Ashley Martson Hospitalized with Kidney Failure from Lupus

We recently posted about 90 Day Fiance star Ashely Martson opening up about her struggles with lupus.  On January 13, 2019 she was hospitalized again because of lupus.  According to her newly created GoFund Me account,  Ashley was found unresponsive at her home sometime on January 12, 2019. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital where it was determined that she is in kidney failure.  She will reportedly begin dialysis soon and be placed on the donor list for a kidney transplant.

 

Ashley Martson: Lupus and Kidney Failure
Source: Gofundme : Ashley Martson: Lupus and Kidney Failure

 

We are sending prayers and good vibes to our fellow lupus warrior Ashely Martson.  If you would like to donate to her medical fund, please visit her official Gofund me page here.




Power Pineapple Coconut Yogurt Recipe

For the New Year, I wanted to come up with a New Year’s resolution that I would be able to actually sustain past the first week of the year.  I decided instead of creating a very specific resolution, I would create a broad one that would help me enjoy each success.  I am really trying hard to be more conscious about the foods that I eat and how they may affect my lupus.

I am interested in learning more about the AIP diet, but right now, it is just too restrictive for me to sustain.  I decided that I was going to begin by simply choosing better options.  Because if we are going to be completely honest, I am really bad with food choices and I love to eat.  Two issues that are really creating more issues the older I get.

A big change I knew I had to make was actually eating something for breakfast.  I have always been one of those people that skip breakfast most days and I know that I need to become better at breakfasting.

The only issue is that I suffer from nausea many mornings and literally can not stomach the idea of eating food so early in the day.  I was not interested in starting with a heavy or greasy breakfast of any sort, so I figured I need to create something light that could pack a punch and keep me feeling as good as possible in the mornings.  I hate mornings….with a passion.

I created an amazingly delicious breakfast ‘treat’ that I like to call Power Yogurt.  The great thing about this power yogurt is that it can be modified to create many variations to really fulfill any craving you may be having.

 

toasted pineapple coconut chia & flaxseed maple

 

I started with a half cup of Chobani greek yogurtGreek yogurt is awesome in the fact that it is packed with protein, low in sugar, and a great base for many flavors.

I like to use:

I  then added one scoop of Think Thin Probiotic and Protein powder in Madagascar Vanilla.  This stuff is absolutely amazing!  While it has a little of that signature protein powder taste when mixed into a beverage, it is pretty tame in this recipe as the other flavorful ingredients help to cut the protein taste.

Then comes one of my favorite and super simple additions, this delicious Toasted Pineapple and Coconut Chia/Flax Seed mix from McCormicks.  I have never seen these until recently and I am already obsessed.  It literally was love at first taste.  I really thought it would be some weird fake flavored crunch, but this stuff is seriously amazingly delicious!  There are also other flavors like Blueberry Ginger and Banana Cocoa.  These breakfast toppers really give a ‘granola’ like addition to this power yogurt.

 


Next I take a half of teaspoon of Maple Grove Farm’s  Organic Maple Syrup and drizzle on top.

 


To finish this dish off, I sometimes add fresh berries as well.

Power Yogurt Recipe
Power Yogurt Recipe

 

Pineapple Yogurt Maple Power Yogurt

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (I used plain)
  • 1 scoop of probiotic/protein powder (I used vanilla.)
  • 1 tbsp of McCormick's Breakfast Topper (I used Toasted Coconut and Pineapple with Chia and Flax)
  • 1 tbsp of organic maple syrup
  1. Mix 1 scoop of probiotic powder into a 1/4 cup of plain greek yogurt.  Top with 1 tbsp of coconut and pineapple breakfast toppers.  Drizzle 1 tbsp of organic maple syrup over the top.  Enjoy!




The Best Anti-Inflammatory Food

 

Inflammation is a protective response by the body against the foreign agents and microorganisms. The body releases certain chemicals and cells that engulf the offending agent.  It heals the body from injuries and infections. The protective response elicited by the body through the WBCs and several chemicals in response to foreign particles is known as inflammation. The body is protected from damaging agents like bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms in this way.  

For a person dealing with an autoimmune disease like lupus, reducing inflammation within the body is something that can be vital in managing lupus disease activity and lupus symptoms.  If you currently do not monitor your lupus diet, you may want to consider incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and see if it helps with inflammation and symptoms like joint pain and swelling.

While there are many options out there for an anti-inflammatory diet, (popular ones include the AIP diet) it is recommended that you make a lifestyle change as opposed to a short term diet that you may not be able to sustain for long term. Even making small changes can help you feel a lot better!

