Lupus NewsLog

"Med students are often told, 'Know lupus and you know medicine'. This is because SLE can affect every part of the body. The basic path of lupus, or the factors that cause the disease, get to the core of how the human immune system functions." Dr. Daniel J. Wallace, author, The Lupus Book.

Lupus NewsLog's Mission
As chronic disease rates rise, astute researchers and doctors view lupus as an autoimmune disease model. To them, we lupies are the canaries in the coalmines. At Lupus NewsLog, we're studying their research and educating ourselves. Our medications, our dietary choices, our supplements, daily stresses and challenges, our relationships with friends, family and the quality of our medical care can all influence our health, for good or ill. The better we know what works for or against us, the better we can protect ourselves. Together, we're learning how to out-fox the wolf.
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Frankenfoods, Frank Answers and Fair Play
Eye-catching boxes line store shelves and many look like our old favorites but everything old is new again and nobody’s telling us what’s really in the food we eat. Genetically engineered foods are nearly everywhere and we never got a chance to vote on whether we even wanted them.

Here in America, biotech food products are almost impossible to avoid, whether we want them or not. They’re in flour, spices, herbs, processed foods and snacks. You won’t find them on the labels but they’re in baby foods and animal foods. They’re silently served on airlines, at restaurants, salad bars and in vending machines. We’re fed them in hospitals, school cafeterias and nursing homes. It’s a genetically engineered diet plan, from cradle to grave. Many experts say it’ll probably get us from one to the other a whole lot faster and a lot more expensively.

The frankenfood industry is not held accountable for what their products might do to us and generations of children. Meanwhile, the US government admits over 44,000,000 folks (a deceptively low count) can’t get medical insurance and, for many of us, medical services are unavailable or in jeopardy.

Insurance conglomerates and politicians complain about the rising demand for and cost of healthcare, deciding who to kick off the gurneys and lock out of the hospitals. Meanwhile, disease rates rise and freaky foods may be a factor. The frankenfood kings are in their counting houses, counting out their money while we’re getting shortchanged at the market. They’re not at all concerned but then, they don’t have to eat what they sell.

The industry, its political lobbyists and our politicians have mutual interests and the public health doesn’t seem to be their highest priority. We aren’t corporate executives, their well-funded mouthpieces or politicians with free lifetime first-class health care. We’re real live, really vulnerable human beings with the right to gain knowledge and make our own choices.

We need to know what we’re eating, in order to know what’s eating us. Independent consumer protection organizations like Public Citizen, Environmental Working Group and
The Center for Food Safety are on our side. These groups help fund or run clinical studies and they all have educational websites, with the food and supplement facts we need to know.

Biotech is big business, despite opposition in countries worldwide. Soybeans, maize, corn, tomatos, sweet potatos, bananas, wheat and more are being farmed from genetically altered seeds, along with cotton (which shows up in some new foods) and other crops. GE brings good things to life, for those who cash the checks but, somehow, these biotechies can’t afford to give us answers.

Rather than take up a collection to benefit the communicatively challenged – they really don’t need the money – we can educate ourselves to eat well and wisely. That’ll teach ‘em – their classroom is the marketplace and if we don’t buy, they fail. We won’t make positive changes in food quality and consumer protections until we learn to be selective and make our voices heard. Stomachs, get ready to rumble!

Biotech’s Frankenfoods
Bizarre Living Through Chemistry?

GM (Genetically Modified), GMO (genetically modified organisms) or GE foods (genetically engineered) are a boon to the biotech biz but a puzzlement and a problem to much of the world. It’s troubling to many that technology with such extreme potential to impact our health wouldn’t be put up for a vote or at least openly discussed and clearly identified before it landed on our plates.

The experts in the freaky food field insist genetically engineered foods are good for us but all we know for sure is that they’re good for the growing industry. These folks are busy in the labs, whipping up menus but they won’t share their formulas. Scientists in the real food industry tell us these “enhanced” foods are a recipe for disaster.

Since these frankenfoods are disguised as products we know and love, we might not notice the difference in the flatter flavors of our favorite foods or we might just learn to tolerate them. Our bodies, however, will feel the effects of diminished nutrition and unacknowledged, untracked side-effects.

We’re eating mystery meat, fabricated fruit, virtual vegetables and sneaky snacks, while garbed in cotton devised by designing minds. Even tobacco has been genetically modified. Try to identify these products in your local market – you can’t, without honest labeling.

