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What is systemic lupus erythematosus?

The immune system normally fights off dangerous infections and bacteria to keep the body healthy. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system attacks the body because it confuses it for something foreign. There are many autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The term lupus has been used to identify a number of immune diseases that have similar clinical presentations and laboratory features, but SLE is the most common type of lupus. People are often referring to SLE when they say lupus.

SLE is a chronic disease that can have phases of worsening symptoms that alternate with periods of mild symptoms. Most people with SLE are able to live a normal life with treatment

How is SLE diagnosed?

Your doctor will do a physical exam to check for typical signs and symptoms of lupus, including:

No one single test is diagnostic for SLE, but screenings that can help your doctor come to an informed diagnosis include:

Self help
Simple measures can often dramatically improve symptoms of lupus flare-ups and these may include:

> Rest and relaxation
Lupus can be exacerbated by stress and it is very important to lead a balanced life with a protected time built into each day for rest and relaxation.

> Sun protection
Many of the rashes and skin conditions which occur frequently with lupus are exacerbated by sunlight, and it is essen­tial to limit sun exposure. A good qual­ity sunscreen with at least factor 25 protection should be worn.

> Avoidance of unnecessary exposure to infection
Lupus can have an adverse affect on the immune system, and the immune sup­pressing drugs that are often used dur­ing symptom flare-ups can make the body even more susceptible to infection. Clearly we are continually exposed to viruses on the bus, train, in the work­place etc on a daily basis, and short of spending 24 hours a day in a bubble it is impossible to live in an infection-free environment. It is important however to take sensible precautions and avoid those family and friends with obvious known infectious diseases, especially chickenpox.

> Diet
A diet low in saturated animal fat may be helpful in reducing joint pains and inflammation and will certainly improve overall health and wellbeing. There is some evidence to suggest that fish oil supplements may be useful.

Health and homeopathy
George Vithoulkas, the eminent Greek homeopath, describes levels of health. A person whose health is in the upper­most level will experience no symptoms and enjoy perfect health and happiness. As we descend the levels, minor often self-limiting symptoms will develop. These are caused by exposure to environmental in­fluences like viruses or stress. The immune system is able to deal with this and the symptoms resolve spontaneously. At this stage there is merely dysfunction of the organs and the body heals itself. Moving further down the levels, symptoms devel­op which don’t disappear and chronic disease takes hold. Good homeopathic prescribing on a constitutional level can prevent this deterioration in health.

Constitutional treatment
Individuals can be classified according to the characteristic reaction patterns of body. For example, somebody who has a phosphoric constitution will experience pain as a burning sensation. These individuals are very anxious and indeed may become overwhelmed and “burnt out” by their anxieties. The constitutional approach is usually the most effective when treating a multi­system disease such as lupus.

CASE OF SLE - Dr. Vidur Vithal

A woman we’ll call Manjit kaur (original name remained confidential) first came to see me about 8 months ago after being diagnosed with Lupus. Apparently, it had been coming on over the last year. Normally a high energy ‘doer’, she had been extremely fatigued, feeling like she ‘weighed 70kg ’. Then a few weeks before our visit, around the time of a stressful holiday, she woke one morning with excruciating pain throughout her body. It was, she explained, as if her soft tissue was ‘burning’.

‘Lupus’ is short for ‘lupus erythematosus’, which is not a single disease entity, but actually a number of autoimmune diseases that attack various parts of the body. The name is a Latin term dating back to the 13th century referring to the red skin lesions that at the time where thought to look like the bite of a wolf.

While there is a great deal of individuality in the symptom picture, most people do feel pain in their joints. Fatigue, hair loss, sunlight sensitivity, swollen glands, fever, chest pain and a characteristic butterfly rash across the cheeks and nose are often found. There is no definitive test for lupus, but if a person meets 4 out of 11 diagnostic indicators, they are consider to have it.

