Lupus Diet Tips

Arthritis, Bone & Joint Health, Featured Article, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Special Diets
on June 7, 2011

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, “There is no special diet for lupus, despite the numerous claims.” However, just because no particular diet is shown to be beneficial for lupus sufferers, that does not mean that you can’t benefit from specific diet considerations if you have lupus. While a healthy diet may not work directly on the lupus, it can help improve your overall health and, consequently, your ability to cope with the symptoms of lupus.

A healthy lupus diet. According to the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, "Certain foods, including garlic and alfalfa sprouts, should be avoided by people with lupus." Discuss specific food concerns with your doctor, as there are a number of naturally-occurring chemicals that may be harmful with lupus. Staying at a healthy weight is essential for dealing with many of the symptoms associated with lupus; a healthy diet can make it easier to do this, as well as ensure your body has what it needs to fight off the various attacks lupus wreaks on the system. Make sure to include at least the recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in your diet. Limit refined sugars, high-fructose sweeteners (such as those in soft drinks), white flour and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Water consumption is critical for flushing toxins out of the body and staying properly hydrated.

Lupus supplements. Depending on your source and symptoms, a plethora of supplements and remedies are available on the market. However, many of these may not be effective for lupus, and others may actually be harmful if mixed with more traditional therapies. Most likely your doctor will recommend a good daily multi-vitamin, but ask before adding anything, especially after a change in treatment.

Other diet considerations. Many types of treatment may require changes in diet, especially in regard to alcohol, herbal remedies and even relatively mild stimulants such as caffeine. The symptoms of lupus may change quickly as different systems are affected, and so treatment may change regularly. Discuss the diet and lifestyle implications of any new treatment at the time that it’s suggested, and make sure you’re very clear about what can and cannot be consumed with this therapy.