 

What is the importance of anti-inflammatory diet?

If your inflammation markers are good, why do you need to take anti-inflammatory diet?

Here is the answer; Inflammation is a silent enemy as it is responsible for inner destruction and process of aging. Inflammation for a limited period is good but chronic inflammation is something to worry about. Lupus causes widespread inflammation throughout the body and there are foods that are known to increase inflammation.  This increased inflammation could cause you to flare or increase your symptoms like swelling and joint pain.

There are numerous factors that can trigger chronic inflammation in the body and speed up the process of again and tissue destruction. Stress can also cause chronic inflammation and damage the tissues.  Stress has been known to be a major trigger in lupus flares.

Sometimes, we are not even aware of the inflammatory process going inside our body.  When considering ways to reduce inflammation and lupus flares, you may want to take a look at your current diet.  If you are looking for a way to easily monitor body inflammation, you may want to consider  an anti-inflammatory diet. An anti-inflammatory diet can suppress the ongoing damaging inflammatory processes while keeping our inner tissues healthy and intact.

 

What does an anti-inflammatory diet include?

The anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes natural food with antioxidants that guard the body. It discourages the use of processed, refined and synthetic eatables. You can eat a lot of fruits, vegetables as they are full of healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.  It also pays stress on the intake of omega-3 fatty acids as it helps to reduce inflammation.

In fact, it is not a typical diet plan but a permanent lifestyle that you should be able to sustain.  Harvard Health recommends an anti-inflammatory diet plan like the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and healthy oils.

Many studies have shown the fact that inflammation can ensure even in the presence of foreign particles of microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Tension, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of exercise can also cause the release of certain inflammatory substances that can cause inflammation.

It is an established fact that ulcers are caused by prolonged stress by means of inflammation. As anti-inflammatory diets are not restrictive and are easy to take and make so one should not take chance and should start consuming these healthy foods.  

 

Sleep Better with Mosaic Weighted Blankets!

 

Best Anti Inflammatory Foods Lupus Autoimmune

Best Anti-inflammatory Foods:

After learning some about the importance of an inflammatory diet, let’s move to our main point, i.e. the anti-inflammatory foods.  It is important to note that anti-inflammatory foods are plentiful and there are a few changes you may need to make, but following an anti-inflammation diet does not have to be extremely restrictive.  You just need to have the right information and increase the amount of the right foods.  Start being more conscious about the food choices you are making and be sure to increase anti-inflammatory foods to help combat inflammation within the body.

Fruits & Vegetables:

fruits & Veggies anti inflammation

 

Vegetables, fruits, and berries are all rich in needed nutrients such as fiber, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Choose a variety of whole fruits and green vegetables.

 

Food that fights inflammation
Food that fights inflammation

 

Some examples of healthy fruits and veggies are:

  1. Apples

  2. Broccoli

  3. Strawberries

  4. Spinach

  5. Blueberries

  6. Oranges

  7. Carrots

  8. Olives

  9. Avocado

  10. Kale

This is just a short list to clear your idea. Of course, there are many other vegetables and fruits too that can help you in this regard. 

 


Fats & Oils:

Monosaturated fats, unsaturated fats, and Omega-3 fatty acids are an important part of the anti-inflammatory diet. All of these fatty foods help to reduce inflammation. Examples are:

  1. Rice bran oil

  2. Canola oil

  3. Olive oil

  4. Walnut oil

 

Protein sources:

anti inflammation protein

Seafood is the main source of anti-inflammatory proteinaceous foods. However, there are some plant-based foods that are rich in proteins and should be made a part of the anti-inflammatory diet. Below are some examples:

  1. Tuna

  2. Trout

  3. Sardines

  4. Salmon

  5. Non-fat yogurt

  6. Soy foods

 

Healthy Beverages:

Instead of unhealthy flavor rich soda drinks, drink filtered water, pure juices, low-fat milk, and herbal tea.

Anti-inflammatory diet tips:

Here are some helpful tips to incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet into your lifestyle.

  • Cook with canola oil or olive oil.

  • Snack on nuts, seeds and whole fruits instead of candy and cookies.

  • Try oatmeal with walnuts and fresh berries for breakfast.

  • Try eating less red meat and more fish.

  • Avoid added sugars.

  • Make it habit to increase your vegetable intake.  Juicing can help.

  • Try to avoid deep-fried foods.

  • Cut out processed foods.

