When Sharon Moore was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), her doctors informed her that she had a terminal illness of the autoimmune system, and she was offered drugs to cover the pain of the symptoms. She was told nothing could be done to heal or reverse the disease, and was sent on her way with a handful of pain medications.
The symptoms of Lupus, which is a difficult disease to diagnose, include: debilitating fatigue, arthritis, skin rashes, narcolepsy, and eventual internal organ dysfunction. More than 4 million Americans have been diagnosed with SLE, 90 percent of them women.
Rather than succumbing to the depression and hopelessness of being diagnosed as terminally ill, Ms. Moore embarked on what she describes as “a safari through alternative medicine” to regain her health.
In her book she personalizes the experience of a woman working her way through an arduous task, reading mountains of information, undergoing new experiences and therapies, and slowly working her way back to health.
Foods for Health
She begins by describing the importance of the liver’s functions in the body and the effect that the disease has on the internal organs.
To combat the disease she emphasizes eating an organic diet free of chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as using nutritional supplements and herbal remedies in place of pharmaceutical drugs.
According to Ms. Moore, “Those of us who succumb to the modern American diet, eating few fruits and vegetables and much overcooked meat, frequently have sodium starved liver’s. It’s important to know that the liver needs natural sodium in order to keep the body in an alkaline state.”
The richest sources of natural sodium are: celery, zucchini, summer squash, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, asparagus, cucumber, tomato, onion, leeks, garlic, kohlrabi and green, red and yellow bell peppers.
Andrew Weil, noted medical doctor and author of “Natural Health, Natural Medicine”, suggests that lupus is a protein-excess disease and recommends that lupus patients cut down on animal protein. Vegetable protein, when eaten in the correct combinations provide whole protein similar to meat proteins, and is easier to digest.
Ms. Moore suggests that Lupus patients eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains (whole grain pasta, amaranth, barley, Bulgar, buckwheat), and legumes (lentils, peanuts, soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, green peas and pinto beans), which help maintain blood glucose levels.
Of course, refined sugars have long been known to inhibit the immune response, impairing the activity of our “natural killer” (white blood) cells that fight disease. Sugar in all its forms (dextrose, sucrose, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup and sorbitol), play a role in the pathogenesis of diabetes, hypoglycemia, high cholesterol, ulcers, depression, hyperactivity, hypertension, mental and nervous system disorders.
The good news, there are four acceptable sugar substitutes.
Stevia, derived from a plant that is part of the chrysanthemum family and grows primarily in South America and China, can be found in most well stocked health food stores. It comes in both liquid and powdered forms and can be used in baking.
You can use fructose, a simple fruit sugar, as a sweetener because it doesn’t raise blood glucose levels. Brown rice syrup can be used as a substitute for sugar in some baking recipes.
Ms. Moore suggests using fruit juice concentrate in some recipes as a sweetener, replacing 1 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of frozen juice concentrate.
She explores other areas of concern to the Lupus patient, like the dangers of environmental toxins in our food supply, and has suggestions on attaining a healthier diet. She discusses the possibility of toxic ingestion of mercury through amalgam dental fillings and debates whether a person should have them removed or not.
Leaving no stone unturned in her journey for survival, Ms. Moore goes on to introduce us to Traditional Chinese Medicine (known as TCM), whose efficacy has been proven for centuries. TCM patent medicines can be found in Chinese formularies.
She experimented with other mind-body therapies that reduce and relieve stress from the Lupus patient. Some of the therapies discussed were: hypnosis, music, breathing exercises, Tai Chi, NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming), and biofeedback.
She concludes her book by linking the mind, body and spirit together, understanding the necessity of a spiritual connection for the terminally ill patient who must face that long road, oftentimes alone.
In a humane and uncomplicated manner, Ms. Moore shows us that with research and dedication, you can find the answers to your serious health problems. And, with enormous heart and fortitude, you can slowly and graciously regain your health.