Systemic Lupus Erythematosus | Signs and Symptoms | Causes | Natural Alternative Therapies

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

What is Lupus (SLE)?

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is commonly known as lupus. This devastating form of arthritis is autoimmune in nature, whereby the immune system's antibodies mistakenly identify the body's tissue as foreign substances and thereby attacks the connective tissue, causing inflammation and pain. This autoimmune process can affect mostly the skin, joints, blood and kidneys. It may appear suddenly or develop over a number of years and most often strikes children and women under the age of 40. In fact, women are afflicted 10-15 times more often than men.

There are three types of lupus. Discoid lupus affects the skin only. Ten percent of those with discoid will develop systemic lupus, although it is believed that those people probably had systemic lupus with discoid lupus as an initial symptom. Systemic lupus involves the skin, joints, and organs, and is the type of lupus that is usually referred to when discussing lupus. The third type is drug-induced lupus.

Lupus is often a chronic lifelong condition with flare-ups and remission. For others, lupus is life threatening when the lungs, kidneys or heart are attacked by auto-antibodies.

Lupus can be mild or it can be extremely serious, depending on which organs it affects. Earlier this century, lupus was fatal within a few years of onset. Today almost all lupus patients live out their normal lifespan, provided they and their doctors carefully manage their symptoms.

Presently, quality of life is the most important issue for lupus patients. Orthodox medicine has not been terribly successful in offering lupus sufferers relief from painful flare-ups - powerful drugs for pain and for antibody suppression are their best treatments.

If at all possible, it is best to minimize the need for these aggressive measures or to use them in conjunction with specific natural methods. According to Dr. Linda Page, PhD., natural therapies help rebuild a stable immune system, but require many months. In her experience, you may typically feel worse for 1 to 2 months, and then suddenly, as a rule, you feel much better.

The Connection Between Lupus and Heavy Metal Toxicity?

Lupus is one of six autoimmune disorders where mercury and other toxic metals are strongly implicated (the others are Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia). Scientists have exposed rats to mercury, and watched them develop autoimmune diseases like MS and lupus.

Other scientists have found a connection between having higher levels of mercury in your body with a positive Anti-Nuclear Antibodies test (ANA), which is the first sign of an autoimmune process going on in your body that can lead to lupus. Bottom line? An association has been found between mercury and autoimmune antibodies, which could indicate a broader relationship between toxic metals, especially mercury, and other autoimmune disorders.

Do a Hair Mineral Analysis Test to Identify Hidden Toxicities

A hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) is a simple, non-invasive screening test that can be used to find out if you have a heavy metal problem. This is especially useful if your program of supplements and lifestyle changes is not showing consistent positive results or is working a little more slowly than you would like. An HTMA test will help you find hidden toxicities, help you identify the source of exposure to heavy metals, and will suggest ways to balance the essential minerals and eliminate the toxic metals.

Hair Analysis test report

It is important to note that may people get better through detoxification, even when diagnosed with a serious illness such as an autoimmune disease. Removing toxic metals can relieve some of the symptoms of the disease, and sometimes even slow down the progression of the disease entirely.

An HTMA can give you the extra information needed to take additional control of your health. I recommend a hair tissue mineral analysis test once or twice a year as a way to receive information that you can use to fine-tune your program and either hasten your return to health, or lessen your symptoms.

Introducing the Comprehensive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis by Trace Elements Inc.
Hair Analysis Report

A hair analysis usually needs to be obtained through a health care professional (which can be expensive - $200 and up). However, we offer a service that allows you to get a comprehensive hair tissue mineral analysis from a federally licensed laboratory called Trace Elements, Inc. The cost is only $125.

Each hair analysis contains a detailed 10-15 page report from the laboratory itself, which shows bar graph readings indicating high, low and reference range levels for toxic metals, essential minerals and significant mineral ratios.

It also includes a metabolic profile, recommendations for diet and supplements based on individual results.

Unlike some labs that test hair tissue analysis, Trace Elements, Inc. does not wash the hair at the lab. Washing the hair removes some of the loosely bound minerals and can reduce some mineral readings by 50 percent or more. The hair sample is prepared in their licensed clinical laboratory by using a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.

Hair Analysis test report

The Comprehensive Hair Tissue Analysis report details graph results for 8 toxic heavy metals/elements, 15 nutritional minerals/elements, 15 additional elements, 7 significant mineral ratios, and 9 toxic metal ratios. Once you purchase the hair analysis from us, we send you a hair sample kit with instructions on how to take the hair sample.

hair analysis test report

To view a sample of the bar graph measurements for each mineral element and significant ratios, click here or the bar graph images above.