The 3 main types of the disease are: - ‘discoid lupus’ mainly affects the skin, - ‘drug-induced lupus’ that arises from certain prescription drugs. - ‘Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE is the most common type, making up as much of 70% of the lupus cases. As the name implies, it manifests throughout the body, possibly affecting joints, skin, heart, kidneys, blood vessels or the brain.

It was of this latter form of the disease that she suffered. In fact, about 90% of people diagnosed with the disease are women, usually of childbearing age (though she was somewhat older).

In Manjit's case, the symptoms of her condition first broke through when there were some family stresses, something that she described as a ‘perfect squeeze box’. Around that time, she awoke one morning with excruciating pains. They felt better by soaking in hot baths but would return again.

A tremendous fatigue and brain fog accompanied the pains. Normally a ‘doer’ who needs to move about, she felt the worst thing about the situation a sense of being held back or restrained from normal activity. When I asked her to describe it further, she said it is like she can't breath or break free. Something from the outside was restraining her and making her feel helpless.

She went on to describe a similar experience in her first marriage. “I felt trapped and claustrophobic living with someone I couldn’t get a way from. I was too isolated to break free, but finally escaped.” The situation was so dire that she wondered whether he was poisoning her.

As a child, she also had a claustrophobic feeling living in a home with inattentive parents who left her unprotected from sexual predators. She at once felt vulnerable, yet smothered and restrained, only finding solace in nature where she could be free. Similarly, she described a fear of groups and crowded cities where she felt squeezed, pressed in – and restrained. This state was reflected in recurrent dreams of being chased and feeling alone without help in the face of a huge danger. She has to figure out a means of escape on her own.

As an adult, she doesn’t like being inside. She craves the out of doors, with ‘the wind, the air and the freedom.’ Riding a motorcycle is a particular pressure, making her feel like she is flying. When asked what aspect of nature is most attractive, she unhesitatingly replied that it was ‘the earth, the trees and the birds’. ‘I’m passionate about trees and feel a real connection with the nature,birlds their sounds and movements, their beauty and awareness. 

In understanding the case, its dynamic and the internal conflict were clear. There was a recurring experience of being restrained, trapped, squeezed and smothered accompanied by a sense of being in danger, vulnerable and unprotected. This state arose in her disease, her marriage and her childhood. She needs to escape, to move, to be outside and in nature. This desire was most completely fulfilled when on a horse or motorcycle when she feels like she is flying.

From a homeopathic perspective, the sense of danger and unprotected victimization indicated the need for a remedy from the animal kingdom. Additionally, the contrast between being trapped and the desire to move – specifically, to fly – pointed toward the bird class of animals. In her case, it was not an aggressive bird like a raptor, but something smaller, more defenseless.

Tongue examination it was coated white and she was constipated too. A month after taking the homeopathic medicine namely Sulphide of Antimony “ she narrated After I took the remedy, it was like a tornado permeated me. I could feel it working on me. My energy surged, and my physical momentum feels restored.” At that point, she then began an anti-inflammatory dietary regimen.

At subsequent follow-ups, Manjit continued to report of improvement in her symptoms and sense of wellbeing. But, after about 5 months, although physically she felt dramatically better there was still a lingering issue related to her history of resentment of love.

Focusing on this aspect of her case, the prescription was switched to another remedy from the same class, the Sodium chloride in LM scale. Following up a month later, she told of initially feeling quite irritable and anger toward her mother. This changed after several days into a gentler, less vulnerable disposition and greater intimacy with her current husband.

At present, some 8 months after beginning treatment, she has regained her energy and mental function, her physical symptoms are greatly reduced and she has lost 8 kg. It is too early to speak of her lupus being cured, but it certainly is in remission and she lives her life without restraint. 

Her ANA test is negative now. Homoeopathy has its afficacy to treat such kind of non treatable cases into cureable one. 

CASE 2nd of Male patient suffering from SLE 

Testimonial Video attachment SLE Video https://youtu.be/J2RMZkYYWCE

Dr. Vidur SN Vithal BHMS; DNHE; MD (Hom.)

Internationally renound Homeopath & nutritionist.

 

 

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