Some Fish Oil Each Day Keeps The Lupus Away
Posted by Kate W on Friday, June 29th, 2012
Lupus is an insidious disorder. Symptoms vary from person to person and can overlap with many other disorders, making diagnosis extremely difficult. It affects nearly the whole body; your skin, joints, kidneys, brain and other organs can all be affected. Pain and fatigue will plague you every day. I don’t have lupus, but I am intimately acquainted with it. Three and a half years ago, my perfectly healthy 25-year old husband complained of chest pain; three days later he was in the ICU with full-blown double pneumonia. After two years of seemingly nonstop tests and endless visits to rheumatologists, we finally found out what triggered such a catastrophic and quick illness seemingly from nowhere; at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville my husband was diagnosed with lupus. And we’re lucky; without good health insurance, we’d probably still be in the dark.
In the years since his diagnosis, we have both devoted ourselves to finding ways for him to lead the healthiest life possible. There is no cure for lupus, but symptoms can be managed through a variety of strategies. During particularly bad flare-ups, prednisone can help my husband get his pain and inflammation under control. However, long-term steroid use is not a practical or healthy option even if he does feel like he’s being shot by a military-grade pain ray. He also takes hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug which helps ease some lupus symptoms. But it has side effects, and its long-term effects are still unknown, so he is gradually stepping down his dosage under the supervision of his rheumatologist.
One thing we have experimented with is a vitamin regimen to help him deal with issues like his weakened immune system, chronic fatigue, and constant inflammation. Regular vitamin C (in conjunction with cold and flu vaccines) has helped him to remain mostly healthy. A B-complex vitamin with an additional dose of vitamin B-12 helps perk up his flagging energy. And fish oil (which is not jut found in aquariums) eases his joint pain and inflammation. Additionally, studies have shown that fish oil is beneficial to brain health, and my husband believes it helps him to combat the brain fog that makes it difficult for him to speak or function at times.
Until a cure can be found for lupus, we will continue doing what we can to keep my husband leading the most normal life he possibly can. Through ensuring he eats a well-balanced diet rich in the nutrients he needs, and supplementing that with a vitamin regimen that targets his symptoms, we hope to keep him as strong as possible for as long as possible. Even if we can’t find perfect-colored salmon for him to eat, he can still get all its nutritional benefits through fish oil.
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