1. "Lupus (also known as SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus) is an autoimmune disease. It takes on several forms and can affect any part of the body, but is most commonly attacks the skin, joints, heart, lungs, blood, kidneys and brain. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by a malfunction of the immune system –- one in which the immune system cannot distinguish between the body's own cells and tissues and foreign matter, like viruses. Rather than simply producing antibodies to attack antigens (viruses, bacteria and similar foreign matter), the immune system creates auto-antibodies that attack the immune system itself." from about lupus
Scary, but as my doctor said, "With these test results, your symptoms (skin, joints, etc) should be much worse. You haven't gotten sicker in ten years, so your lifelong prognosis is very good." This is reassuring; my husband has had patients in their twenties die of the disease (usually it would be brain and kidney involvement). And lupus might not have completely caused me to miscarry a 20-week baby seven years ago, but it didn't help. So, I hate lupus even if my manifestation of it isn't 'that bad' for the time being.
image from Scripps website
2. Lupus patients should protect themselves from the sun so much that they need Vitamin D supplementation. This is not an easy feat for me, living in sunny-all-the-time-land and having a big head that no woman's hat will fit on me. One size does not fit all!
3. Please, please don't tell me anything bad about sardines! They are low on the food chain, so they should be very low in mercury. They hopefully aren't overfished, and they actually taste really delicious. I've been eating them every day for lunch. The checker gave me a weird look when I bought 12 cans.
4. 14.5% of lupus patients have a wheat sensitivity while 1% of the general population has one. Am I going to have to get on the gluten-free bandwagon? I was never one for trends.
5. I am going a bit crazy trying to find a good eating plan.There are so many conflicting ideas on this! 'Normal' doctors say stay away from meat and coconut oil because of the saturated fat. Others say that grassfed (spendy!) beef is perfect as well as coconut. And don't get me started with implementing a high-protein, soy-free, saturated-fat free, lots of raw vegetables diet will work with small children in the house. I am basically down to sardines and fresh vegetables (but no nightshade- potatoes, peppers and tomatoes)
6. Sjogren's is the exciting new syndrome I have- also an autoimmune problem. It manifests itself with a general dryness and can be quite serious, but for now it is just my eyes that feel like they are filled with sand. I use artificial tears on sleeping and awakening. So far, so good.
7. I've been doing a lot of 'smiling and waving' at my doctors- some of whom I do not really respect. Who orders a 24-hour creatine urine test without also ordering a protein test on said urine?! And I find that I make medical assistants and doctors nervous. One said, "You've read a lot about this, haven't you?" He was shocked when I knew which drugs he might prescribe. I was interested in being a doctor as a girl, but I just didn't feel like going past Algebra 2 and Chemistry. I'd rather reread a good book and have a cuppa.
I'm sorry for the semi-depressing quick takes. If you have anything to add about autoimmune disorders, I welcome your advice in the comments- but before you ask, I am not taking steroids...thankfully, I am able to focus on natural means to help my symptoms.
find more quick takes at conversion diary