 

In a nutshell, the anti-inflammatory diet should be considered as an essential part of healthy living.  Even for people are not suffering from an inflammatory disease like lupus can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet.  It is important to realize this is a lifestyle change more than a fad diet that most people are used to.  It is important to nourish your body from the inside out and incorporating an anti-inflammation diet can help you do that.  

 





Is Lupus Genetic?

Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that plagues millions of people around the world.  While lupus was first discovered and named in the thirteenth century by a physician named Rogerius.  He coined the term ‘lupus’ because it is the latin word for ‘wolf’ because he believed the malar rash resembled that of a wolf bite.  Over the years, many researchers and physicians have made great scientific stride in learning about lupus.

Although lupus was medically discovered generations ago, it is still lagging behind many other diseases in terms of research and treatment.  There is still an undecided community of medical professionals and scientific researchers on understanding what exactly causes lupus and if lupus is genetic or hereditary.  Today, we want to focus on the long held question, is lupus genetic?

What is Lupus?

 

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body immune attacks your tissues and organs. Body systems that can be affected by inflammation caused by lupus includes the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, brain, and lungs.

Lupus can be hard to detect because its sign and symptoms are often similar to those of other ailments. Facial rash which is the most significant sign of lupus looks like the wings of a butterfly unfolding across both cheeks occurs in many but not all cases of lupus.

Some people tend to develop lupus right at birth and can be triggered by injections, sunlight or some particular drugs. While there might be no cure for lupus, the symptoms can be controlled by appropriate treatment.

 

 

 

Lupus Triggers

While cases of SLE can be found worldwide, it has increased 10x over the last 50 years in Western countries.  While this post focuses on lupus genetics, it is important to understand the difference in triggers and genes.  While a person may have lupus genetic markers, it is usually a trigger that causes lupus to become activated. There are many environmental factors in which a person’s lupus can be triggered.

An overwhelming majority of lupus patients are women (an astonishing 9 out of 10 SLE patients), which has led some to believe in hormonal causes of lupus.  Other lupus researchers believe that physical and emotional trauma can also be the cause of lupus becoming active in a person.  Infections and viruses have also been named possible triggers for SLE.  There is also evidence of sunlight and chemical exposure being named as triggers for lupus.  Drug induced lupus occurs in around 10% of people diagnosed with lupus and there have been over 80 various medications responsible for drug induced lupus.

 

So…is lupus genetic?

Normal variations in various genes can affect the risk of developing SLE, and in most cases multiple genetic factors are thought to be involved.

Lupus is a complex disease that is possibly caused by several interacting features, which includes inherited genes, environmental factors (such as certain medications, severe exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, and likely viral exposures at key times), and female hormones.

Lupus is not contagious; it is an autoimmune disease which affects the functioning of your immune system. Therefore, lupus is not a viral or bacterial disease that can be transmitted to other people. Also, the disease is not transmitted through sexual intercourse, and it’s possible to have children even if you have lupus. An example is the pop singer Seal, who is diagnosed with discoid lupus but was still able to father three healthy children.

 

Is lupus genetic?
Is lupus genetic?

See lupus genetic markers here

Is Lupus Hereditary?

Lupus can be considered a hereditary disease. Recent studies carried out among lupus patients with an identical twin have revealed that there is a 25 percent possibility for the other twin to develop lupus. While for a patient with a fraternal twin, the chance of the other twin to get the disease is 2 to 3 percent.

Current evidence shows that genetics are known to play a role in the development of lupus, but there are several other factors to consider. There is a possibility of developing lupus even if you have no twin or relatives that don’t have any autoimmune disease.

No particular gene or group of genes have been proven to cause lupus, however when lupus appears in individual families, and when one of two identical twins has lupus, there is a high probability that the other twin will also be affected by the same disease.

Thus these findings as well as several others, strongly suggest that genes are involved in the development of lupus.

Sporadic which is the most common lupus cases develop means that no known relative has the diseases, however when lupus develops in people with no family history of lupus, it’s likely other family members have an autoimmune disease.

Certain ethnic groups such as people of African, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, Native American, or Pacific Island descent have a higher possibility of developing lupus, which may be attributed to genes they have in common.

 

Conclusion

It can be concluded that while lupus is caused by certain factors such as environmental exposures (like medications, exposure to ultraviolet rays and also specific viral exposures at key times), and female hormones. Inherited genes have even known to cause the disease especially in a set of twin in which one is affected by the disease, there high chance that the other will develop the disease as well. Another instance is when an individual has some of his family members suffering from autoimmune disease, there is also the possibility such individual develop lupus disease.