Nutritional Elements: Extensively studied, the nutrient elements have been well defined and are considered essential for many biological functions in the human body. They play key roles in such metabolic processes such as muscular activity, endocrine function, reproduction, skeletal integrity, and overall development.

Toxic Elements: The toxic elements or "heavy metals" are well-known for their interference upon normal biochemical function. They are commonly found in the environment and therefore are present to some degree, in all biological systems. However, these metals clearly pose a concern for toxicity when accumulation occurs to excess.

Additional Elements: These elements are considered as possibly essential by the human body. Additional studies are being conducted to better define their requirements.

Significant Ratios: If the synergistic relationship (or ratio) between certain minerals in the body is disturbed, studies show that normal biological functions and metabolic activity can be adversely affected. Even at extremely low concentrations, the synergistic and/or antagonistic relationships between minerals still exist, which can indirectly affect metabolism.

Toxic Ratios: It is important to note that individuals with elevated toxic levels may not always exhibit clinical symptoms associated with those particular toxic minerals. However, research has shown that toxic minerals/metals can also produce an antagonistic effeect on various essential minerals, eventually leading to distrubances in their metabolic utilization.

To view a sample of the detailed explanation of results patient report, please click here. For a complete overview of the various sections covered in the Comprehensive Hair Analysis Report, please click here.

To view complete details of the elements measured and to order the Comprehensive Hair Mineral Analysis, please click here.

For a list of FAQ’s about hair analysis, please click here.

Once you purchase the hair analysis from us, we send you a hair sample kit with instructions on how to take the hair sample. You then send the hair sample to the Trace Elements lab, and the lab sends us the detailed report/results, which we then mail to you (there is an option for emailing the results as well to save time).

To purchase a comprehensive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (by Trace Elements, Inc.), please click here or call 520-877-2637 for questions and ordering.
Manage Symptoms of Lupus with White Peony Root Extract

An explosion of scientific interest has occurred in a glucoside extract from the white peony root for its ability to treat autoimmune diseases by bringing a dysfunctional, over-excited immune system back into balance.

Studies show that peony glucosides, when used for 5 years or more, can dramatically reduce the rate of people experiencing lupus flares to just 3%, compared with 19% in those using the supplement for less than 5 years or only intermittently, and 35% in those not using it at all.7

White peony root

When peony glucosides are used in combination with mainstream medicines, the results include reductions in disease activity, less need for prednisone and other immunosuppressive therapies, and a reduced rate of infections.8

Lab indicators of disease severity dropped along with lower levels of certain inflammatory markers and lower levels of the characteristic lupus autoantibody, indicating a lower level of lupus disease activity in the body.

In patients receiving only mainstream drug therapy, rates of remission were 6.4%, while rates of partial remission were 29.0%, and those for whom it was ineffective was 64.5%. However, in those patients who received peony glucosides plus standard medical treatment, the results were 20.7% for remission, 51.7% for partial remission, and only 27.6% ineffective after 3 months of supplementation.9

Other studies of peony glucosides combined with Western-style medications reveal similar positive results—faster onset of action, decreased number of side effects, lowered markers of inflammation, and reduced need for immune-suppressive medications.1-3,9-11

Lab studies show that peony glucosides produce these significant improvements in lupus patients through a rebalancing of immune system cells, possibly by increasing the number of cells that suppress inflammation.12,13 And in mouse studies, animals with lupus and its associated kidney disease (nephritis) had a significant reduction in urinary protein content, indicating improved kidney function, following supplementation.14 Supplemented animals’ kidneys also showed less visible lupus-related damage, and serum levels of lupus-related autoantibodies dropped significantly.14

"Reprinted with permission of Life Extension®"

For more information on how peony root extract can be used to safely manage autoimmune diseases, please click here.

Signs and Symptoms of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Butterfly-shaped Facial Rash
  • Disc-shaped Lesions on the Scalp, Face, Neck, and Ears
  • Low Grade Fever
  • Great Fatigue
  • Headaches or Migrains
  • Joint Pain
  • Muscle Aches
  • Mouth Sores
  • Sensitivity to the Sun
  • Weight Loss
  • Enlarged Lymph nodes
  • Anemia
  • Amnesia
  • Nausea
  • Rough, Red Skin Patches
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain
  • Red-purple Areas on Palms and Fingers
  • Tingling, Numbness, Coldness in Hands and Feet
  • Psychosis
  • Presence of Lupus Antibodies
Causes of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Viral Infections
  • Drug Reactions from Hydralizine, Procainamide, and Beta-blockers
  • Bacteria Infections, Especially Streptococcus
  • Extreme and Prolonged Emotional Stress
  • Use of Synthetic Hormones
  • Food Allergies
  • Candida Albicans Infection
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Poor Digestion and Detoxification
  • Toxic Metal and Chemical Poisoning, Including Hair Dyes

