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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lupus - Vitamin D Study

A Study - Vitamin D and Lupus

Vitamin D Deficits May Affect Heart Health
Circulation, Volume 117, Number 4, January 29, 2008, pp. 503-511
DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.706127

In this study, the researchers hoped to establish more definitely the relationship between vitamin D levels and cardiovascular disease. Although this study is not specifically about lupus, it may be important information for people with lupus, given the risk factors for heart disease.

Who was studied?
This research involved 1,739 individuals who were participants in an ongoing observational study in Massachusetts. All of the participants were Caucasian, and 55% were women.

What do the results mean for you?
People with lupus are advised to avoid sunlight because exposure to ultraviolet light can contribute to flares. Staying out of the sun, however, raises the risks that they can become vitamin D deficient. Therefore, it might be advisable for lupus patients to have their vitamin D levels checked regularly, and to make adequate vitamin D levels an integral part of their preventive health program. This is also very important because steroids can cause severe osteoporosis, and adequate vitamin D is critical to maintaining strong bones.                                                           
What is Lupus?Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body's immune system starts attacking its own connective tissue. The condition can cause the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs to become inflamed. The damage that results from the disease is relatively unpredictable, cycling between flare-ups and periods of remission. Lupus affects women more commonly than men. Although lupus can be fatal, the prognosis is relatively positive, since survival rates are relatively high in the United States. With routine treatment and medical care, it is possible for lupus patients to live a normal life.
What Causes Lupus?
The precise causes are unclear; however, antibiotics, infections, stress, and hormones can influence the condition. Other genetic and environmental triggers are possible. In any case, research is conclusive that a variety of factors are responsible for the condition. Women are more likely to develop lupus than men. African Americans, American Indians, and Asians are groups that are highest at risk. Patients given medications like hydralazine and procainamide are more prone to drug-induced lupus than individuals who take other medications.
Discoid lupus erythematosus affects the skin, usually appearing as a rash. This type of lupus can become systemic and can affect internal organs, but in most of the cases, it is restricted to the skin only. Discoid lupus is relatively less severe compared to other forms.

Systemic lupus affects the body's organs such as the kidneys, heart, and lungs. Blood disorders commonly result from this form of lupus.

Drug-induced lupus results from the usage of prescription drugs and causes a condition that mimics systemic lupus. The symptoms of this form of lupus usually disappear when the person stops the medication that has triggered the disease.

Neonatal lupus is a rare form of lupus that affects the skin. It can also affect the heart and blood of newborn babies because of antibodies that the baby inherits from the mother. This type of lupus is not systemic; instead, it causes a rash on the newborn that disappears after several months.
Lupus Symptoms - Prevention & Treatment
Most common lupus symptoms include joint swelling, arthritis, body aches, fever, and rashes, anemia, chest pain while breathing, sensitivity to sunlight, hair loss, and kidney problems fatigue that results from hypothyroidism, depression, and difficulty sleeping. Even though there is no cure for lupus, doctors will work with each patient to devise a comprehensive treatment plan that includes medications and physical therapy. The medications that are commonly used to treat lupus include steroids and anti-inflammatory medicines.
What is Inflammation
Inflammation (Latin, inflammare, to set on fire) is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process.

Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen.
Another simple way to limit your vulnerability to the flu is to avoid substances that suppress immune function or promote runaway inflammation — such as alcohol, tobacco, and sugar. … As for other pro-inflammatory habits, it stands to reason that an immune system overburdened by systemic inflammation would flounder at fending off new challenges.

Excessive stress promotes inflammation and affects the immune system’s ability to respond. … But chronic stress accelerates the normal aging process and may be a prime cause of immunosenescence — immunological changes associated with aging that hinder our resilience when challenged by viruses or bacteria. So anything that helps you minimize stress will also preserve your immunity.
Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Connections between vitamin D insufficiency and infectious diseases go back to the 1800’s, when people noticed how tuberculosis patients improved when they traveled to a warm climate where they received more sun exposure. Today there is mounting research confirming this link, and molecular geneticists are studying vitamin D’s capacity to stimulate “antimicrobial innate immunity” to learn how it regulates the genes that control our innate immune responses.

Question: People with lupus are advised to avoid sunlight … can contribute to flares. Staying out of the sun ...  raises the risk of vitamin D deficient. Could the introduction of cod liver oil and omega rich foods generate sufficient amounts of vitamin D?  

Garlic - NOT for Lupus?

If you have lupus … there are certain foods and medications that you should avoid. Two of several substances listed below have shown to induce lupus signs and flares and should be avoided by people with lupus or autoimmune diseases ….” Please visit the site for unedited content.


Bactrim and Septra are antibiotics that contain sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. They are grouped as “sulfa” antibiotics because they contain a substance called sulfonamide. … They are also sometimes given prophylactically (i.e., to prevent infection), especially in people taking immunosuppressive medications. However, it is very important that you avoid Bactrim and Septra, because these antibiotics are known to cause an increase in sun sensitivity and lower blood counts in people with lupus, resulting in lupus flares. … Perhaps the most frequently used substitute is Dapsone (diaminodiphenyl sulfone) to prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia.

Question: Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. [See: 3/22/11 Garlic-Better Than Penicillin]
During a period of remission, could the introduction of a garlic supplement fortify and balance the body’s organs and systems to the goal of eliminating otc and prescription drugs (lethal) side-effects?

Scientists believe that three substancs in garlic—allicin, ajoene, and thiosulfinates—rev-up your immune system by enhancing the activity of white blood cells, particularly macrophages and lymphocytes. Scientists also believe that the sulfur components of garlic help to prevent and suppress cancer in the body. For this reason, garlic is often used as a supplement to combat colds and infections. Unfortunately, the enhancement of immune response is counterproductive in people with autoimmune disease such as lupus, because their immune system is already overactive. As a result, people with lupus and lupus-like signs should avoid cooking with garlic and adding it to food. Of course, a tiny amount of the herb will not harm you, but try to consciously avoid purchasing and preparing foods with garlic.

Question: To avoid the side effects of prolonged prescription drugs used to "treat" lupus, during a remission period, could a garlic supplement be gradually introduced in an effort to protect the organs (heart, lungs, and kidneys) and fortify the body’s systems?

Nutritional supplements may react adversely with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Consult your medical provider before including any supplement in your health routine.

The TONIC Nutritional Garlic Supplement  

The TONIC Nutritional Garlic Supplement© is made from the original centuries-old recipe initially given to prevent colds and flu. Containing  concentrated amounts of garlic formulated to deliver all the power of garlic without garlic odor. Current research shows that garlic is a panacea for the human body. Garlic restores and fortifies – naturally.

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