As for that mystery meat, it may be a fungus among us. Victims Urge “Whole Foods” Supermarkets Not To Sell Quorn Fake Meat Made From Fungus Causes Vomiting, Diarrhea, & Worse, According to CSPI

The genetically engineered food industry should tell us what to look for but won’t. If their products are so good for us, why are we being force-fed everything but the facts?
The industry secrecy gives, “shop till you drop” a whole new meaning and wary American consumers are getting a bellyful. Green groups sue USDA to stop bio-pharm planting with BioDemocracy Spreading in California because folks would rather not plant their crops or choose their menus while blindfolded.

Before you go shopping, digest a little food for thought. AGRICULTURE: Biotech Boom Linked to Development Dollars - Critics NEW YORK, Dec 3 (IPS) – “Even as an international debate rages over the safety and wisdom of planting genetically modified (GM) crops, they continue to spread like wildfire, particularly in developing countries”.

Even if you grow your own, check out the technology in the seeds you buy or you might yourself growing freaky foods in your own back yard. After all, we truly are what we eat and with lupus, that can be freaky enough already.

A Truly Rad Diet – Irradiated Foods
Lupus is greatly influenced by the food we eat and a clean diet of whole foods is best for us. The irradiation of our food, we’re told, increases food safety and promotes health. In truth, irradiation actually strips foods of most nutrients, leaving them essentially useless in a healthy diet. If only that were the worst of it but, this being the real world, it naturally, or unnaturally, isn’t. The irradiating process alters pesticides and chemicals already present in these foods, creating new combinations, with sometimes dire effects.

Escalated tumor rates, miscarriages and kidney damage are reported among animals fed irradiated foods. The range of irradiated foods includes fresh and frozen poultry, pork, lamb and beef, native and imported vegetables and fruits, wheat, eggs, spices, herbs, herb teas and sprouting seeds like alfalfa. Read the facts on food irradiation at OrganicConsumers.org.

On November 25th, 2003, consumer watchdogs Public Citizen and the Center for Food Safety filed a petition with the U.S. government, urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finally ban irradiated ground beef. This action was taken after lab tests detected carcinogenic chemicals and genetic damage in meat samples.

USDA Approves Irradiated Meat for Schools On May 29, 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ignored overwhelming opposition from students, parents and teachers across America. Involuntarily, schoolchildren have been put on the mystery meat diet. Our new government policy seems to be to Leave No Child Behind on the way to the hospital. Come back in 10 or 20 years to see how little Jessie and Joey are doing.

Andrew Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety, says "Allowing our national school lunch program to distribute this irradiated meat would be to use 27 million children as unknowing guinea pigs to test the safety of these products." Read the press release at Public Citizen.

It’s very difficult to know just what we’re buying and although we’re told irradiated foods are originally labeled, those notices don’t always make it to our local markets. Visit Organic Consumers to read Background and Status of Labeling of Irradiated Foods and feel your stomach churn.

Uncle Sam wants to be Big Daddy, ordering our food for us and telling us to clean our plates. This fatherly attitude is going global, as the US pressures other countries to buy American seed and food products for their own citizens’ consumption. After years of discussion and dissent, Leaked Documents Show Britain Ready To Allow Limited GM Crops and other countries are caving in.

Whether we have lupus, diabetes or other diseases to contend with or not, we're better off when we're eating whole, healthy foods, not reinvented versions of them. We were all taught not to play with our food and, with these new games, everybody could lose but the profiteers. Please learn how to protect yourselves by watching what you eat.

Lupus and Our Eyesight – Staring Down the Wolf
Ol’ Wolfie’s got his eye on us and, because of his acute attention, we may be prone to vision problems. Lupus may cause blurry vision, watery eyes, grittiness, floaters, glaucoma or macular degeneration but, with a little foresight and even in hindsight, we can improve our chances. In Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet and articles here at Lupus NewsLog, I’ve written about the advantages of a good diet. Healthy nutrition can improve our lives physically, mentally and make our eyes sparkle plenty.

If we eliminate or at least cut down considerably on foods that rile our wolf, we can ease our inflammation, reduce our symptoms and protect our eyesight. The omega-3 fatty acids found in many foods and in fish oils have proven to be protective. Please see the article, “Lupus and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Oils and More”, on this blog page. Cast your eyes on the links below - they deserve a good, sharp look.

