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmunity happens when your immune system, which normally protects your body from attack by hostile elements such as bacteria and viruses, begins to attack the body’s own cells, tissues and organs.

It is thought that genetic factors only account for approximately 25% of the risk of developing autoimmune disease, including SLE. This leaves about 75% of the risk attributable to non-genetic, environmental factors.

In SLE there is a clear genetic component to the disease. Siblings and identical twins of sufferers have an increased risk of developing the disease. However, non-genetic environmental factors, such as ongoing or previous infections, poor diet and nutritional deficiencies, stress,  and exposure to environmental toxins, appear to play an important role in triggering and maintaining the condition.

It’s also important to note that 90% of lupus sufferers are female.

Inflammation is Central to Lupus

Diagram showing the various symptoms of lupusSLE, like all autoimmune diseases, is characterised first and foremost by inflammation. The inflammation is simply the result of the activity of your immune system attacking your body. And it can attack again and again, practically anywhere in the body and with varying degrees of severity.

The above accounts for the wide-ranging and often confusing symptoms that patients with SLE experience. Some patients barely register that they have the condition, while others experience severe and sometimes disabling symptoms. Everyone is different.

Conventional medical treatment is based on powerful immunosuppressant drugs, especially hydroxychloroquine. Strong side effects can be experienced with these drugs.

A Systemic, Inflammatory Disease: The Signs and Symptoms of Lupus or SLE

As mentioned above, the symptoms of SLE can be wide-ranging, mild or severe and sometimes separated by months or years of symptom-free existence.

The following provides an idea of just how widespread the symptoms of lupus can be:

  1. Worried lady with lupusFatigue
  2. Fever – this can be a manifestation of active lupus, an infection, or even a reaction to your lupus medications (Immunosuppressant medications, for example, can produce a low-grade fever).
  3. Joint and muscle pain – the joint pain especially affects the hands and feet.
  4. Weight changes (loss or gain).
  5. Skin rashes, skin sensitivity to sunlight, as well as discoid skin lesions.
  6. Raynaud’s phenomenon – severe sensitivity of the fingers/toes to cold.
  7. Kidney abnormalities – acute or chronic renal failure and damage (including hypertension, as well as blood and/or protein in the urine)
  8. Mental-emotional symptoms – psychosis, seizures, depression, anxiety, emotional stress.
  9. Lung abnormalities – pleurisy, pneumonia, pulmonary hypertension, lung fibrosis.
  10. Gastrointestinal abnormalities – nausea, indigestion, abdominal pain and bloating,      diarrhoea, constipation.
  11. Cardiac abnormalities – pericarditis, myocarditis.
  12. Blood – low white blood cell counts, anaemia, low platelet levels.
  13. Nervous system abnormalities – migraine/headache, mood disorders, nerve damage, spinal cord damage, delirium, cognitive defects etc.

As is the case with many other autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal (gut) damage and disturbances may well be an underlying and quite possibly central feature of SLE. Healing the gut is therefore an important key to help bring the symptoms of the disease under control.

‘Leaky gut’ or increased gut permeability is a hot topic in autoimmune research. The basic idea is that substances which should stay in the gut, including viruses, bacteria, partly digested food particles etc, instead leak through the gut wall and enter the general blood circulation. Here they are recognised by the immune system as foreign and consequently provoke an immune and inflammatory response. It’s believed that repeated episodes of gut leakiness can create the potential for a disordered immune response, i.e., autoimmunity. Although more research is required to tease out the precise mechanisms, it appears that leaky gut may well be one piece of the jigsaw when thinking about the causes of autoimmune disease, including lupus.

Dietary, Nutritional, Lifestyle and Other Care: How Advance Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic, Hertford Can Help

Women feeling betterAs already pointed out, inflammation is the central fact that underlies lupus and other autoimmune conditions. Incidentally, it also underlies many if not most of the chronic, degenerative conditions found in modern society.

Your Hertford chiropractor is highly-trained (five year full-time degree) and fully qualified to examine you. Usually you’ll come to us having already obtained your lupus diagnosis.

Once you have undergone examination at the clinic, the care we offer is designed to reduce the inflammation that is central to SLE. In doing so, we might well be able to help reduce your symptoms.

It’s important to realise that neither we nor anyone else can cure lupus, or any other autoimmune disorder. However, the treatment strategies Advance Clinic offers may well be able to reduce your inflammation, and therefore your symptoms. It’s even possible that you could reduce the dosage of your medication, though this should always be considered in consultation with your GP or other medical specialist.

Women receiving acupunctureIn relation to lupus, Advance Clinic uses the following treatment strategies:

  1. Acupuncture therapy
  2. Dietary, nutritional and other detailed lifestyle advice

Especially when combined, we have found these strategies effective for reducing the inflammation found in autoimmune disease, including SLE.

Remember it’s believed that about 25% of the risk of developing autoimmunity is due to genetic or inherited factors. That leaves 75% of the risk due to various environmental factors, such as nutrient-poor diets, chronic emotional stress, poor sleep, ongoing gut and other infections, as well as exposure to environmental toxins.

Even where you have an autoimmune diagnosis, the scientific evidence, together with our experience of working with patients suggests that making positive changes in the areas of diet, nutrition, stress, sleep and exercise etc, can potentially have a profound effect on reducing the symptoms of your condition.

Advance Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic, Hertford offers you quality dietary, nutritional and other lifestyle advice and support to help you make improvements to your health, including reduction of any pain and discomfort you’re experiencing.

We’ll support the important lifestyle changes you make with high-quality acupuncture care.

Selection of paleo diet foods on a wooden platterAcupuncture can potentially help reduce your symptoms in the following ways:

  1. By reducing pain and inflammation – both are commonly found in autoimmune disease, including lupus.
  2. By helping to balance immune system activity – more research is required in this area, but some current research suggests that acupuncture can boost immunity when it is weak and also moderate overactive immune responses, as in autoimmunity.
  3. By helping reduce the mental-emotional impact of lupus, whether it be anxiety, depression, stress, brain fog, poor memory or difficulty processing thoughts.

If lupus is making your life a misery, why not contact Advance Clinic today. We’re here to help make your life right again.


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