LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS

A HOLISTIC THERAPY

By Walter Last

Lupus erythematosus (L.E.) affects mainly young women, usually although it may start already in children and usually continues into old age. Commonly one differentiates between a milder form with only skin problems, cutaneous L.E. and a more severe type with a multitude of distressing symptoms, called systemic L.E.

The first indication of lupus is often a characteristic reddish-purple butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and the cheeks. Such usually symmetrical skin reddening (erythema) may also appear on other skin areas, usually those exposed to the sun, such as forearms and backs of hands, behind the ears, the palms. These lesions usually have well defined borders; they may persist or recur for many years. Eventually these skin patches may become scaly, with shiny grey scales, they dry out and the skin becomes hard and atrophies.

Also the lips and mouth tissue is commonly affected, becoming red and inflamed and eventually ulcerated. Frequently there is loss of scalp hair, generally and in patches (alopecia). Skin lesions may also become oedematous with resulting blistering and ulceration.

In general terms, L.E. is classified as a collagen vascular disease or as an inflammatory connective tissue disorder. Systemic L.E. can display great similarity to rheumatoid arthritis with acute poly-arthritis, but joint deformity is uncommon. Usually there is kidney deterioration, sometimes leading to nephritis and complete kidney failure.

Other symptoms may include inflammation of the heart muscle, lung problems such as pleurisy are common, there may be swelling of the spleen and lymph glands, fever, fatigue, weight loss, anaemia, muscle pain, epilepsy, high blood pressure and stroke. Frequently there are neurological and psychiatric symptoms, especially psychoses and severe depression. Also gastrointestinal problems are usually pronounced.

CAUSES

While the cause of L.E. is not known to conventional medicine, it is largely assumed that a latent virus may become activated by sunlight, chemical exposure or infection. Somehow this is then to trigger an autoimmune response or it may result from unknown causes. Anyway, there is an increase of antibodies against various protein fractions and a resulting inflammation of connective tissue. Overall, however, the immune system is impaired with a decrease in the numbers of white blood cells.

Conventional treatment is usually symptomatic directed towards reducing inflammations and pain and combating lung infections. There are often severe side effects from the commonly used drugs. More recently the artificial sweetener aspartame has been claimed to be a frequent cause of systemic lupus.

Allergies and Deficiencies

In natural medicine it is recognised that the symptoms of L.E. are typical not only of a hidden microbial infection commonly caused by antibiotics and other drugs, but also of long-term hidden food allergies and chemical sensitivities in combination with severe chronic vitamin deficiencies. This makes the close relationship to rheumatoid arthritis understandable that has similar causes.

Patients with systemic L.E. have been shown to have antibodies to numerous food fractions, which generally means that they are allergic to these foods, a finding which is ignored in conventional therapy. In addition, lupus sufferers also have a multitude of incompatibility reactions to foods without showing a direct immunological reaction to these. Finally, it is known that there are frequently drug and chemical related reactions in L.E. patients.

The nature of the chronic multiple allergy reactions in L.E. appear to be determined and modified by superimposed vitamin deficiencies. Niacin or nicotinamide plays the most prominent role, followed by vitamins B1, B6, C and E, in specific cases also vitamins B2, B12, pantothenic acid and folic acid. The most important minerals are zinc manganese, magnesium and selenium.

The recognised disease resulting from nicotinamide deficiency is pellagra. However, a list of typical symptoms reads almost exactly like a description of systemic L.E. Most striking is the appearance of the same symmetric dermatitis on skin exposed to the sun, especially the red-purple butterfly pattern over nose and cheeks. These lesions may later become dry, scaly, brownish, inelastic and atrophic. The inflammation of the mouth tissue is the same with later ulceration; there are the severe gastro-intestinal problems and the neurological and psychiatric symptoms.

However, because of the common coexistence of multiple vitamin deficiencies and multiple hidden allergies, L.E. cannot be cured just by using nicotinamide supplements or making a double blind clinical trial with one or the other nutrient or testing for this or that allergy. With continued L.E. the body usually becomes too insensitive to react to single or limited challenges. Instead, a comprehensive treatment program must be followed.

Patients who followed such a program became free of symptoms and have remained on 'long-term remissions'. However, they may deteriorate again if they adopt a conventional processed food diet. While remissions are common with lupus, these are usually only temporary. Only a permanent improvement in diet and lifestyle can make these remissions permanent.

Hypersensitivity reactions to environmental chemicals are common and include especially petrochemicals as from car exhaust fumes, gas heaters and solvent fumes, but also the emissions from a wide range of plastics, synthetic carpet, rubber, foam mattresses and the formaldehyde from furniture glues, also the smell of mothballs, chlorine and even strong and persistent natural smells as from new pine furniture. Therefore, try to live as much as possible in a natural, unpolluted environment, especially in regard to your home and work place.

CLINICAL STUDIES

Various scientific publications show the great influence of allergies in L.E. One report states that the incidence of allergy in the investigated group of 63 patients was higher than in any other autoimmune disease with the highest rate of different types of allergic manifestations per patient.

