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15 Ways To Fight Inflammation When Battling Lupus

Written by: Pia King, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

One of the most challenging and difficult aspects of living with a chronic illness like lupus is the lack of understanding about this multifaceted autoimmune disorder. I know from personal experience, as I’m a lupus warrior standing strong and proud in spite of the complexity of daily pain, fatigue, migraines and inflammation and a host of other “I’m so over it” complications. I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have to apologize for things that I need to do to stay healthy to prevent what we call “flares”. My body will always tell me I have over done it and need to rest, and that can be for a little while or even several weeks. I no longer try to figure out a good excuse why I can’t clean up, go grocery shopping, prepare daily meals or hang out with the girls. I stopped worrying about that long ago, because my body needs time to heal.

So What is Lupus


“What is Lupus?” It’s a fair question asked people who are unfamiliar with the disease and those getting diagnosed and hearing the word for the first time.


Lupus is a chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disease. The easiest way to describe this disease is that in someone who has it, the immune system that should be protecting the body turns against itself. Over time, this causes widespread inflammation throughout the body, and chronic inflammation over time damages the body’s organs and tissues.


Lupus can affect almost any part of the body, the organs most affected are the kidneys, heart, lungs, and brain. Lupus can also affect the joints, blood vessels and skin. No two cases of the disease are alike however, so while one person may have his or her skin and kidneys affected, another person may have heart and lung involvement.


Your immune system protects you from germs and other foreign substances that could make you sick by making parts of your body heat up and swell. However, sometimes it goes too far. That’s when such inflammation becomes chronic as a response to stress, junk food, or other lifestyle triggers.


This chronic inflammation is associated with many serious health issues, including autoimmune disorders (lupus), diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis, fatigue, and depression. One of the things that I needed to do to reduce my risk of chronic inflammation was to change my diet and other daily practices.


If you are struggling with chronic inflammation and have an autoimmune diagnosis, start with these ideas for following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

Eating to Reduce Inflammation:

  1. Focus on plants. Most vegetables and fruits are rich in protective compounds like antioxidants and polyphenols. Load up on spinach, kale, berries, and citrus fruit. Some vegetables like asparagus and sweet potatoes also serve as prebiotics that tightens your gut and lower inflammation.

  2. Limit refined carbohydrates. On the other hand, foods like white bread and snack cakes have been stripped of fiber and nutrients. They encourage chronic inflammation and weight gain.

  3. Steam and grill. Your cooking methods matter too. Instead of frying with oil, try steaming with water or grilling with dry heat.

  4. Drink coffee. Moderate amounts of coffee also provide beneficial polyphenols. Just steer clear of the flavored coffee creams that are full of artificial thickening agents and sweeteners. Maybe even lay off coffee for a while.

  5. Stay Hydrated: Drink between 8 glasses to a gallon of water a day. Add a tablespoon of turmeric and beet powder, black pepper and ginger to the water and drink up...

  6. Choose healthy fats. Not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and omega-3 fats help to decrease inflammation. Good sources include olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish. By contrast, saturated fats aggravate inflammation, so go easy on the red meat and whole-fat dairy products. Avoid trans fats.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Inflammation:

  1. Lose weight. You can experience chronic inflammation even if you’re thin. Still, maintaining a healthy weight makes you less vulnerable.

  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise has an overall positive effect. While an intense workout may cause temporary inflammation, it enhances your health in the long run.

  3. Drink water. Staying hydrated is essential. Quench your thirst with green ginger tea instead of soda and juice.

  4. Brush and floss. Bacteria from your mouth and gums can travel to the rest of your body. Aim to brush and floss for at least 2 minutes twice each day.

  5. Use natural cleansers. Check the labels on your household cleaners and personal beauty products. You may be able to avoid potential toxins by buying organic brands or using plain vinegar and baking soda.

  6. Quit smoking and limit alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol aggravate inflammation. Many adults need more than one attempt to become tobacco-free, and combining nicotine therapy with counseling may lead to success this time.

  7. Check your medication. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs have side effects that reduce inflammation. If your doctor recommends that you take aspirin daily or prescribe statins to lower your cholesterol, you can consider this a bonus.

  8. Sleep well. Most adults need about 8 hours of sleep to keep their minds and bodies strong. Go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule and keep your bedroom dark and quiet.

  9. Relax and refresh. Managing stress plays a major role. Find a relaxation practice that works for you such as daily meditation or taking long walks.

You can reduce chronic inflammation by watching what you eat and drink and making other positive lifestyle choices. Protect your well-being and support healthy aging by bringing chronic inflammation under control.


Check out my favorite nutrition specialist @barrettnutrition. If you need me reach me @mswlifellc.setmore.com and getthebook.mswlifecoach.com.


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit Your Whole Life Financial Services or MSW Life for more info!

 

Pia King, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

When human beings experience trauma or significant life stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to begin to unravel. Her greatest passion is bringing healing to people who have been through traumatic/stressful experiences. She believes that the “Almighty can not reach us in a spirit of fear”. She works with her clients, who include youth, adults, and families, to find healthy coping skills and strengthen their self-esteem.


As a Lupus Warrior, she knows that no single approach is the right one for every individual, and so she has been trained in a range of modalities including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), and Stress Management Therapy (SMT), Complementary Alternative Healing, such as, Energy Healing, Aromatherapy and Reiki.


Her educational background includes a BA in Mass Communication and a Master of Social Work from Howard University. She is currently working on her Doctoral degree in Theocentric Psychology/Metaphysical Science at the University of Sedona.


She is a licensed social worker with a concentration in health care services. As a case manager serving the Special Needs community, she realized that many of her clients were not only dealing with complex disabilities and behavioral health concerns, but many were struggling with social determinants, including inadequate housing/homeless, unemployment, food insecurities, anxiety and trauma. With this in the forefront of her mind, she is obsessed with helping people have more access to better mental, behavioral and spiritual health supports.


As a result of her commitment to working with communities of color, Pia launched her private practice six years ago and currently sees clients diagnosed with Lupus and chronic pain.


She is the Executive Producer and Host of Getting Better and Stronger Everyday Podcast and Living Life In Mid Life Radio, speaker, trainer, a published author of several books, including, Healing Grace: Through Light and Love- A Journey with Lupus and The Self-Esteem Journal, In Everything Pray- 30 Day Prayer Journal and Getting Started with Estate Planning. Her books can be found on Amazon, The Book Patch, and Payhip. You can find Pia here or helping individuals step into their passion.

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