 




Lupus Genetic Markers

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and destruction of multiple body organs. The antibodies get activated against its body organs and start destroying them. It has clinical heterogeneity which means that it has a variety of disease manifestations. It may involve one body organ in one person and multiple organ systems in the other. It shares its signs and symptoms with other autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Same is true regarding its severity.

 

Lupus and Genetics

Lupus is a multifactorial disorder with an elusive etiology; it has a strong association with multiple factors, genetic and non-genetic factors. Clinical studies have established that ultraviolet radiation, specific drugs(isoniazid, hydralazine, procainamide) and infections (Epstein-bar virus) can also lead to SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus).

Currently, there is an explosion of information regarding the possible role of genetic markers in this disease. Hundreds of studies are being done in many parts of the world to establish its genetic predisposition. This new evidence has profound effects on understanding the etiology and planning an effective remedy.

 

What makes Lupus a genetic disease?

Lupus has been found to exert some typical etiological features similar to the known hereditary disease. It has a clear predilection for affecting women in their young ages. It is so common in females that it is being labeled as a women disease. About 9 out of 10 lupus patients are young women. Apart from having a strong link with a specific age and gender, its runs in families too. About 10% of lupus patients have some relevant bearing the same disease. It was found to have a remarkable 40% concordance in monozygotic twins and 4% concordance in dizygotic twins. In addition, it is prevalent in certain races like Hispanic, African-Americans, and Asian-Americans. All of these factors make it clear that lupus has a strong genetic predisposition; faulty genes being the real culprit.

 

Study approaches for complex genetic causes:

In order to understand the genetic side of lupus, you must also have an idea about methods that are being applied to find the truth. Currently, two major approaches are being used:

  • Linkage studies
  • Association studies

 

Linkage studies involve gathering of families in which 2 or more than two persons have lupus. The genome of such families is scanned using microsatellite markers and their genetic makeup is studied. In association studies, one single gene is selected and hypotheses are formed against it. Most common practice is to study a single code using case-control cohort method. In order to refine results, trio design is being formed which includes testing of both patient and his/her parents. With the latest advances in technology, these methods are also getting quick, easy and improved.

 

 

lupus genetic markers
lupus genetic markers

 

Important Genetic markers in Lupus:

Before naming the exact genes related to lupus, it is important to know that lupus is a genetically complex trait. It means that several genes, coding regions or loci are involved in causing susceptibility in this disease. There are no single genes but a group of many loci implicated in lupus. There is also the possibility of their mutual interaction and interaction with hormonal or non-genetic factors. The important lupus genetic markers can be listed as:

  • HLA region genes:

HLA (human leukocyte antigen) genes are a topmost group of genetic markers that are strongly associated with lupus. These genes maintain the body immune system. The deletion of C4A allele has been found closely related to increased risk of lupus for many years. However, HLA region contains hundreds of genes and it has not been possible to pinpoint a single culprit gene yet. It is quite clear that HLA is the strongest genetic association of lupus among all other genes. HLA class 1&2 have been shortlisted and further studied for finding exact code.

  • FCγR 2A and 3A:

The Fc receptors for immunoglobin G protein are located at membranes of certain immune cells. These are responsible for the clearance of immune complexes and have been found to be linked with lupus. Several meta-analyses have shown their presence in patients of kidney lupus.

  • STAT4:

STAT4 is a newly discovered agent and polymorphism in these genes is related to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis both.

  • IRF-5:

Interferon regulatory factor 5 is a part of innate immunity and is said to increase the risk of lupus according to many cohort studies. Many groups of successive cohort studies established its possible role in causing lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

 

Conclusion

Unfortunately, no genetic marker or group of genes has been finally confirmed and are being further investigated. Much has to be done yet to solve the genetic mysteries of lupus. After years of studies, we have an idea about the possible culprit genes and their mechanisms. With advancing technology and refined tools, we should be hoping for some breakthrough in the future.




Best Youtube Videos for Beginners Yoga for Lupus and Fibromyalgia

One of my favorite and sometimes only way to stay active, is to do yoga.  Most people have heard of yoga and may think it is just some kind of health fad that does not provide any real benefit.  The truth is, if I do not do some sort of yoga or stretching daily, my body will get ‘stuck’ and it becomes a lot harder to get my body moving again.  I started looking on Youtube for various yoga videos aimed at those with fibromyalgia and other diseases with chronic pain.