In the USA, January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and you may qualify for a year of free vision care, through EyeCare America's Public Service Programs

Eye M.D.s Urge Eye Exams During Glaucoma Awareness Month American Academy of Ophthalmology
Scientists Link Nutrition, Eye Health from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston

Lupus and the Eye Stephen H. Sinclair, MD and Ernesto L. Collazo, MD
Lupus and the Eye Paul Savage, M.D.

Macular Degeneration Frequently Asked Questions at the Charles Retina Institute.

Antioxidant Values in Fruits And Vegetables Macular Degeneration Support at mdsupport.org

Study Shows Snack Foods May Increase Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Fish May Decrease Risk

What can one do about macular degeneration?

Macular Degeneration Dietary Recommendations DrWeil.com

Is Glaucoma Stealing Your Sight? DrWeil.com

Disease: It’s What’s for Dinner
If folks picked their cattle before dining as they do their lobsters, they probably wouldn’t choose those that drool, wobble, collapse and must be dragged to slaughter. It’s likely this BSE scare wouldn’t have happened if downed or ill cattle weren’t allowed to be sold for food in the first place. December’s mad cow and others under suspicion have been culled but BSE isn’t the only disease that could be served up for dinner.

On December 30, 2003, the U.S. FDA set a ban on selling downer cows for consumption, finally realizing Some Cows Are Too Sick To Kill for dinner. This move takes 1.8 million unhealthy cattle out of the food chain but will send plenty more to your table.

Cattle, poultry and other livestock, along with wild game, come down with illnesses that should make them legally inedible but don’t. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture will still permit diseased animals with cancer, hepatitis, gangrene and other unappetizing ailments into the food supply. Health-conscious Consumers may have a beef with cattle feed once they know what’s in it. If you live with companion animals, read Nibbles and bits of cats, dogs, and sick cows.

If you were a cow, you might go mad too, if you lived deep in manure in tightly packed pens. It might drive you crazy, if you were force-fed antibiotics and hormones, dead cattle, goats and sheep, manure, diseased poultry, rotten eggs and other sweepings from factory poultry pens.

Cattle and other livestock are natural vegetarians that once grazed in grassy pesticide-free fields. Kids like me worked and played among them. Back then, dairies and ranches were family owned but many families have been driven out of business by giant conglomerates. Agribusiness’ disregard for the intrinsic nature of livestock produces unfortunate consequences. The factory farm industry’s motto seems to be “waste not, want not” so nothing, no matter how disgusting and inedible, is thrown away and drugs substitute for cleanliness.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) submitted evidence on Mad Cow Disease The Risk to the U.S. in November 1998 which was largely ignored. In fact, the U.S. Violates World Health Organization Guidelines for Mad Cow Disease: A Comparison of North American and European Safeguards

Insisting a BSE outbreak couldn’t happen in the USA and with the support of Democrats, the GOP Congress Scuttled Meat Protection Measure twice in the last two years, despite those warnings. Of course, most politicians eat a better grade of beef than do common folk.

If this stack of facts makes you rethink your diet, that could be a good idea, especially if you have an autoimmune disease. AI illnesses make us exceptionally vulnerable to disease in our environment and in our food. Please see the studies cited on this website. PCRM is ready to help, with their Mad Cow Disease: Facts, Resources, and Free Veggie Starter Kit and a pantry full of recipes At the very least, you might broaden your options and wind up serving a tastier, safer menu.

Health Bytes 2
FDA Medwatch 2003 Safety Alerts for Drugs, Biologics, Medical Devices, and Dietary Supplements with links for Biologics - Dietary Supplements - Drugs - Medical Devices - Other

Medicare Drug Benefit May Reach Fewer Than Expected Reuters Health News

Vaccines May Be Linked to Soldier's Death, Pentagon
"At Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Lacy was given on March 2 five vaccinations to protect against anthrax, smallpox, hepatitis B, typhoid, measles, mumps and rubella. She then developed pulmonary, neurological and other symptoms and died on April 4 due to a severe lung inflammation caused by the autoimmune disease lupus, the Pentagon said."

Health Bytes 1
Arthritis "Chicken Shots" May Not Work
Analysis Finds Osteoarthritis Knee Treatment Only Slightly More Effective Than Placebo

Arthritis: Ask the Doctor -- Michael Smith, MD -- 10/30/2003
Does arthritis and its painful effects have you searching for treatment options? WebMD senior medical editor Michael Smith, MD, joined us to answer our questions about living with arthritis.