There is also a case report of a 36-year old female with severe systemic L.E. She recovered on a one week fast. The sedimentation rate fell from a high 63 to a normal 15 mm and joint stiffness and swellings disappeared. With test exposure to specific foods and chemicals the symptoms temporarily returned.

Another report gives details of 4 patients with full remission on food and chemical elimination diets with another 70 patients on the road to recovery. In addition to allergy testing, high-level supplements have been used in this study. Other reports point to the benefits of a diet low in fat, beef, milk products and calories.

In animal experiments vitamin A deficiency was found to accelerate the development of lupus symptoms. 3 patients with skin lesions flaring up with sun exposure were cleared with additional beta-carotene, while others benefited from several grams daily of pantothenic acid.

Vitamin E supplementation gave very good results, especially with skin manifestations. In one study patients responded well to 900 - 1600 I.U. of vitamin E but not to 300 I.U. Sometimes additional selenium was helpful. In another study all 3 patients who failed to respond to vitamin E had complete clearing of lesions with twice weekly injections of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 for 6 weeks. In one reported case symptoms quickly disappeared when treated with manganese and vitamin E.

A reduction of immune functions is apparent from low levels of thymic factor and a related increase of pleomorphic microbes in the blood of patients with systemic L.E. While not yet acknowledged by conventional medicine, these microbes can change their form and grow from virus-like forms to various bacterial and fungal shapes as reported by various scientists for more than a century.

Anti-inflammatory nutrients have a very beneficial effect on lupus as they have on other inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Two widely used anti-inflammatory nutrients are omega-3 fatty acids as in fish oils and linolenic acid from linseed, and also proteolytic or protein-digesting enzymes, especially Bromelain, the enzyme derived from pineapple. On the other hand, the common polyunsaturated oils from oil seeds and the arachidonic acid in meat have a pro-inflammatory effect.

There is a case report of aggravation of lupus symptoms from using alfalfa. This has also been confirmed with animal experiments in monkeys fed alfalfa sprouts. The cause has been traced to a non-protein amino acid (canavanine).

Quite generally a low-protein diet seems to be beneficial, as various amino acids seem to cause problems if in high concentrations, especially tryptophane and possibly phenylalanine and tyrosine. However, this may just be one of the symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency.

Of a group of 9 patients none had normal gastric acid level, all were deficient and 2 had no acidity at all. The degree of the hydrochloric acid deficiency seemed to be related to the degree of the accompanying vitamin B deficiencies. The main deficiencies caused by lack of gastric acid are in vitamins B1, B12, protein and various minerals.

Of great importance in overcoming the disposition to food allergies and chemical sensitivities are the sanitation of the intestinal flora and the improvement in liver functions. An excellent liver herb with good scientific references is milk thistle with its active ingredient silymarin. Also all bitter liver herbs are good, such as burdock, centaury, dandelion root, devil's claw and gentian.

Periodically courses with cultures of lactobacillus acidophilus and bifido-bacterium have proven to be beneficial with many degenerative diseases and allergies. In addition, many allergies disappear with zinc supplementation.

THE DIET

The main requirement is for a low-allergy diet. This means all the common processed foods must be avoided, especially those with chemical additives. Due to frequent kidney impairment the diet should also be low in meat, and with evidence of kidney disease, conventional protein should be restricted and replaced with additional spirulina and bee-pollen..

The safest foods with L.E. have been found to be brown rice, lentils and other legumes, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds and most nuts, fish and seafood, most vegetables and most fruit. However, use fruit only sparingly and between meals.

While sprouted seeds are strongly recommended, great care must be taken to wash them frequently and discard any deteriorating seeds or sprouts as these as well as bacteria developing under the skins of sprouting seeds can cause allergic reactions. Best eat sprouts after only a short period of sprouting and preferably rinsed with diluted hydrogen peroxide.

For baking you may use flour of rice, lentils, peas, chickpeas, potatoes and also arrowroot, tapioca and sago. Flavour meals with olive oil, tahini (sesame seed paste) and possibly nut butters, but use herbs and spices only after allergy testing. Furthermore, foods may react differently according to our blood group. Try to select your food according to your blood group and metabolic type.

The foods most frequently found to cause or aggravate allergy in L.E., and which should be avoided are: gluten (wheat, rye, oats, barley), buckwheat, sugar and syrup, cows' milk products but possibly also cheese or yoghurt of goats' milk, products containing beef, casein or gelatine, eggs, bakers yeast and brewers yeast, also yeast residues in wine, vinegar, bread, mushrooms, walnuts and also foods contaminated with moulds.

Other foods which were frequently found to aggravate L.E. are asparagus, capsicum, egg plant, paprika, zucchini, onion, garlic, olives, chocolate, peanuts, walnuts, pistachio nuts, mung beans and kidney beans and various herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cola, liquorice, mustard, oregano, peppers, poppy seeds, and sage, also curry, chilli, sauces and seasonings.