Naturally, I was looking for videos aimed at those who were new to yoga.  Surprisingly, after doing many sessions over the last year or so, I am still on the beginner videos! I try to do some poses and stretches as soon as I wake up to help my joints and muscles ‘warm up’ for the day.  Then, I try to incorporate a few more stretches in the afternoon to keep my joints and muscles engaged.  While the mornings are the hardest times for me, I have found that doing even a few light moves will help my body make it through the day.

I always take things slow and modify certain poses and stretches to fit what needs I have for the day.  As many of you know, with lupus and fibromyalgia, you can be fine one day and not the next.  I use this unreliable body schedule to figure out which poses I will focus on for the day and where I may need to modify the exercises a little more.

For example, if  woke up to a stiff back and lower back pain, I would look for poses that can help with that symptom.  The next day, I could be having knee issues, so I would look for a new video that focuses on kneed pain.

The best part of this is that it can be tailored to your specific needs daily…and it’s completely FREE!

If you have been looking for a way to start becoming more active with lupus or fibromyalgia, I highly recommend checking out some of these beginner videos below.

If you find a channel you really like, make sure you subscribe to them on Youtube so that you can follow when they post new videos.

Yoga is a great way to stretch your body while also focusing on better breathing and a calmer mind.  Stress is a major flare trigger for me, so yoga really helps me to practice better mind health as well.

 

the best videos on youtube for
the best videos on youtube for

 

 

#1: Sleepy Santosha and GENTLE YOGA FOR FIBROMYALGIA

 

 

#2 YogaYin with YOGA for MUSCLE PAIN & FATIGUE & FIBROMYALGIA

 

#3 Shima Flow Yoga and Yoga for Fibromyalgia I Fibromyalgia Pain Relief I Exercise for Fibromyalgia

 

#4 Yoga With Adriene with Morning Yoga for Beginners – Gentle Morning Yoga

 

#5 Chaz Rough with Yoga for Fibromyalgia

 

#6 Dr. Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, FACR and Yoga For Lupus (entire video)

 

#7 Dr. Connie Jeon with Beginner’s Yoga for Lupus

 

#8 Yoga Lifestyle with Melissa with Yoga with Lupus

 

#9 Cody Kennedy and Beat Lupus Naturally

 

#10 The Yoga Room (Round Rock, TX) with Yoga for Fibromyalgia

 

 




Lupus Body Rash

Most of us are aware of the Malar rash and rashes we may get when exposed to the sun or even UV lights.  I experienced rashes after the sun that looked similar to “sun poisoning” (and was told that is what it was for many years).  Just recently, I have begun to develop wheals of incredibly itchy and burning spots that resemble hives (urticaria).  These spots pop up when I start flaring and are quickly resolved once I start on a high Prednisone taper.  The thing about these lupus hives are that they last longer than 24 hours compared to allergic hives you may have had in the past.

They also leave a residual dark spot once they have gone away.  I have had these pop up on my hands as well and actually blister.  These have left some very small scars.  This starts out as a circular rash that is incredibly itchy.  The first time these appeared, I was told that I have Shingles.  Most of them followed a dermatome, but I had a few on the other side of my body.  The ER doctor stated that because of lupus, it could cause a more widespread outbreak of Shingles.  I was given anti-virals.   The only ones that blistered were on my fingers.

When it appeared for the third time in a two month time frame, I went back to the doctor.  I was given a high steroid taper to help with the rash and reduce the flare symptoms I was feeling during this latest rash episode.  The steroids reduced the rash considerably within 24 hours of starting the taper.  I have not had the rash biopsied, but if it presents again I am going to have to do that.

 

See my June 2019 Lupus Body Rash Update HERE!

Here are pictures of my rash over the course of 3 separate outbreaks.

 

 

Lupus Rash or Shingles?
Lupus Rash or Shingles?

 

 

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts - Shingles or Lupus?
Lupus Body Rash- Itchy Hives and Welts – Shingles or Lupus?

 

See my June 2019 Lupus Body Rash Update HERE!

If you have been following my blog, you may have seen that I have been dealing with chronic urticaria since October 2018.  It is now June and I am currently experiencing another flare up of this dreadful lupus body rash.  When it first appeared, I was told it was Shingles.  After numerous visits with my healthcare providers, they believe they are hives of some sort.

This rash produces hive like lesions that sometimes break open (this seems to only happen when their are hive like spots on my hands).  Sometimes they itch like crazy and other times they are just painful.  I have had swelling beneath these hives and they are incredibly uncomfortable.

These lupus hives each last around 3-4 days and leave an area of discoloration on my skin after the hives have subsided.  Over the past few months, I have had multiple outbreaks of these chronic urticaria and have had numerous tapers of Prednisone and also shots of steroids to help minimize the hives and swelling that I have experienced.