Hydrotherapy Eases Osteoarthritis Water and Land-Based Exercise Programs Improve Mobility WebMD SOURCE: Foley, A. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, November 2003; vol 62: pp 1162-1167

Would you believe in a nondrug treatment that works for arthritis, cancer pain, Parkinson's, and incontinence and improves your strength and endurance? There is one -- physical therapy. Jan. 13, 2003 WebMD

Beating Arthritis: Miriam Nelson, PhD 2002 WebMD Live Events Transcript

Lupus and Red Cranberry Juice
Red cranberry juice is a natural digestive and helps eliminate excess minerals. It also reduces or eliminates bladder and kidney infections and fungal or yeast infections. Read Drug Watch: Cranberry juice reduces bacteriuria and pyuria and Cranberry Juice—A Cocktail for the Heart

Despite its advertising, white cranberry juice does not pack the same benefits. If you use the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines warns that you should limit your intake of cranberry juice or avoid it altogether.

If you’re not used to drinking cranberry juice, its digestive properties may catch you off-guard at first. It can cause the bowels to rumble, loosen and send you rushing to the bathroom. It’s best, if you’re new to this juice, to start with just a couple of ounces, during meals. As your body becomes accustomed, you can increase to about 4 to 6 ounces with each meal.

Lupus and Vitamin C
Vitamin C is absolutely critical for those of us with autoimmune dysfunction and especially with lupus. See FoodBytes, on this page for studies and their links.
Read a rundown on the facts and foods rich in Vitamin C at How Stuff Works.

Read Vitamin C: The bottom line but remember, as I reported in Food Bytes here at LNL, bell peppers are plants in the nightshade family, which aren't generally recommrnded for those of us with fibromyalgia and/or lupus and other arthritic diseases.

HealthScout reports Diet May Affect Lupus but there’s no maybe about it. Clinical studies linked here at Lupus NewsBytes have found our diet can make a tremendous difference in our health, for ill or for good, depending on what we eat.

In Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet, I reported on the Diet and systemic lupus erythematosus study linked in Food Bytes. Researchers have discovered the very real benefits of vitamin C in lupus.

Yes, Vitamin C Boosts Immunity but unlike immune system boosters that turn against us lupies, vitamin C supports us and can help reduce the chance of flares.(scroll full page)

Lupus - Nutritional Support Links
The links below will help us help us decide what to eliminate from our diets and what to pile on our plates.

Skip The Decaf Coffee And Have A Cup Of Tea Instead American College of Rheumatology


Crazy for Cabbage Cabbage - Kale Recipes Green Guide

The medicinal powers of fruits and vegetables USA WEEKEND Magazine

Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2003 – Lupus Gene Found
The Arthritis Foundation has announced the Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2003 including # 4, Lupus gene patterns activated by interferon identified in adults and children. This important discovery can lead to new treatments and it indicates genetic testing may be just what the doctor ordered, to improve diagnosis, predict disease severity and create treatments that really work against this disease.

This is an important discovery for a couple of reasons, just to start – first, isn’t it nice somebody noticed? We’re no longer orphans, folks. For centuries, lupus was an overlooked orphan disease which got little attention, less respect or understanding and nearly no research funding but things have begun to change.

Lupus is now recognized as the key to solving the autoimmune illness puzzle. Deciphering the genetic code in lupus could lead to solving the whole host of autoimmune diseases. Researchers say even cancers might eventually be cured because of knowledge gained from studying lupus.

So, in the second place, our once neglected illness is getting more respect and, most important, lupus research is finally receiving more substantial funding, which can help many more folks than ourselves. Think like a humanitarian - be happy.

Learning to live with lupus is being slowly supplanted by learning to live beyond lupus and, if you’ve read my lupie story, you know that makes me very glad. Maybe we’re not quite ready to put on our boogie shoes just yet – gotta wait for the swelling to go down – but, they’re beginning to play our song.

Rheumatoid Arthritis may be identified and treated before physical damage can twist us into tightly knotted pretzels and give us premature cardiovascular disease. The hardening skin and organ effects of Scleroderma could even be softened.

With more research and better treatments, children may enjoy their youth without the devastating and debilitating effects of arthritis. This will all take time, money and laboratory learning but it is worth celebrating and, whattya know, there’s more, when we give this data a good read.

