Treatments

TREATMENTS

CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE LUPUS

TREATMENTS

Treatments for Lupus

As Lupus symptoms vary from one person to the next, the treatments that are used will change. The actual treatment used will be dependent on the severity of the condition, as well as how well you seem to be responding to other treatments. In many cases, the treatment for Lupus will be devised by your healthcare professional. On this page, we are going to look at a few of the treatments available. This includes both pharmaceutical and natural products.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication

If you are dealing with a minor flare-up of Lupus, then you may only need to use anti-inflammatory medication. Many of these medications can be purchased ‘over the counter’. This means that you will not need a prescription. The most common anti-inflammatory medications used here are ibuprofen and naproxen.

While anti-inflammatory medication can deal with the inflammation associated with Lupus, that is all it is going to do. It is not going to get to the heart of the problem. This means that it will flare-up again in the future. This means that you need to continue taking more and more medication, which is never going to be an ideal situation to be in. The pain will disappear for a short while, but it is always going to return.

Another issue with anti-inflammatory medication is that your body is going to build up a tolerance to it. This means that you need to take more and more for it to have the same impact on your body. At this point, you are going to be veering into overdose territory, which means that it is going to be dangerous to take. In addition to this, anti-inflammatory medication is not going to be brilliant for your stomach, particularly medication like ibuprofen. It can cause stomach ulcers in some people. Yes, you can reduce the chances of this happening by taking the medication with food, but the risk is always going to be there.

Pharmaceutical Products

Even if you are going to go down the herbal remedy route, it is never recommended that you self-diagnose Lupus. This is because the symptoms can be linked to so many other conditions, many of which can be worse than Lupus. As a result, you will need to speak to your doctor to get a proper diagnosis. They will then prescribe you with one (or maybe more!) different types of medication. The exact medication will be dependent on the severity of your symptoms.

The medications prescribed can be broken down into a few broad categories:

Anti-Malarial Drugs

Some anti-malarial drugs, including hydroxychloquine (often sold under the brand name Plaquenil), is often prescribed as a medication to treat Lupus.

The main purpose of anti-malarial drugs is to help treat the rashes and sores which appear as a result of Lupus. They may also have a limited impact on joint pain. Some lupus sufferers have a higher risk of blood clots, which means this medication will be able to help you out here.

In addition to this, anti-malarial drugs can be used to help protect the organs in your body against skin damage.

Side-effects from using this medication can be quite serious. For example, some people who have used this medication have indicated that their eyes have become damaged, they suffer from severe headaches, or indigestion. For this reason, many doctors will require their patients to undergo regular eye exams to ensure that no eye damage is occurring. This can result in the treatment becoming very expensive, even if you have insurance.

Anti-malarial drugs will not get to the root of the Lupus problem. As soon as you stop taking this medication, the symptoms will flare-up again. That being said, they can be more effective to take in the long term than the anti-inflammatory medication mentioned previously.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are often given as a ‘last resort’ for dealing with Lupus. While there are several different options on the market for corticosteroids, the most common one used is Prednisone.

When you are suffering from Lupus, your immune system is going to be assaulting the healthy tissue in your body. This can cause serious problems, particularly if the lupus causes the immune system to target your heart, brain, kidneys, or lungs. This is where corticosteroids come into play. Their job is to weaken the immune system to the point where it is less likely to attack the healthy tissue. It does a good job at this too, and the majority of people who use corticosteroids will notice a reduction in inflammation in the body. This comes at a price, however.

Corticosteroids, as the name suggests, are steroid-based. Your body is not going to be a huge fan of steroids and they can cause all manner of problems in your system. For example:

  • Thinning of your bones and skins.

  • Serious weight gain

  • Higher blood pressure

  • High blood sugar

In addition to this, your immune system is going to be weakened. This means that you are going to be susceptible to infection. This means that if the corticosteroids are used incorrectly, they can be deadly.

This medication is not designed to be a long-term solution. It is simply there to reduce the chances of a person suffering from serious inflammation. Due to the various side effects associated with using steroid-based products, and you will suffer from those side effects eventually, the doctor will prescribe the bare minimum of steroids for you. You may be using them for a week or so at the most. They won’t give you any more of that because they are, quite frankly, dangerous to use.

Immunosuppressant

These medications are designed to suppress the immune system, much in the same way as the anti-malarial drugs, but immunosuppressant medications are a touch more powerful at dealing with an overactive immune system. There are several different medications on the market which fall into this category. The most commonly prescribed ones are Imuran, Cellcept and Neoral.

