First things first…What is Lupus? I know when my family physician told me she thought I may have Lupus, my first reaction was, “what in the world is that?”. Knowing me as well as she did, her simple answer was, “an autoimmune disease, stop at the book store on your way home so you can research it.” Of course she was absolutely right, the first place I went was the book store. This is what I learned…
Lupus is a multi-system, autoimmune, inflammatory, viral disease effecting between 1.5 and 2 million Americans, most are women between 15 and 45 and 80% of them are African American, Asian, and Hispanic. In Lupus the immune system can’t tell the difference between viruses, germs and bacteria and your body’s own healthy tissue. This leads the immune system creating antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue, therefore leading to inflammation, pain and damage any/or all body parts. Lupus is characterized by flares, where symptoms worsen, and then goes into remissions, when symptoms improve.
The most common type of lupus is Systematic Lupus Erythematosus, which attacks several different body organs. Lupus can be drug-induced and caused by using one of over 400 legal prescription drugs. Other types of Lupus include Cutaneous Lupus, which mainly attacks skin and forms a butterfly-shaped rash on the face, and Lupus Nephritis, which attacks the kidneys. Symptoms of lupus include chronic pain, skin rashes, mouth sores, extreme fatigue, mood changes, swelling of hands and feet, nausea, vomiting, depression, anxiety, seizures, fevers, weight loss or gain, chest pain, hair loss, ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, and anemia.
- Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet, since Inflammation is a major part of Lupus
- Eliminating food allergens helps to reduce symptoms
- Eat a whole food diet rich in nutrients, including fresh fruits (especially pineapple), and vegetables, leafy greens and drink fresh green juices, whole grains, oily fish, nuts and seeds.
- Avoid refined sugar
- Eliminate gluten
- A low fat, vegetarian diet is strongly recommended
- Alfalfa-containing or wheat products may aggravate symptoms
- Omit red meat and starchy foods
- Avoid nightshade plants, as they tend to aggravate symptoms; like eggplant, tomatoes, and tobacco
- Add seafood (especially salmon) for good fats
- Vitally important a Good Multivitamin/Mineral
- MSM capsules 800 mg
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine 1000 mg 1200 mg and Glucosamine 1500 mg
- Magnesium 800 mg
- B-complex vitamin 150 mg 3 times a daily
- Folic Acid 400 mcg
- Turmeric (Curcumin)
- Quercetin 1000 mg with Bromelain 1500 mg as an anti-inflammatory
- Evening Primrose Oil 3000 to 4000 mg
- SAMe 800 mg
- St. John’s Wort 300 mg
- DHEA 50 mg daily
- Himalaya LiverCare
- CoQ-10 300 mg
- Massage Therapy
- Restorative exercise, like, yoga, gentle stretches, tia chi, and/or a light stroll
How Does Cannabis Help Lupus?
Pain and inflammation are two major symptoms of lupus, and cannabis helps relieve both, without nasty side effects that prescription medications like prednisone has. Cannabis increases the levels of anti-inflammatory proteins and decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory proteins. Cannabis has also been shown to suppress the immune system. Cannabis also helps symptoms of nausea and abdominal cramping that is often a side effects of commonly prescribed medications, such as Plaquenil and steroids.
Best ways to take Medical Marijuana for Lupus
1. Use cream or gels on achy joints during the day. Don’t worry, it won’t make you high.
2. Vape medical marijuana for pain or other symptoms, don’t drive after vaping if you use a strain that has high levels of THC, you could get a DUI in most states.
3. Eat edibles (see article Homemade Gummy Candy ) or take canna-capsules (see article Recipe for Marijuana Infused Coconut Oil) at night to help with sleep and relieve pain and inflammation.
The Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Lupus
- Charlotte’s Web
- OG Kush
- Granddaddy Purple
- Afghan Kush