Dairy Foods– Firing Up Inflammation
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream – or maybe because we ate it. That burning sensation may not be caused by the hot chocolate on that sundae. Those of us with lupus, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and many other conditions generally do not do well on dairy foods. As I reported in Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet dairy products are inflammatories that can heat up our lupus, even into fiery flare.

Milk is not good for everybody, even if they don’t have AI illnesses, as Marketing Milk and Disease explains. With or without lupus, if you cope with abdominal cramping, bloating, flatulence or diarrhea, you could be lactose intolerant. More of us are than we or our doctors realize and yet few of us are ever tested.

The Great Smokies Diagnostic Laboratory explains all about the Lactose Intolerance Breath Test in three good pages, including how it works and how to get it done. It also lists lactose sources you might expect and sneaky nondairy ones you probably would never suspect.

Planet Lactose is an excellent information packed website for us lupies or others, with important info on lactose drops and dairy-laced birth control pills on the homepage and The Really BIG List of Lactose Percentages in all sorts of dairy and nondairy products. Be sure to follow the links to Carper's SuperGuide to Dairy Products and Dairy or Nondairy? The Experts Speak pages.

To get cooking without stirring up digestive distress, you can read the Lactose-Free Low-Lactose Diet Sample Lactose Free Menu at Jackson Gastroenterology. You can pick up more tips for Dealing with a dairy-free diet and Meat Analogs, Dairy Substitutes, And Egg Alternatives With Soy-Free Substitutes. Bon Appetit!

Lupus and Organic Foods – Eatin’ on the Natch
Autoimmune diseases like lupus are hypersensitive to foodborne chemicals and they can aggravate our symptoms bigtime. Organically grown foods lessen the burden on our bodies and allow us to absorb nutrients with less interference. Clean organic foods taste better, too.

EWG’s Food News explains Why reducing pesticide exposure is smart and their Handy Wallet Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists which foods are most tainted and which are cleanest.

Organically grown foods needn't be buggy – our peas shouldn't be crawling off the plate. All vegetables and fruit, organic or not, should be washed because fields and orchards are dirty. Pesticides and other toxins are used to combat bugs and birds. Fields and irrigation water may be contaminated with industrial toxins, urine and fecal waste.

Some in the food service industry say, for healthy people, rinsing all fruits and vegetable over and over with plain cold water without soap is enough to remove most toxins. It may be wiser for those of us with AI illnesses to use 2 or 3 drops of anti-bacterial soap per gallon of water and rinse with 1 cup of white vinegar per gallon of water.

Soft skinned fruits and vegetables can be scrubbed with clean paper towels, and tougher skins with a cloth or a soft brush. First, remove all outer leaves and any browned, blackened or damaged sections. Fruits should be scrubbed before being peeled.

Dr. Andrew Weil answers the question, Do you really need to wash store-bought lettuce or salad greens? and mentions salad bars, too. It’s always healthy to clean up, before we chow down.

Lupus and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Fish Oils and More
Clinical studies indicate omega-3 fatty acids may help with lupus, cancer, depression, heart and lung disease. There is a in-depth article citing several studies, Omega-3 Fatty Acids Vital to a longer, healthier life in LE Magazine at the Life Extension Foundation.

Fish oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids have strong anti-inflammatory properties but they can be as tainted as the fish they come from, with mercury, lead, pesticides, PCBs and other toxins. If you're taking a blood thinner like heparin or warfarin, be very sure to consult with your doctor before taking these supplements.

If you do buy fish oil supplements, they must be distilled to remove contaminants. Look for brands without a fishy flavor, as they’re easier to stomach without bouts of burping. To learn the benefits of omegas and choose a safe fish oil product, visit ConsumerLab.com's Product Review: Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) from Fish/Marine Oils

For more information, read up on Omega-3 Fish Oil at Saint Luke's Hospital. Then, see Omega-3 Fatty Acids at WholeHealthMD.

Sardines, extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables. have plentiful omega-3 fatty acids. Give Safe Sources of Omega-3s a read at DrWeil.com but don't forget what you've read in Lupus and Mercury - Pretty Fishy, here at LNL.

Evening Primrose oil has some omega-3 fatty acids and some studies say it is helpful but, like corn, sunflower, safflower and poppy seed oils, it also has omega-6 fatty acids which, in excess, can trouble the autoimmune system, intensifying our symptoms.