The steroids seem to help lessen the swelling and seems to help the hives go away a little quicker, but as soon as I am finished with my prescription, they start popping back up again!

I wish that I could say that I have found out a direct cause of these hives over the last 8 months, but unfortunately, I have not been given an answer to that just yet!  Over the past few months, I have seen my PCP, urgent care, the ER, my allergist, and am currently scheduled for a second appointment with a dermatologist in a few days.  All in regards to this lupus body rash.

My allergy doctor felt they were not related to my allergies (even though I do have many allergies and have had throughout my life).  He felt that if they were allergic hives, they would not last as long as they do (4-5 days usually for each hive) or leave a discoloration on my skin either.

I have met with the dermatologist about 2 weeks ago during the worst outbreak of chronic urticaria I have had so far.  He believes they may actually be related to either lupus itself or that my lupus has caused me to develop a stronger sensitivity to an allergy.  He then gave me a shot of steroids and prescribed me 3 different medications that he believes could help.

He also took some blood work that he says will help us determine if these recurrent hives are due to lupus or allergies.  I have not received the results of this lab work yet, but am hoping that he has some answers at my next appointment.

I have been taken these 3 medications for the past 2 weeks with hopes they would prevent these hives from appearing again.  They are a variety of different histamine blockers.  Unfortunately, they have not helped much.  They also cause extreme drowsiness that is almost worse than the pain and itching I am getting from this body rash.

I bet most of you can understand the frustrations of not knowing a trigger or ‘why’ and the struggle to deal with side effects of medications.  It seems to be a common thing when you have lupus and it sucks.

The medications I have been prescribed for my recurrent lupus urticaria include:

 

-Cyproheptadine 4mg 2x a day

-Hydroxyzine HCL 10mg 1x a night

-Cimetidine 200mg 2x a day

 

medicine for chronic urticaria
medicine for chronic urticaria

 

I will definitely update you guys once I go to my next appointment.  I am hoping that we can find some answers as to what is causing these hives and if it has anything to do with lupus.  I am including a number of pictures below of this rash.  Sometimes, I break out in only one or two areas on my body.  Other times, it can be over 20 different hives and swelling.  I feel extremely fatigued, nauseated, and increased joint pain many times I have a larger outbreak.

The photos include various stages of these hives.  Some are light and when they first begin to appear.  Others are when the swelling is pretty bad.  Some of the other pictures are marks that remain 2 weeks after the swelling has gone.  I hope these pictures help someone else who may be going through something similar.  I had some readers reach out to my by email and they are experiencing similar hives.  Let me know if you have gone through something similar and have been able to find out what is causing them!

 

 

Lupus Body Rash: August 2019 Update

 

If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I have been battling a chronic rash since last fall.  You can see many of the hive like welts that I have been getting over the last year.  I have recently been seeing a dermatologist who tried many on many different antihistamines and increased the dosages many times over the last few months.  None of these seem to help this rash.  I have had to be on high Prednisone tapers many times over the last few months when the hives get really out of hand.  Currently, I have been diagnosed with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria and currently they have not found a cause.

My current dermatologist has prescribed me a monthly shot for these chronic hives called Xolair.  Xolair is a biologic shot that is given once a month at the doctor’s office.  I have had one injection so far and it has not helped with my rash at all.  I want to say that it doesn’t seem as itchy as it once did, but maybe I have just gotten used to the itching?!  I was extremely fatigued and worn out for a day after the shot, much like how I was when I was on Benlysta last year.

This dermatologist does not believe its connected to lupus (my ANA came back negative the one time he tested it and he actually told me he was unsure if I even had lupus…insert eye roll here).  After finally making it to my rheumatologist, they have decided to refer me to a different dermatologist because they feel that the only real way to know what is causing these hives is to have them biopsied.

My rheumatologist also quickly dispelled the idea that I do not have lupus based off of the one ANA test my dermatologist conducted.  He told me that being on treatment (currently I am on methotrexate) and disease activity can reflect changes in ANA.  He also said that some tests are not as sensitive.  I had labs drawn at this appointment and my ANA and anti-DSDNA were a low positive this time around.  Over the 3 years since I have been diagnosed, my labs have gone up and down and even negative to positive over this time.  Whether this rash is because of lupus or something else, I’m hoping to find out more at my new dermatologist.  I would be lying if I did not say that it has been extremely frustrating trying to find a cause or even a trigger for this rash.  I feel like a biopsy or more testing may help provide further insight into this chronic urticaria.

