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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 make sure 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—especially 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 medicines (for example, extra calcium while taking corticosteroids). Do not take supplements without your doctor's or dietitian's guidance.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerStanford M. Shoor, MD - Rheumatology
Last RevisedJanuary 14, 2011

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