1. Lupus patients low in vitamin D

    Why you should add this hero vitamin to your arsenal

    Your joints feel frozen solid... your skin is red and splotchy... and you're dragging yourself through yet another day.

    When you've got lupus (a.k.a. systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE), it can feel like you're in a battle with your own body because... well, you ARE. With autoimmune diseases like lupus, your body's immune system attacks its OWN organs and tissues.

    There's not much in the mainstream arsenal to defend against this enemy -- aside from prednisone, a corticosteroid that could make you feel even worse than the lupus.

    But according to a new study, there's a natural way to improve your lupus symptoms -- because vitamin D (a.k.a. the "sunshine" vitamin) can ease your pain and fatigue.

    In the study out of Egypt, 60 lupus patients and 30 healthy controls were assessed for vitamin D deficiency and disease activity.

    After crunching the numbers, the researchers determined that nearly 75 percent of the lupus patients had below-normal levels of vitamin D in their blood, while another 23 percent had levels so low that they were considered vitamin D deficient.

    Now, we already know that about two-thirds of lupus patients are UV light sensitive, meaning that stepping out into the sunshine can trigger or worsen their lupus flare-ups.

    And since your body produces vitamin D when those rays hit your skin, it makes sense that folks with lupus who avoid the sun might have low levels of vitamin D.

    But that's not the whole story -- because the study also found that the lower the participants' levels of vitamin D were, the WORSE their fatigue and other lupus symptoms were.

    Since vitamin D combats inflammation in the body and is also important for a healthy immune system, it stands to reason that getting too little of it could exacerbate an immune system already gone haywire.

    To make matters worse, taking corticosteroids like prednisone over a long period of time can itself cause vitamin D deficiency.

    So, if you're struggling with lupus but don't want the sun to trigger a flare-up, up the amount of vitamin D in your diet.

    This hero vitamin can be found in foods like fish (particularly salmon, catfish, and sardines), beef liver, egg yolks, and mushrooms.

    Just don't look to vitamin D-fortified milk as your fix -- because dairy surprisingly isn't a very good source of D, and undiagnosed allergies to milk may even be CAUSING your lupus!

    To be on the safe side, I also recommend taking a high-quality supplement of vitamin D -- specifically vitamin D3, which is the natural version (as opposed to D2, which is synthetic).

    You can find it at your local health food store, pharmacy, or online for just pennies a day.

  2. Ease lupus without dangerous drugs

    Mainstream meds for this 'incurable' disease can wreck your health

    Q: Two years ago, I was diagnosed with lupus. I took prednisone for about four months, but I'm concerned that the side effects of these drugs are dangerous. Do you have any suggestions regarding natural supplements that would benefit me?

    GR: Lupus (a.k.a. systemic lupus erythematosus,or SLE) can cause fever, joint pains, and skin rash. Just about any "lupus specialist" in the U.S. will say this disease is incurable... and then write out a prescription for prednisone, a cortisone-like drug often prescribed to patients with this disease.

    But a study published earlier this year in The BMJ shows that you can be taking some major risks by filling that prescription -- even if it's just for short-term use.

    Researchers examined the medical records of over 1.5 million Americans -- and of the more than 300,000 people who used corticosteroids for a month or less, they found a litany of scary, health-wrecking side effects.

    For instance, the rates of sepsis (that horrible immune response to a bacterial infection that can kill you), bone fractures, and a life-threatening type of blood clot known as venous thromboembolism also skyrocketed in short-term users, compared to non-users.

    Make no mistake: This is serious business. In the study, corticosteroid users were also admitted to intensive care up to FIVE TIMES MORE than non-users!

    And they were twice as likely to die, too.

    Many of the complaints that get Band-Aided with corticosteroids like prednisone -- not just lupus, but also asthma, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis -- are actually autoimmune diseases. In those cases, you're better off boosting your immunity so it doesn't "turn" on the healthy tissues in your body.

    And since lupus is well known to be accompanied by numerous allergies to both foods and supplements (as well as other things), it's also a good idea to undergo comprehensive allergy testing and desensitization -- along with gastric analysis -- before you get started with any treatment.

    With my patients, I recommend stopping the consumption of milk and other dairy products and avoiding all gluten-containing grains.

    The results I've seen have been fantastic, especially when compared with the results of conventional treatment. Although not everyone has been cured, many patients have seen major improvements or complete remission from their autoimmune diseases.

    In terms of supplements, DHEA has shown to be effective in decreasing the need for prednisone in people with lupus. It's also appeared to have a beneficial effect on overall well-being, fatigue, and energy levels.

    The science behind this can get pretty complicated, so I always recommend you speak to your own doc -- or find one who's well-versed in integrative medicine -- before starting any treatment on your own.

    But if you've got any questions in the meantime, feel free to drop me a line at Every week I choose a new question to answer right here in eTips.

  3. The hidden toxin behind autoimmune disease in women

    Ladies, you're being poisoned at every turn -- and no, your husband isn't behind this one. The mercury turning up in positively everything is the REAL cause of many of the autoimmune diseases mainstream doctors are powerless to treat -- including lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and MS.
  4. Don't trust new Gardasil 'study'

    You'd have to be on the Merck payroll to believe the company's dangerous HPV vaccine is actually safe. And sure enough, the latest study to make that claim was funded by none other than Merck itself.
  5. How not to fight disease

    Millions of lupus patients desperate for some good news are the victims of a cruel hoax instead -- because the first new treatment approved in 56 years might actually be worse than the disease itself.
  6. One new reason to be a fan of tryptophan

    However, tryptophan is one of only a few of these substances that the body doesn't naturally produce. We MUST get it through diet, or we don't get it at all.

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