I am still feeling systemic effects when these welts decide to pop up.  I am hit with an unbearable amount of fatigue and joint pain.  I am also having extremely painful and tender muscles.  I really just have no idea what is what anymore when it comes to all my health issues.  I’d like to say that once you get a lupus diagnosis that things make a lot more sense, but honestly, I am still having issues with symptoms and other weird things going on and have not been able to get any clear answers.

I will be seeing this new dermatologist in the next month and am hoping to have some answers.  HOPE seems to be a huge word a lot of lupus warriors seem to hold onto.    The good news is that I will FINALLY starting back on Benlysta injections next week.  I will post some of my recent lupus rash pictures below in case any of you are dealing with something similar.  It is weird how the rash can present itself in different forms and sizes and different locations on my body.  I hope to have a positive update soon!




Blue Green Algae and Autoimmune Disease

“Blue-green algae” consists of a group of bacteria that produce blue-green pigments. Blue Green algae grows in salt water and sometimes, large fresh water lakes.  Blue-green algae is commonly used in various food over the past few centuries in Mexico and some African countries. Since the 1970s, blue green algae supplements have also emerged in the US market.

 

Do you have an autoimmune disease_ Avoid Blue Green Algae!
Do you have an autoimmune disease_ Avoid Blue Green Algae!

Should People with Autoimmune Diseases Take Blue Green Algae Supplements?

In recent years, the theory of “Leaky Gut” has caused an increase in blue green algae supplements and usage.  Many people are using this blue green algae for a number of ailments.  There have been numerous studies conducted on blue-green algae and usage in treating or managing:  anemia, unintentional weight loss, ADHD, hay fever, diabetes, stress fatigue, anxiety, depression, weight loss, and PMS.

According to MedlinePlus.Gov, people with autoimmune diseases like MS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis should avoid using blue green algae.  This is because blue green algae is thought to stimulate the body’s immune system and could cause autoimmune diseases to become more active.  This increased stimulation of the immune system could lead to more flares and increased symptoms in some people with autoimmune diseases.  For those suffering from autoimmune diseases, it is recommend that you avoid using blue-green algae.

 




The New Lupus Drug That Could Replace Plaquenil

According to the Lupus Research Institute,  a new study by Target Identification in Lupus grantee Keith Elkon, MD, of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues has given hope that a new drug they designed could possibly work better than the most common anti-malaria drug currently prescribed to lupus patients.

 

the new lupus drug that could replace plaquenil
the new lupus drug that could replace plaquenil

 

Plaquenil is the brand name of Hydroxychloroquine.  Hydroxychloroquine is an anti-malarial drug that has been used for a long time in rheumatic diseases like lupus and arthritis.  It was originally created as an anti malarial drug, but was found to help manage lupus patients around the time of World War II.  Hydroxychloroquine can be seen as a foundation drug that many lupus patients will continue to be on for the rest of their lives.

Even if it is not working by itself, most rheumatologists will layer lupus treatment with another drug while still keeping their lupus patients on Hydroxychloroquine.  This is because Plaquenil has been studied and shown to help manage lupus symptoms like muscle and joint pain, skin rashes, pericarditis, pleuritis, and even fatigue.  It has also been shown to reduce the risk of further organ damage in lupus patients when taken for long term management of lupus.  The risk of flares also drops to around 50% when a patient is on Plaquenil.

For over 50 years, Hydroxycloroquine was one of the only medicines that had been approved specifically as a treatment for lupus.  In recent years, many strides have been made to increase funding for lupus research and clinical trials, and there is great hope on the horizon for lupus sufferers.

According to the study conducted by Target Identification in Lupus grantee Keith Elkon, MD, of the University of Washington and his colleagues, a new drug they designed, has shown promising results in a study with mice.  This lupus study,  focused on the type I interferons that are believed to be produced in excess among lupus patients.  Type I interferons are are a large subgroup of interferon proteins that help regulate the activity of the immune system.  In patients with lupus, these proteins are found in excessive numbers and could explain the overreaction of lupus patient’s immune systems.

Anti-malarials also work in lupus patients by reducing the number of interferon proteins, but they are not sufficient for more serious lupus symptoms and manifestations.  This study by Dr. Elkon provides a promising look to a safer and more reliable drug that will help to reduce interferon proteins and provide better lupus disease management.

This new drug, currently called X6, was shown to provide a better response to lupus symptoms than that of Hydroxychloroquine.  During the study, Dr. Elkon and his team compared the results of the new drug X6 to Hydroxychloroquine in mice that carried a specific gene mutation, also found in some lupus patients.  The results were exciting for the lupus community.