Some foods are best limited to about twice a week; these include chicken (without seasoning), tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and citrus. While after sufficient improvement most of the restricted foods may gradually be reintroduced, the major problem foods such as cows' milk and wheat products and sweetened foods are best avoided indefinitely. Also continue to avoid margarine, polyunsaturated oils (except cold-pressed in small amounts), salt and salted food, highly processed food with chemical additives, alcohol, tobacco; use coffee or tea only when well on special occasions.

Drink mainly diluted freshly pressed vegetable and grass juice, for details see Juices in HEALING FOODS. Also experiment to find a suitable herb tea, such as peppermint, anise or lemongrass. Have most of the fluid intake before meals, especially before breakfast. Avoid fluoridated water and toothpaste. 

Preferably do the 8-day Basic Cleanse on apples and vegetable juices. Alternatively, have a 4-day fast on apples or, if rather sensitive, brown rice and test for allergies during the gradual reintroduction of foods. Be aware that various vegetables and fruits may react differently, depending whether they are organically grown or have been commercially sprayed. Tomatoes, zucchini and leaf vegetables usually have been heavily sprayed. For details on allergy testing see Allergies.

One of the most important tasks is sanitising the gastro-intestinal tract with live cultures of acidophilus and bifido bacteria. You make your own yoghurt from soymilk or other seeds or use powdered cultures, see Bacterial Cultures and Garlic.

Supplements

With each meal take a medium potency multivitamin tablet. Additional folic acid and vitamin B1 can sometimes be helpful, and in addition 1 g of vitamin C, 250 mg nicotinamide, 100 mg vitamin B6, 250 mg natural vitamin E as tablet, 10 mg zinc, 5 - 10 mg manganese, 300 to 500 mg of magnesium, 100 to 200 mcg of selenium, several grams of kelp as tablet or powder, 1 tablespoon of ground linseed (grind in blender or coffee grinder and refrigerate).

In advanced condition preferably weekly injections of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, otherwise absorb a vitamin B12 tablet under the tongue daily.

Take 1 - 2 hydrochloric acid-pepsin tablets with meals or 1 - 2 tsp. of diluted hydrochloric acid (for details see Hydrochloric Acid); initially or with main meals also take digestive enzymes.

Any anti-inflammatory herbs are good. Try liquorice, ginger, turmeric, feverfew, slippery elm powder and golden seal. For further anti-inflammatory action take either 1 tbsp. of cod liver oil with the main meal or a capsule of shark liver oil or of fish oil concentrate (e.g. MaxEPA) or black currant oil or evening primrose oil or borage oil with all meals. Just alkalising the body is strongly anti-inflammatory, you may use magnesium oxide or carbonate, potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate, for details see Acid-alkaline Balance.

Liberal amounts of high-quality nutrient concentrates will be beneficial, such as spirulina, barley or wheat grass powder or extract, freeze-dried liver, bee pollen and MSM.

With lung infections or any other infections increase the amounts of vitamins C and A; take propolis tablets and the herb Echinacea. If the breathing passages are involved frequently inhale the fumes from a bottle of tea tree oil.

Increase and decrease high dosages of vitamins gradually before and after cleansing periods and also when initially starting with the treatment. As the condition improves, gradually reduce dosages of supplements to a comfortable maintenance intake.

ADDITIONAL THERAPY

The most effective therapy is likely to be with a Beck-type electronic blood purifier or zapper, preferably combined with a colloidal silver maker, and a magnetic pulser. This is likely to eliminate within a few months all traces of the microbes or agents originally responsible for this condition. For further details see the article on the Electronic Zapper & Magnetic Pulser.

As long as the skin is very sensitive to sunlight protect it from direct exposure. You may use blue light therapy on red and inflamed parts of the skin and orange light on atrophied, scaly patches. Use a coloured light bulb a short distance from the skin for about an hour daily. Exclude other light sources. You may also cover the skin with coloured cellophane, use 2 - 4 layers and expose to a strong light source.

Improve the functions of the liver and intestines with frequent hot castor oil packs over these. Use a woollen cloth moistened with castor oil and keep warm with a hot water bottle for 1 - 2 hours. In addition use reflexology: press the feet wherever you find a sore spot under the soles, but especially in the upper outer part of the right sole for the liver reflex and below the midline near the insteps of both feet for the intestines. For more details see the article on Reflexology

Frequently inhale deeply, tense, stretch or bend while holding the full breath. During daily guided imagery see your skin and yourself as being normal and healthy. See and feel a golden healing energy entering the top of your head and revitalise all glands and organs. Give yourself positive suggestions right after awakening and before falling asleep.

Be careful with exposure to electromagnetic fields and fluorescent lighting, avoid synthetic clothing, preferably have amalgam fillings replaced with plastic composite and dead teeth removed, for more details see Basic Rules and Dental Problems. Spend as much time as possible outdoors in pleasant surroundings and expect to get well.

In all conditions it is essential to use extensive intestinal sanitation and antimicrobial therapy as shown in Candida and the Antibiotic Syndrome.

In summary, the most important steps for overcoming L.E. are:

  1. Avoiding gluten and other food allergens and chemicals
  2. Correct vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  3. Use strong anti-inflammatory measures
  4. Eliminate hidden microbial infestations.

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