Lupus, like most autoimmune diseases, can start to take over one’s entire life. The physical pain caused by flaring arthralgia, the chronic fatigue that makes it difficult to crawl out of bed and the mental fog that leaves you feeling like you’re walking through water are just a few of the areas which can make daily life a struggle.
While there are many pharmaceutical options, most come with side effects that can seem worse than the disease itself, leaving sufferers to search for more natural options to bring comfort back into their lives.
In my personal experience with autoimmune disease, adding the following three natural steps into my life have made drastic improvements to my overall quality of health leaving me with more good days than bad.
Many know the perks of exercise in fighting chronic fatigue, but because of the added inflammation and pain that are associated with lupus, basic exercises like hitting the gym sound more like torture than self-improvement. Yoga, on the other hand, is very low impact and can be done in many variations.
Not only do the stretches relieve inflammation, strengthen the body and battle fatigue, the peaceful meditation that comes with it also lessens brain fog and increases focus. No matter what your current physical health, some variation of yoga should certainly be added to your daily routine if you suffer from an autoimmune disease.
Earthing (or Grounding)
A newer concept in the alternative medicine community, Earthing (also called Grounding) is the basic practice of spending time touching the earth, from lying on the beach to walking around without shoes as often as possible. Studies have linked Earthing to a myriad of health benefits, one of which is the lessening of inflammation in the body. As it is so simple to kick off your shoes once a day, this practice is effortless to incorporate into your life no matter how bad of a day you are having.
As an added bonus, some believe that the higher levels of magnesium in the Earth are absorbed easily through the soles of our feet, leading to an increase in this very important vitamin, so you can perhaps toss that magnesium pill you may be taking daily.
What we eat is dramatically related to our health, and autoimmune diseases, specifically lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome can amplify these effects. Sugary sodas, fast food and limited fats are sure to lead to additional inflammation, fatigue and brain fog. They also worsens the effects on your already taxed glands.
Adding healthy fats, increasing natural fluids (like water and bone broth) and cutting out processed sugars can work wonders on improving the glandular system and regulating our immunoregulatory processes, helping our bodies regain a healthy balance and improving our quality of life. (For more detailed tips on using diet to manage your autoimmune disease, check out Five Dietary Steps to Managing Sjogren’s Syndrome.)
Lupus can really take its toll on one’s entire life but that does not mean we need to just sit back and suffer. By taking our health into our own hands and seeking the myriad of natural ways in which we can improve our symptoms, even the worst cases can turn around leading to a full and comfortable life.