On the topic of oils, mice have developed lupus after exposure to pristane a chemical in mineral oil, which caused severe kidney damage. Mineral oil is petroleum based and petroleum products or byproducts are especially bad for those of us with lupus.

Lupus and Mercury – Pretty Fishy
Fish is supposed to be good for us but, nowdays, when the fish are biting, they’re biting us. Fish such as tuna, whitefish, herring, anchovies, salmon and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids but they’re also contaminated with mercury, PCBs and other toxins.

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin which can stimulate extreme lupus symptoms and hyperactive disease progression. Learn more about the link between lupus and mercury in Study Suggests Low-Dose Mercury Accelerates Autoimmune Disease from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Just one drop of mercury can do enormous harm, with effects lasting decades or longer. California’s Gold Rush was over 150 years ago but the mercury used in refining gold then is still poisoning our waters today.

Children’s Environmental Health Coalition (CHEC) reports on flame retardant or hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) accumulating in animal tissue on land and underwater. This sea scandal isn’t about to cool down despite More Flame-Proofed Fish on our tables.

Environmental Working Group and U.S. Public Interest Research Group went fishing and hooked a big one. Government Seafood Consumption Advice Could Expose 1 In 4 Newborns to Elevated Mercury Levels

They’ve added a large school of proven tainted fish to the FDA's shorter, more optimistic list. EWG/PIRG’s data is confirmed in their report, U.S. Mercury Standard Among Worst in World

EWG lists schools of healthier fish and their chart shows how much of any fish may be safe for us. A pregnant woman is their model but their Fish List is crucial information for anyone with immunity problems, teenagers and children. It lists the good, the bad and the deadly.

Canned tuna’s toxic effects can sneak up on us, stick to our ribs and do us harm. Albacore has nearly three times as much mercury as cheaper tuna. EWG’s chart, How much tuna can you eat safely? gauges how much of which type of tuna we can safely eat per week. It isn’t based on disease but on body weight, so, although it may not be the perfect lupie guide, it’s a better standard than anything else I’ve found.

Lupus, Heart Disease and Strokes
People who have lupus are more likely to have early heart attacks and strokes, according to Lupus and Heart Disease "Heart Disease, Stroke Risk Likely Related to Inflammation From Lupus". I can vouch for that, since I've had a heart attack and strokes, as I wrote in my lupie story at Lupus NewsLog Thrivers. Obviously, I recovered from both or I wouldn't be working for you now but I couldn't really recommend either to anyone.

This risky business verifies the vital importance of a good anti-inflammatory diet, as described in Lupus - Food Bytes, just below this article, here at Lupus NewsLog. Research confirms there are More Heart Disease Risks With Lupus especially for women. Men's symptoms are well-documented but Women's Heart Attack Signs can be so different that we and our doctors may fail to recognize them.

A Finnish Study Links Heart Disease To Dental Problems and Aetna Inc. has suggestions for Simple Steps To Better Dental Health in children and adults.

Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes is a new cookbook from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This little book offers delicious research based recipes and tips, for $4.00 by mail or free download in PDF form. You can download the entire 1.8 mg. booklet at once or in segments. There's also a page explaining PDF, for those who haven't done these downloads before.

Researchers have discovered our hearts' stem cells may be able to regenerate tissue after damage from heart attacks. The information in Heart Stem Cells Identified could lead to new heart disease therapies and better chances of survival.

My, what sharp teeth Ol’ Wolfie has – the better to eat us with. When we bite into a tasty meal, it’d better be good enough to satisfy the hungry wolf within. As I wrote in Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet our best diet options cater to our specific nutritional needs.

Our diet should ease our pain and modify our symptoms. It should be low-calorie, low-fat, high-fiber, organic and plant based. Our bodies may need extra essential nutrients like vitamins E, A, D, C and the B-complex vitamins. Broccoli, spinach, carrots, soy beans dark grapes and green tea are all rich in the antioxidants we need. Our diet must be low in toxins, allergens and anti-inflammatory properties, to do our bodies good.

Avoid food additives, beef, dairy, wheat, corn, and plants from the nightshade family, including tobacco, eggplant, tomatos, potatos, bell peppers, cayenne or hot chilli peppers, red peppers, which inflame our lupus, worsening our pain and other symptoms. The only nightshade exceptions are black pepper, which still isn’t so good for the kidneys and Capsaicin, a hot pepper cream, which can work as a counter-irritant to lessen arthritic pain.

