Lupus can be one of the most challenging and complex autoimmune diseases. It is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation and excruciating pain in any part of your body. Lupus is hard to live with on a daily basis – and it can be challenging to treat.
Lupus can strike without warning and present with a myriad of symptoms– making it difficult to diagnose. Estimates suggest as many as 1.5 million people in the U.S. are living with lupus – and many of them are not even be aware they have it. Oftentimes with Lupus, people suffer for years before being diagnosed. Even then, conventional medicine offers no cures and few effective treatments - most often utilizing methods that create more issues than they resolve.
For some people, Lupus causes mild symptoms, while for others, Lupus can be life threatening. Presently, there is no cure for Lupus, but for many people, it can be successfully managed. If you have symptoms that have not been successfully diagnosed or treated and you suspect you might have Lupus, let Water’s Edge Natural Medicine in Seattle help you restore healthier immune function.
Living with Lupus can be hard, but at Water’s Edge Natural Medicine, our naturopathic approach to Lupus can help you manage symptoms and make life with Lupus more livable. Compile your list of symptoms, and call Water’s Edge Natural Medicine in Seattle, WA at (650) 966-4522 or contact us online.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease – where your immune system attacks healthy organs, tissues or cells instead of fighting disease, illness or infection as it normally would do. An autoimmune response typically becomes chronic and can impact any part of your body, but with Lupus, it most commonly attacks your joints, internal organs or skin.
One of the most characteristic and widely recognizable symptoms is a butterfly-shaped rash on the cheeks and nose, but not everyone develops the same symptoms. Lupus symptoms can come and go, vary in intensity and type, and vary widely among individuals. Lupus can weaken bodily function over time and become debilitating and even become life threatening for some people.
The cause of Lupus is unknown, and researchers are finding new clues every day and continue to explore what might trigger Lupus. What doctors understand is that it is a complex autoimmune disease – and like other autoimmune conditions - there can be multiple causes or risk factors. Autoimmune diseases are known to cluster in families, as well as in individuals – if you have one autoimmune disease, you may be prone to have multiple ones. That is why it is important to educate yourself about causes and triggers of autoimmune disease in general – and the different types that can develop.
Some of the recognized risk factors for Lupus, in particular, include:
Age - Many autoimmune conditions like Lupus occur in the second half of adulthood after immune function has begun to decline, but Lupus tends to strike earlier. Roughly 80 percent of people develop lupus between 15-45 years of age – most commonly in their 20s or 30s.
Gender – Even though females tend to be healthier and live longer than men – and are less susceptible to infectious disease in general – they comprise 80 percent of the people afflicted with autoimmune conditions – and a whopping 90 percent of patients diagnosed with Lupus.
Family history – A genetic background of Lupus can be predictive for future generations, but fortunately only two percent of children whose parents Lupus develop the disease. Lupus can, however, cluster in families across generations.
Race – Lupus is 2-3 times more common in African American women as compared to Caucasian women. Asian, Hispanic and Native American women are also more commonly diagnosed with the disease. Of all races, African American and Hispanic women tend to develop the most severe forms of lupus and often get it at a younger age.
Lupus can present with symptoms ranging from joint pain and fatigue to digestive problems and skin issues and will usually manifest differently depending on the individual. Two people with Lupus, examined side by side, will almost always not have the same symptoms. That is precisely why a physician with experience, training and expertise treating Lupus is so essential. Lupus can affect so many different parts of the body, it can cause a wide range of symptoms - and most people with Lupus won’t have all of the potential symptoms.
The most common signs and symptoms of lupus often include:
Many Lupus sufferers also develop problems that affect their skin and hair, like:
Lupus symptoms can change over time and can come and go. Both men and women can suffer the same symptoms.
You probably are asking if these often common symptoms mean you have Lupus. The answer is no. Some of these issues can be symptoms of any number of medical conditions. Your symptoms – taken in context – only inform a possible diagnosis of Lupus.
Our naturopathic approach to Lupus – as well as many other autoimmune diseases - can be life changing. While conventional medicine treats symptoms, naturopathic medicine looks at the person as a whole, assessing factors ranging from hormones to digestive health. Our goal is to enable you to overcome autoimmune disorders like Lupus, utilizing targeted testing and accurate diagnoses that will help us develop a personalized treatment plan to maximize real healing and relief from symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of Lupus may involve the use of acupuncture, lifestyle changes, stress counseling, as well as targeted herbal therapies to address your immune system over-activation. Alternative and integrative testing may be performed to further inform our approach to treating Lupus.
At Water’s Edge Natural Medicine, the course of treating Lupus and its symptoms will vary with each individual patient. We will create a treatment plan designed just for you. We recommend you compile a complete list of your symptoms, medical conditions and medications before your first consultation. We will review your medical history, lifestyle factors, current medications and other health concerns.
We may employ certain blood tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. We will also test your hormone levels – especially thyroid hormones, which have increasingly been linked to autoimmune conditions and can have similar symptom profiles.
Our goal is to utilize healing regimens free of the side effects that come with conventional treatment options. Since your immune system resides in your gut, healing any issues with your digestive system will be an important step, but there are many other approaches, including:
If you are battling Lupus, working with a naturopathic doctor who understands the complexity of autoimmune diseases like Lupus – as well as the complex array of treatment options that can maximize a healthy immune response – is important.
It’s also just as important that your treating physician is familiar with natural health approaches and understands not only the right treatments, but which ones should be avoided. People with Lupus, for example, should avoid certain supplements (e.g., spirulina, echinacea and others) because certain supplements may increase the immune system response and trigger Lupus symptoms. It may also be advisable to avoid salt, excess sun exposure, and other triggers that can make symptoms worse. But not everyone has the same reaction. Everything about Lupus is specific to the individual and must be evaluated individually.
At Water’s Edge Natural Medicine, we offer the most up-to-date and comprehensive testing and treatment to bring renewed health and address the difficult and painful symptoms of Lupus.
If you have been diagnosed or have symptoms of Lupus and have questions, we invite you to reach out to us. We can help, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your symptoms and our methods to restore balance and bring you back to optimal health and normal immune function.
Water's Edge Natural Medicine
1000 2nd Ave, Suite 2920
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (650) 966-4522
Fax: (206) 283-1924
Serving patients in Seattle, WA and the surrounding King and Snohomish County communities including: Queen Anne, Mercer Island, Medina, Bellevue, Redmond, Snohomish, Kirkland, Edmonds.
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