Like all autoimmune conditions, lupus is triggered, in large part, by the cumulative toxic insult in the body. Researchers have discovered a variety of conditions that seem to contribute to it or provide attacks. Viral or bacterial infections are leading suspects. Because women are the ones predominantly affected, it also suggests that there might be a link to excess estrogen or a deficiency in androgen – both factors that contribute to autoimmunity. Connections are being found in studies on ultraviolet radiation and lupus.

Other factors that are commonly associated with autoimmune issues and lupus are: stress, digestive problems, heavy metals, chemicals, plastics, vaccinations, food allergies, refined and processed foods, yeast, fungus and mold.

Natural Ways To Address Lupus

Consume a diet that emphasizes natural, whole foods such as legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, non-mercury fish, healthy fats and oils, and nuts and seeds. Eat plenty of low-to-no-mercury cold-water fish. Canned sardines in olive oil are especially beneficial as they are high in omega-3 fatty acids which will reduce inflammation as long as the typical omega-6’s and omega-9’s (inflammatory) are reduced in the diet.

Avoid refined, processed, packaged, and sugary foods as these increase inflammation and feed an overgrowth of yeast and fungus in the small intestine.

Regular exercise is very beneficial for increasing circulation.

Get plenty of rest and reduce stress. Learning to practice self relaxation and/or meditation every day will significantly improve all autoimmune symptoms and disorders. This is very very important as stress is one of the key triggers.

The Importance Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Stephen Wright, MD, Specialist Registrar in Rheumatology, Dept. of Therapeutics and Musculoskeletal Education and Research Unit, Queen’s University Hospital, Belfast, Ireland has evaluated the role of dietary supplementation with low-dose omega-3 fish oils in lupus. Results show that omega-3 fatty acids improve lupus symptoms and show evidence of a protective cardiovascular effect. Stephen Wright concludes: “Low-dose supplementation with omega-3 fish oils in SLE not only has a therapeutic effect on disease activity but also improves endothelial function and reduces oxidative stress and may, therefore, confer cardiovascular benefits.”
Recommended: As mentioned above, the one thing we recommend for anyone who has symptoms of autoimmune is to have a hair mineral analysis test done.

How can a hair analysis help one achieve better health? If we consider that diet is what we consume and nutrition is what we retain, then we can see that discovering what the body needs when it needs it is a valuable tool in creating health.

Hair Analysis Report

A hair analysis can determine which essential minerals the body is needing more of and which toxic elements it needs to eliminate. It also provides valuable insight into the body's metaoblism and what dietary changes would be most helpful for recovery.

For more information and to purchase a comprehensive Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (by Trace Elements, Inc.), please click here or call 520-877-2637.
In Summary

It is of utmost importance to decrease the toxic burden on the body, give proper nutrients to the cells, and effectively decrease inflammation. This will enhance the quality of life for lupus sufferers, no matter what the level of severity.

If there is one thing that seems to be universally true with autoimmune patients, it is that they have a toxic body. The more discomfort you are in, the more pain you are feeling, the sicker and more toxic you are. Inflammation and irritation are classic signs of a toxic body. Although environmental toxins are not the only cause of autoimmune symptoms, they may be what is at the root cause of the other factors such as candida, viral or bacterial infections.

All autoimmune diseases have one thing in common: an underlying autoimmune process. For strategies on how to combat this autoimmune process, please click here for our Autoimune Repair Plan using natural supplement and detoxification therapies.

Additional Useful Information on Autoimmune Disease

What is Autoimmune Disease?
Autoimmunity is, simply put, the process by which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissues and organs.
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Causes of Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases do not have one specific cause; rather, there seems to be a combination of factors involved.
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Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease
Although the different autoimmune diseases vary widely in terms of symptomology, the following are the most commonly experienced symptoms.
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Sterols and Sterolins
These immune supplements have been shown in clinical trials to have anecdotal usage to provide nutritional support for autoimmune diseases.
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Author's Autoimmune Disease Experience
Author shares her own personal experiences with autoimmune diseases and how she found her way back to health.
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Resources and Consultants
This page lists some autoimmune resources and consultants that may be helpful to you.
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