Lupus is a serious disease whose exact cause still remains unknown. It is most commonly diagnosed in women from the ages 15 to 44 years old. It is an inflammatory autoimmune disease caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors in which the immune system targets healthy cells, mistaking them to be infected or diseased.
Since Lupus is an autoimmune disease, it cannot be said for sure which organ it might target, leaving them quite vulnerable to attacks. If left unattended, it can lead to serious complications that may even prove fatal. The most serious risks that are associated with lupus are cardiovascular diseases, kidney conditions, and an increased possibility of atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries). It may attack the nervous system and cause seizures. Common symptoms of lupus include unnatural fatigue, joint pain or swelling, skin rashes- especially a “butterfly rash” forming around the nose and cheeks when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, low-degree fever, chest pain and excessive fluid retention.
Lupus in children is especially difficult to diagnose, since they are at a young age and their symptoms are yet to fully develop. Besides, its symptoms are similar to those of diseases such as arthritis, lyme disease, vasculitis, which might make it difficult for the doctor to diagnose lupus from the outset. This is the primary reason why children sometimes have to go longer with the disease undiagnosed than adults. There is no known cure available for lupus as of yet, but there are many effective treatments that can help a patient control his/her condition and lead a normal life.
If your child has lupus, here is what you can do to help out effectively at home.
Note: Lupus is a serious condition and should be treated as such. It requires professional medical treatment and home remedies should be used as an accompaniment.
Children with Lupus: 15 Home Remedies
Turmeric’s principal active ingredient curcumin has clinically proven anti-inflammatory substances and can be very effective in the prevention and soothing of inflammation of various parts of the body, which can prove beneficial to lupus patients. Daily consumption of turmeric can prove very helpful to lupus patients.
How to: Use turmeric in your daily cooking. A great way to ensure that your child consumes turmeric is to include turmeric milk in his or her daily diet. Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk and boil it, sweeten it with some honey give this concoction to your child once or twice daily.
Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory root used to treat arthritic symptoms such as pain or swelling in the joints. It is these anti-inflammatory properties that can help lupus patients as well.
How to: Try to include fresh, grated raw ginger in your cooking and daily meals. A great way to incorporate ginger into your child’s diet would be to juice a 2-inch piece of the root along with some fresh fruit or vegetables.
Probiotics are beneficial gut bacteria that help in healing of the gut, better digestion and nutrient absorption. Some probiotic “good bacteria” even possess anti-inflammatory properties. Including probiotics as an active part of your child’s diet can help with the conditions resultant of lupus.
How to: Increase the amount of cultured or fermented food in your child’s diet; add foods such as yoghurt with live creatures, milk enriched with acidophilus bacteria, pickles, miso and kefir. You can also consult with a doctor and add probiotic supplements to your child’s diet.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Low levels of hydrochloric acid have been associated with lupus. Apple cider vinegar is a great way to replenish your child’s natural balance of hydrochloric acid and to eventually increase its production.
How to: take one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of hot water, and add the juice of half a lemon to it. Give this mixture to your child twice or thrice daily.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Studies have found that substances in foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and help to improve the symptoms of lupus, help blood flow and blood functioning.
How to: Include foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids in your child’s diet, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, brussel sprouts, avocadoes, broccoli, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. You can also consult a doctor and include dietary fish oil supplements.
Regular exercise can help modulate your child’s blood flow, promote blood circulation, prevent stiffness in the joints and fatigue.
How to: Make sure your child gets a healthy dose of exercise daily through walking, jogging, swimming, cycling or through playing a sport regularly.
Coconut fat is good for balancing the immune system, lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar and improving digestion. Incorporating coconut oil and other coconuts products such as coconut milk, coconut butter etc. into your child’s daily intake can tremendously help lupus symptoms he or she might be dealing with.
How to: Add a few tablespoons of virgin coconut oil to smoothies before serving them to your child. Coconut milk can be used in different dishes and desserts and coconut butter can be used as a food spread. However, it is important to remember that these can be quite fattening and unhealthy if used in excess.
Increase Vitamin D intake
A deficiency of vitamin D has been associated with autoimmune diseases and research shows that supplementing Vitamin in a diet can play a huge role in modulating the immune system, thus helping lupus patients.
How to: Make sure your child ingests vitamin D rich foods such as fortified milk, egg yolks, cheese, tofu, soy milk, orange juice, and fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel.
Holy Basil or Tulsi
Holy basil is a natural anti-inflammatory herb which soothes inflammation and regulates blood flow in the body. It is also rich in anti-oxidants and relieves fatigue.
How to: Simply chewing a few leaves daily can be beneficial for your child.
Olive oil is a very healthy choice of oil and has a high concentration of beneficial “good” fats. It can also help with inflammation.
How to: Try to substitute your cooking oil with olive oil, and dress salads and dips with extra-virgin olive oil before serving your child.
Improve sleeping habits
Your child needs 8 to 9 hours of sound, high quality sleep every day to ensure total healing of his or her body and mind, and to ensure proper functioning of the brain.
Avoid foods that are hard to digest
Foods that are hard to digest, such as gluten, foods with added sugar like candies, carbonated drinks, etc. and foods which have trans-fats should be avoided at all costs. These can aggravate inflammation in lupus patients.
How to: Try to control your child’s intake of such unhealthy food, and keep him or her off junk food such as pizza, burger, breads, chips, etc.
Improve intake of Magnesium and Vitamin B rich foods
Magnesium and vitamin B regulate blood sugar and help in circulation of blood. They are also high in fiber and help to digest food better, and work towards repairing damage in joints and relive fatigue. They can reduce autoimmune and inflammatory symptoms associated with lupus.
How to: Include foods such as dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, oats, dates, walnuts and almonds and bananas in your child’s diet.
Juice your fruits and vegetables
A great way to ensure nutrient retention in your child’s body is to accompany his or her daily snacks with a glass of fruit and vegetable juice. This will help his body absorb essential nutrients, relieve fatigue and soothe inflammation.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet to minimize symptoms of lupus
Give your child a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet to make sure help gut issues. Such a diet should include:
- Organic, unprocessed foods.
- Raw vegetables and fresh salads.
- Cold pressed juices.
- Anti-oxidant rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, onions, asparagus, blueberries, and avocado.
- Lean meats and dairy products.
It is important to put your children on a healthy path right from the childhood so that they can become used to such a lifestyle and do not face difficulties adjusting to these habits later in life. Familiarizing your child with a clearly thought out and constructed diet plan, making sure he or she gets enough exercise and drinks plenty of water are some small but effective ways in which you can treat lupus at home.