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Lupus: Conventional and Alternative Treatments

 

Lupus Ė Conventional Treatments

Once your health care practitioner has delivered the diagnosis of lupus, heíll place you on a variety of prescription medications depending on your individual symptoms.  Lupus is 

such a ďpersonalized disorderĒ that itís impossible to exactly replicate how your doctor may treat your particular symptoms.

Some of the medications, though, heíll no doubt recommend you begin to take immediately.  Donít become alarmed if you see some of them referred to as ďanti-malarialĒ drugs.  The medical community is the first to admit thereís no known connection between malarial and lupus, but this class of drugs is very useful for the skin, joint problems and ulcers of the disorder.  Additionally, it may be beneficial in helping to prevent repeated flare ups of the disorder.

Hydroxychloroquine, which is sold under the brand name of Plaquenil, is the most common of these antimalarial drugs. 

You probably are already taking plenty of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most commonly referred to by the NSAIDs.  Over-the-counter versions of these are Aleve, Motrin and Advil.  Your health care practitioner may also suggest you take aspirin as well.

Another class of drugs which has a good success rate of alleviating inflammation is corticosteroids.  This category of medications can be extremely helpful, but along with the relief comes some serious side effects.  Weight gain is just one of these.  You may also experience high blood pressure because of these drugs.  If you take these drugs, youíre also at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis as well as diabetes.  But more than that, these steroids may also contribute to easier bruising of the skin and a greater risk of developing infections.

Your health care practitioner may also suggest that you take drugs that suppress your overactive immune system.  These are known as immunosuppressive drugs.  Drugs in this class include azathioprine (and is sold as Imuran) and cyclophosphamide, which is sold as the medication Cytoxan.

There are several other medications your health care practitioner may prescribe to keep your immune system under control.  They include:

        Mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept)

        Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)

        Chlorambucil (Leukeran)

        Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)

While all these drugs may appear to be good news to the person suffering from lupus, there is some bad news.  Many of these drugs are also known to have serious side effects.  For this reason your personal care practitioner may not prescribe these for you unless he has exhausted every other avenue of treatment.  One of the most serious of the side effects is anemia and an accompanied lowering of the white blood cell count.  These drugs are also known to increase your chances of developing infections.  But perhaps the direst of all side effects is the increase chance of developing cancer.

Even with all these medications at the disposal of your health care practitioner, you may still discover that your kidneys slowly begin to fail.  As this serious health condition progresses, your health care practitioner may have no choice but to place you on dialysis.  If the kidney problems appear to be permanent, he may also recommend a kidney transplant.

 

Herbal remedies for Lupus

 

If youíve suffered from lupus for any length of time, then youíre probably looking for some gentle ways to help relieve the pain and inflammation of the disorder.  While herbal remedies should never be a replacement for conventional treatment, certain herbs certainly can complement the medications youíre already taking. 

The best way to discover the herbs that could help your symptoms is to consult with a professional herbalist.  But keep in mind that you should also consult with your health care practitioner before embarking on any alternative or complementary treatment.  She can advise you if there may be any interactions among the prescription medications and the herbs.

Meadowsweet.  This herb contains salicylic acid.  That makes it a great alternative to the NSAIDs that you take for pain.  Herbal professional especially recommend it for the pain associated with arthritis, rheumatism and fevers.

Black Cohosh.  This herb helps to relieve the symptoms of arthritis that afflict so many people with lupus.  It helps to not only relieve the pain of arthritis, but also the inflammation.

Borage.  Borage seed oil is another age-old remedy for inflammation, especially when itís associated with a chronic condition like arthritis.  Part of the reason is because itís rich in omega-6 fatty acids that are vital to your bodyís ability to fight inflammation.

Camphor.  This natural remedy provides great relief when applied externally.  Camphor actually numbs the peripheral nerve endings while at the same time stimulating circulation.  Camphor is also a good choice for relieving the redness associated with rashes.

Catís Claw.  This herb is legendary in its treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  It contains a host of natural substances that help to fight inflammation.

Cayenne.  Donít underestimate the power of the pepper.  Itís proven itself in clinical studies for relieving the pain and discomfort of rheumatoid arthritis.  It also contains those marvelous salicylates Ė just like you find in aspirin Ė to add to its pain-relieving potency.

Feverfew.  This herb is most noted for its ability to help relieve the pain of headaches, but itís also impressed the medical community with its ability to relieve inflammation by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme process associated with arthritis.

Lavender.  This herb is a favorite of many individuals for its ability to provide relief of pain and it can work for you if you suffer with the aches and pains of lupus. Itís especially useful as a poultice, too, to help ease the stiffness of your joints.

Oregano.  Yes, oregano!  Most notably a cooking spice, we seldom view this herb as a healing remedy.  But just consider its resume:  31 known natural anti-inflammatory substances, 28 antioxidants, and 4 known potent COX-2 inhibitors.  This herb really packs a beneficial punch.

Parsley.  This plant is not just for soups anymore!  With its longstanding reputation among professional herbalists in the treatment of rheumatism, as well as arthritis, itís one remedy that bears close scrutiny if youíre suffering with lupus.

 

 

http://www.anniesremedy.com/remedy_use106.php



Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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