Dietary Guidelines For The Lupus Patient
For The Patient With Systemic Lupus
Source: Lupus Alert, Vol. 11, #2, June 1988
- to counteract steroid therapy
- to replenish potassium reserves
- to reduce fever and replace nutrient losses
Corticosteroid (prednisone, e.g. Meticorten, Prednisolone, Orasone)
often take as much as they give nutritionally. All too often the
drug either stops the absorption of nutrients or interferes with the
cells' ability to use them. Steroid therapy has been found to be
related lowered zinc levels.
The following is a list of drugs and the nutrients that they deplete:
Effects of Steroids on Nutrition
Depletes Vitamins A, B-Complex
- Diuretics (e.g. Diuril, Hydro-diuril, Ser-As-Es, Lasix)
Depletes Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, magnesium and zinc
Depletes Vitamins B6, D, C, zinc and Potassium
Depletes Vitamins B1 and C
- Increased appetite;
- Weight gain;
- Loss of muscle protein; increased breakdown of muscle; decreased synthesis;
- Changes the body's ability to handle glucose (blood sugar);
- Increased depositing of fat:
- Reduces serum zinc levels;
- Sodium retention;
- Potassium loss;
- Poor absorption of calcium and iron;
- Fluid retention;
- Increased need for Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), C and D;
- Stomach irritation and gastric disturbances;
- May aggravate diabetes, hypertension or ulcers; may cause
hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol level); may cause type IV
Remember proper diet is an important component in your personal arsenal against Lupus!
- Follow a high potassium diet. Foods high in potassium
include: all fruit, especially bananas, blackberries, cantaloupe,
honeydew melon, oranges, plums, dried fruits, rice. All vegetables,
especially asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, yams, whole grain,
lima beans, parsnips, pumpkin, spinach, winter squash, tomatoes,
dried beans and dried peas; milk and milk products.
- Mildly restricted sodium intake.
- When febrile (with fever), the diet should be high in protein and
calories to compensate for nitrogen losses (protein).
- Include rich sources of calcium in your diet. To increase absorption,
consume with an acid-containing food or Vitamin C. Foods
high in calcium include milk and milk products; tofu; soups made with
cream, milk or cheese, broccoli, chard, all greens, okra, kale,
spinach, sauerkraut, cabbage, soy beans, rutabaga; salmon; dry beans.
- Follow a low carbohydrate, high complex carbohydrate diet to maintain
weight control and avoid excess fluid.
- Include foods rich in zinc. These foods include oysters,
meats, seafood, poultry and eggs.
- Include rich sources of iron in your diet. To increase absorption,
consume with an acid-containing food or one with Vitamin C.
Sources of iron include cream of wheat, liver, beef, lamb, pork,
chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beans baked with molasses, prunes, prune
juice, apricots, green peas, enriched breads, and cereals.
- Increase your intake of foods high in Vitamin C. These foods
include broccoli, oranges, strawberries, cauliflower, cantaloupe,
cabbage and green peppers.
- Include food rich in Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). These foods
include whole grain cereals, breads, liver, avocados, spinach, green
beans, bananas, fish, poultry, meats, nuts, potatoes, green leafy
- Include foods rich in Vitamin D. These include foods
primarily of the animal origin: eggs, butter, milk, fish oils,
cereals, margarines and breads.
- Take medications with food to decrease the irritating effect on the
stomach and small intestines. Foods and drugs taken
together also increase the time available for absorption of the drug.
- Eat a relatively high protein diet. Calcium, sodium fluoride,
Vitamin D or Calcitonin may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Follow a diet moderately low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
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