It is likely that these medications will be used in combination with the corticosteroids. Again, this is not something that you are going to be using long term. Due to the side-effects associated with using immunosuppressant medication, it is likely that your doctor will only prescribe them in the most serious cases of lupus.

These medications have a serious impact on the immune system. If you take these, then you are going to be at a very high risk of inflammation. This means that the doctor will only prescribe them if they feel like that there is no other option available to you. They will also only prescribe them if you are not suffering from another condition which heightens the risk of infection.

In addition to this, you will suffer from a loss of appetite, low blood count, you may be dealing with liver damage, and you may notice weight gain.

This, again, is going to be a short-term solution to get you through the worst of the Lupus. It is not going to help you in the long term as it does not help to tackle what is causing your flare-ups in the first place. It just helps you deal with them when the flare-ups end up occurring.

You will not be prescribed this medication or corticosteroids if you are trying to get pregnant or are pregnant. This is because it will put you at the risk of birth defects.

Anticoagulants and Monoclonal Antibodies

These two medications are not prescribed as often for Lupus as researchers are still trying to ascertain just how effective they are:

  • Anticoagulants are there to do a single job. This is to prevent your blood from thinning and causing clots. They do not do anything else and they will not help you with the other symptoms of Lupus.

  • Monoclonal antibodies: there are a few different options here. The most common comes under the brand name Benlysta. This medication targets specific cells in the body. This, in many cases, can stop healthy cells from being destroyed. However, it is worth noting that this medication is not suitable for those suffering from severe Lupus. It should also not be used if you are suffering from kidney damage as the side-effects can be quite serious.

Natural Treatments for Lupus

Due to the side-effects associated with the pharmaceutical options for Lupus, as well as the fact that they never really get to the heart of the problem, many people do turn to natural remedies. Most people’s bodies tend to be a bit more accepting of these natural remedies. As a result, side-effects seem to be quite minimal. In addition to this, they can be taken over the long term without any issues. In fact, most of these solutions have been designed to be taken on a long-term basis due to the way in which they work.

Lupura

Many Lupus sufferers have found a supplement known as ‘Lupura’ to be effective when it comes to treating their Lupus. This supplement is designed to provide a person with everything that they need to deal with lupus in just two capsules. While it does not tout itself as a ‘miracle’ product, or even ‘fast acting’ it does tout itself as a safe and effective alternative.

The ingredients that can be found in Lupura are 100% natural, which means that the body is going to be very accepting to them. In fact, many of the ingredients that can be found in Lupura can be found in the foods that you consume. Lupura aims to reduce the worry about constantly adhering to a strict diet when you take this supplement. They do emphasize the importance of consistently taking your dose each day.  

Lupura is designed to help the body heal itself. This is a stark comparison to pharmaceutical products which are designed to suppress the symptoms of Lupus. Most people who take Lupura will take it in conjunction with pharmaceutical medications. They will then gradually wean themselves off the pharmaceutical drugs when it is clear that their condition is improving. As the body repairs itself, you may notice a significant decrease in the symptoms of Lupus. This includes pain, inflammation and fatigue.

Omega-3

Omega-3, as you may well know, is a compound which helps to alleviate inflammation in the body. It is used to great effect when it comes to dealing with immune system disorders. While it may not completely eradicate the most serious of inflammation, it will certainly bring it down to a more manageable level.

Omega-3 should be easy to implement into your diet. It can be found in both oily fish and in some nuts. However, the quickest way in which you can get a decent dose into your diet each and every day is by taking it in a supplement form.

It is worth noting that Omega-3 will only target inflammation in the body. It will not be able to help you deal with the other symptoms of Lupus e.g. fatigue. You will need to deal with that via additional means.

Vitamin C and other dietary compounds

Vitamin C, along with magnesium and potassium, and to a lesser extent fiber, can have a healing effect on the body. It will help to repair the damage that has been caused by your lupus over the years. While these compounds can’t deal with the inflammation that you are currently suffering from, by ensuring that your diet is high in these compounds, you will notice a severe reduction in inflammation going into the future. This is because the tissue damage will have started to heal.

Vitamin C can help to deal with the fatigue issues related to Lupus.

Vitamin D

This does not strictly help with Lupus. However, it is worth noting that those suffering from Lupus are at a greater risk of heart disease if they are deficient in vitamin D. It is, therefore, important that you supplement with Vitamin D in order to lower this risk as much as possible.