According the journal published, the lupus researchers concluded that drug X6 diminished the amount of type I interferons in the mice, while hydroxychloroquine did not.  In the same study, the research team noted that X6 worked better to reduce heart inflammation as well.  It was concluded that X6 outperformed Hydroxychloroquine in this study and further tests will need to be conducted before this new lupus drug would be allowed in human clinical trials.

The Lupus Research Institute is one of my favorites sites to stay up to date on all the new lupus research and drugs that will hopefully lead to a cure for lupus.  I highly recommend visiting their site to stay abreast of new treatments and studies being conducted that solely focus on lupus and its treatment.

 

 

 

 




Topricin Fibro Pain Relieving Cream Review

Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review– An amazing breakthrough for Fibromyalgia pain.  This pain cream is perfect to rub over sore muscles or joints.  If you suffer from fibromyalgia and are looking for a topical pain relieving rub, Topricin Fibro Pain Relieving Cream should be your first choice to try!

Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review

When we heard there was a pain relieving cream specifically targeting Fibromyalgia pain, we were on cloud nine!  If you suffer from lupus and fibromyalgia, you probably understand the importance of finding a topical cream that can help alleviate the sore muscles and trigger points associated with fibromyalgia.

Now for information straight from the makers of Topricin:
  • DOCTOR AND PHARMACIST RECOMMENDED – Patented fibromyalgia Pain relief rub is recommended by doctors and pharmacists, because our healing technology works and helps your body relieve pain at the cellular level without negative side effects so you can  say goodbye to pain.

 

  • REDUCES THE DURATION AND INTENSITY OF FIBROMYALGIA EPISODES – Rapid, soothing relief of muscle and nerve pain at tender points.

 

  • HELPS REDUCE THE NEED FOR PAIN PILLS – This patented cream for fibromyalgia and neuropathy is effective reducing nerve pain naturally so you can use less pain pills.

 

  • IMPROVES SLEEP TO RESTORE ENERGY – Naturally reduces pain from fibromyalgia and allow you to sleep better and deeper.  

 

Lupus and Fibromyalgia sufferers can finally experience safe, effective, and natural pain relief via Topricin Fibro Cream.

 

In our Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review, we found these to be benefits of Topricin FIBRO CREAM:

 

● REDUCES THE DURATION AND INTENSITY OF FIBRO EPISODES
● HELPS REDUCE THE NEED FOR PAIN PILLS
● IMPROVES SLEEP TO RESTORE ENERGY
● IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
● FREE OF CHEMICALS
● NO SIDE EFFECTS
● SAFE FOR THE ELDERLY, PREGNANT WOMEN
● GUARANTEED TO WORK OR YOUR MONEY BACK
● MADE IN THE USA

 

Topricin FIBRO Pain Relieving Cream Review, showed that this Topricin Fibro Cream is odorless and does not make your skin feel greasy.

The Topricin Fibro Cream brings a soothing combination of natural biomedicines that rapidly relieve pain in people with chronic pain, such as those with fibromyalgia or lupus.

The best part about this product is that it is completely free of chemicals.  There are no side effects and the company states it is is safe for use by pregnant women.

 

Another Reason to Buy Topricin Fibro Cream Right Now!

 

3% profits of Topricin FIBRO Cream are Donated to Fibro Research Foundations. Topical BioMedics has been bringing superior, safe, effective pain relief to the Medical and Natural communities, their patients, customers and clients since 1994.

 

 

Ingredients

Aesculus hippocastanum 6X……….. Relieves pain in the lower back, hip and spine

Arnica montana 6X…………… Treats pain of impact, falling injuries and contusion to muscles and joints

Belladonna 6X…………….. Treats muscles spasms, night leg cramps

Crotalus horridus 8X……… Relief of impact injuries and deep muscle bruising

Echinacea 6X……………… Relieves sharp stitchng pain in joints and muscles

Graphites 6X………………. Relieves skin conditions

Heloderma 8X…………….. Relief of burning pain in the hands and feet

Lachesis mutus 8X………. Relief of sciatic pain and carpal tunnel

Naja tripudians 8X……….. Relieves nerve injury pain

Rhus toxicodendron 6X…. Pain relief for muscle cramping, joint and post-surgical pain

Ruta graveolens 6X………. Relief of injuries to the knee, shin and elbow

Directions

Apply MyPainAway 3-4 times a day or as often as needed to painful tender points massage in until absorbed. For Best Results re-apply before bed and in the morning.