Lupus: Healthy Eating

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Lupus: Healthy Eating

Topic Overview

To date, no diet is known to cure, prevent, or relieve lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) symptoms. But poor nutrition makes it harder for your body to battle chronic illness. To ensure that you have a healthful, balanced diet, your doctor may oversee your food intake or refer you to a registered dietitian. Consider the following tips when planning your daily diet:

  • Avoid or cut down on caffeine. Reducing caffeine intake improves sleep and can diminish the stomach upset caused by some of the drugs prescribed for lupus care.
  • Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. This type of diet may make you less vulnerable to conditions—most notably heart disease—that are linked with the steroid treatment of lupus.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. If you are taking corticosteroids to treat lupus, you are at risk for developing osteoporosis.
  • If you have serious kidney disease, follow your doctor's or registered dietitian's advice regarding protein and salt intake.
  • Get your vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet should give you enough vitamins and minerals. But you may need supplements if your appetite is poor or to counteract the effects of certain medications (for example, extra calcium while taking corticosteroids). Do not take supplements without your doctor's or dietitian's guidance.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Andrew Swan, MD, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Last Revised May 13, 2011

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