The scrambled lupus menu is being decoded and researchers are getting it down to a science. Diet and systemic lupus erythematosus is the result of a 4 year study at the Division of Epidemiology, Miyagi Cancer Center Research Institute in Japan. Using vegetable oils and not using vitamin C can cause severe SLE symptoms and make SLE more progressive.

Miyagi’s been mighty busy on our behalf. A previous study demonstrated the increased risk of SLE progression in those who eat meat regularly, especially beef and pork. Female systemic lupus erythematosus in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan: a case-control study of dietary and reproductive factors

A Seoul, Korea study revealed SLE prevents us from absorbing necessary antioxidants, especially vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene. Impaired antioxidant status and decreased dietary intake of antioxidants in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

The archives of Andrew Weil, M.D. are a foodie’s feast. Read Eating to Ease Inflammation? with recommendations for an anti-inflammatory diet. We can also eat ginger and turmeric regularly for their anti-inflammatory effects.

In A Raw Food Revolution? Dr. Weil advises on natural toxins in foods and which foods are better raw or cooked, with several foods that trigger lupus flare. Immune System Strikes Twice? addresses nutritional needs in Sjogren’s syndrome with lupus. Check out Dr. Weil’s lupus Q & A archive and the osteoarthritis and aspirin alternatives Q & A.

Diet Linked to Lupus Symptoms from WebMD Health provides information on diet, panzymes, bromelain, carotene, vitamins, DHEA and more. (Some of this info is a little incomplete so don’t miss the latest fishy facts and links here at Lupus NewsLog.) Read Diet & Arthritis then scroll down to the gist of this page, LUPUS - How supplements can help from the 10/2002 Reader's Digest - British Edition

If you have Crohn's Syndrome, read Forbidden Foods for nutritional no-nos. Check out Health Benefits and Concerns - Vegetables from Foodnotes, with dietary suggestions for a variety of medical conditions. Check yourself out with the Safe Food 2000 Quiz on food poisoning and food preparation from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Blogging Our Butterfly
Butterfly migration can be an arduous and chancy trek. For every winged wonder who seeks the sky and survives, countless others fall to earth before their time. Our butterfly was caught up in a internet monsoon but has lived to tell the tale and soar again.

Our stormy season began with our butterfly’s internet migration. Our newsletter was originally called Butterfly News and published by Joanne Forshaw of The Lupus Site, an outstanding, well known hub of lupus education and support. I was its researcher and writer from the second issue, for 2 years. Running both sites, a business and coping with her lupus kept Joanne much too busy so in May, 2003, she passed our butterfly on to me.

From the first click, our new site was hysterically hyperactive, with twitches, glitches and hissy fitches. I have no tricky techie web-wizard training atall, y’all. I'm just a hardworking healthcare writer and I’d been sending out this lupus news and support newsletter on a butterfly wing and a prayer. I was too busy rounding up research and translating it into ordinary english to focus on hocus-pocus.

Server support wasn’t supportive, so the joint was jumping, without a backup chute. The statistics were wildly inaccurate but I was distracted by more obvious errors. Trying with all my might, I still couldn’t overcome that site’s attachment addiction or its raging OCD.

It wouldn’t always send when I wanted but when it did, it just couldn’t stop. In true obsessive-compulsive tradition, it was never quite sure an issue had gone out so it resent each one, in both HTML and text, just in case. It still sends out the last issue on the first of every month, like a robot run amok. I can’t get in to repair it, dismantle it or strangle it – I’ve tried but I’m no internet ninja. It’ll keep it up until the end of the internet or of the world, whichever comes first.

All along, under cover of site darkness, old and new butterfly lovers were blowing in at galeforce, until our cocoon grew too big for its glitches and crashed under its own weight. During our two years at the first site, we’d grown gradually, from a handful of folks into 2500 members. In our new home, nearly 1300 more people joined in only seven weeks, with nary a hint from the site or its server. Leapin’ lupies, y’all – no wonder our cocoon exploded!

Caught in the eye of a rising storm and all at sea, we were mistaken for sharks and harpooned. Now, our lost site floats like a ghost ship, mired in the web’s own Sargasso Sea, luring innocent lupies into limbo. Our site server did not deign to answer my emails and it also torpedoed my email account so I couldn't alert my readers.

Fortunately, I’d bought a site at AuthorsDen.com as a backup and it’s come in mighty handy. There, you can find re-edited and currently updated versions of some of my moldy oldies, newer articles and a couple of short stories, with more to come. Unfortunately, that site can’t handle a mail list for a horde as huge as ours.

It seems we’re also too big a group for free or budget priced mail list servers. Most professional servers are geared towards marketers and charge accordingly. Alas, I’m not in this for the cash and I’m fresh out of rich, adoring relatives over 99 years old. The lottery has lost my number and the only fat cat in my life eats kibble on my dime.

With all this web witchery and while working to resurrect our website or reincarnate it elsewhere, I’ve been in a fiery flare, dealing with a family crisis and feuding with flu. I’ve been jumping through more hoops than a pink poodle in a six-ring flea circus and it’s made me mighty itchy. Time was a’wastin’, readers were wondering where their butterfly had flown and I couldn’t leave them without a safety net so I started blogging, with Lupus NewsLog.

Now, the butterfly has landed, with room to spare. Butterfly NewsBytes is now published at our sister site, Everyday Warriors, according to EW’s bimonthly publishing schedule. Our first BNB issue from EW, Lupus and a Wolf-Wise Diet was published January 1, 2004. That link and those that follow are offered here, at the top left under "Lupus NewsLog's Own Links".

Everyday Warriors is an exemplary healthcare resource, offering a wealth of information and warm support for a vast range of physical and mental challenges. There are many interesting contributors and columnists at EW, including doctors, nurses and folks a lot like me. You can read articles including Professor Stephen Hawking’s on life with ALS. It’s a great honor to be associated with such an extraordinary website.

Jillian Leslie is the publisher and webmaster of Everyday Warriors, an accomplished author and experienced editor. She’s also my very dear friend and our devoted ally. Jillian has complex health challenges to cope with yet she is a champion for all of us with our own. She’s written Attitude Boosters For Your Health with wisdom to help us live life gracefully and with gratitude. On this, as in so many things, she truly is an expert and an ideal role model. I love and admire her dearly.

Lupus NewsLog, Butterfly NewsBytes, Everyday Warriors and AuthorsDen do not require readers to subscribe, proving there really is a lupie heaven. They’re doing the write stuff together, with BNB at EW summarizing the research I unearth, LNL providing details, links plus a whole lot more and AD playing backup. Between them, we’ll keep Ol’ Wolfie dancing on his toes and teach this lupine canine a few new tricks.

Welcome to Lupus NewsLog
Lupus is an oddity among illnesses, with its colossal and curious collection of symptoms and because it carries components of so many other diseases. It’s always been mighty difficult to diagnose and treat but nowdays, it’s very interesting to researchers, for good reason.

As autoimmune disease rates escalate worldwide, accumulating scientific evidence links this phenomenon to our toxic terrain, our nutrition, lifestyles and many other environmental factors. An accurate understanding of lupus can lead to solutions for it and for other diseases.

Well known physician, medical maverick and healthcare advocate Bernie Siegel makes it clinically clear, "Who are the best teachers? The people who didn't die when they were supposed to." Then, class must be in session, folks, because - here we are. Nowdays, we lupies are living longer, stronger, more satisfying lives, because we’re activists for our own survival.

We oldies but goodies aren’t so rare anymore - I’ve lived with lupus for over 50 years, proving we don't all die young and lovely. Everyday, more of us are digging in and kickin' up dust in Ol’ Wolfie’s face. Folks like us prove we can live well with lupus, when we learn to demystify and manage our illness.

Here at Lupus NewsLog and in issues of Butterfly NewsBytes, published at EverydayWarriors.com, we’re examining the complex environmental factors that can stimulate this disease. We’re investigating tools, tips and techniques that may improve our lives in body and mind and could contribute to remission.

In the pages here at Lupus NewsLog, you can read current news on medications, medical treatments, alternatives, supplements and our nutritional needs. Together, we’ll continue exploring the roles our work, lifestyles, medical support and relationships play in our well-being. We’ll broaden our options in conventional, alternative and integrative healthcare treatments. I hope you’ll join us.

Shar Phoenix

©Shar Phoenix, Lupus NewsLog. Article reprints are available upon request. Contributing writers retain their own copyrights. All Lupus NewsLog sites and pages offer research based information to assist in understanding lupus and in self-advocacy. Content here, on sister sites or in email response is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult a qualified physician for medical attention.