6 posts tagged “lupus community”

Hair loss with lupus: Tips and treatments others have tried

Posted 1 week ago by

Are you losing some of your locks because of lupus? Hair loss isn’t usually listed among the core symptoms of lupus, but it does affect many people living with SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) and discoid lupus. It may be caused by lupus itself, certain treatments for lupus, or other illnesses or health issues (such as thyroid problems or nutritional deficiencies), according to the National Resource Center on Lupus. How do PatientsLikeMe members manage it and try to protect their mane?

How members manage hair loss

A number of PatientsLikeMe members with lupus have mentioned hair loss in the forum, and some say that hair loss was among their first cluster of symptoms pointing to lupus or a health condition. (Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to see members reporting hair loss, its severity and treatments they’ve tried.)

The same tips and products won’t work for everyone (and remember to check with your doctor before trying new supplements or treatments) — but here are a few pointers and perspectives from members who’ve had hair loss.

“My hair has been falling out for 2 1/2 years. What’s helped me with it is coconut oil, hair vitamins (vitamin B, folic acidbiotin). This doesn’t stop it from falling out but it speeded up healthy hair growth.”

“Plaquanil causes hair loss. I’ve been on it for over 15 years. My sink and shower usually gets clogged up from my hair loss. I get sew ins or braids and wear wigs occasionally. Just last month I got my hair cut short to eliminate breakages.”

“My hair started thinning and getting coarse before I was diagnosed, but it falls out in masses after 3 weeks on Plaquanil. I can’t afford hair extensions, but my doctor and hair dresser both told me about the same product that people with lupus and cancer use….and it is MAGIC. It is called Toppik and it comes in many different colors and forms. I find the powder fibers to work best.”

“I started taking 5000 units of Biotin. See a huge difference the first month and the second month I actually had to get my hair trimmed.”

Others say that supplements and treatments haven’t helped in their case, so they stick with short haircuts, wigs and/or extensions.

Lupus News Today rounded up “9 Tips to Prevent Hair Loss,” including talking with your doctor about your treatments, keeping stress levels low, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding sun exposure and certain kinds of lighting that may contribute to hair loss.

Have you experienced lupus-related hair loss? Join PatientsLikeMe or log in to connect with others on this topic today.

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Zoodles! Let’s dish on lupus/food + swap recipes

Posted 2 months ago by

If you’re living with lupus, have you found any particular foods that affect you and your condition — for better or worse?

Member Jeanette (JeanetteA6872), a member of the 2018 Team of Advisors who’s living with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), shares which ingredients she tries to include or avoid in her diet, plus three of her favorite recipes (psst—one involves zoodles!).

Food Q&A with Jeanette

Jeanette says she turned to dietary changes when she stopped taking Plaquenil due to severe side effects, including retina damage. “I had nothing to lose — I signed up for Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within [a self-help program] that made me look at myself and my relationship with food differently,” she says. “I started logging my food intake for a few weeks on and off, I noticed how some of my favorite foods were causing me some issues ranging from stomach pains to full inflammation. That’s when I started paying close attention to what my body was telling me and I needed to do something about it.”

Here’s what else she shared with us in a recent Q&A. Everyone is different, so these foods and dietary changes may not affect you and your lupus the same way. Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian about finding foods that work for you.

Have you noticed any specific ways that your diet or certain foods affect your symptoms?

I didn’t go on any specific diet at first, I started eliminating certain foods like sugar (which was causing major fatigue and pain), garlic (causing major inflammation in my knees), eggplants (fatigue and pain in my feet), bean sprouts (stomachaches) and alfalfa (full inflammation and full flare) — some of the known foods that lupus patients shouldn’t eat [learn more at lupus.org].

Then I noticed how meat was causing me fatigue and I noticed inflammation directly in my knees. I tried giving up red meat for two weeks, and I felt good and noticed a reduction of pain. Then I gave up chicken the following two weeks and felt even better. It was so amazing that I decided to give it up for good. After the first few months without meat, my doctor started noticing my blood work was improving drastically, so she began reducing my medications since I was no longer flaring or feeling pain. After a full year she reduced all of my medications to zero and even stopped my infusion.

I notice that if I eat too many potatoes like French fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, as well as tomatoes, salsa, mushrooms and peppers, ice cream and cheese, I feel a little stiffness, so I know it’s too much. I really try to avoid processed and fried foods in general as I immediately notice stiffness.

I do still eat gluten and dairy products, just not every day. Everything in moderation works best, I’ve noticed. If something bothers me this week, I know not to repeat it.

Are there any foods that you try to eat often?

I don’t eat many of the same foods daily. I drink my shakes, but I like a variety of foods from pastas, salads, homemade cauliflower crust pizza, rice and beans, and I started eating fish again, so that’s more protein. There are meat substitutes like Gardein, Beyond Meat and black bean burgers that make great meals.

With the new eating style, I knew I needed to find some type of supplement for my vitamins and minerals because you get so many different vitamins from animal products and I wasn’t eating the same way as before. I tried Herbal Life, then Shakeology, then Modere, and none agreed with me because I have so many allergies. So I gave Isagenix one last try. It was perfect for me. Wow — my blood work started coming back so good, my doctor asked me what my secret was, since I [also] started working out and feeling even more amazing. I feel as if my life is back.

Do you have a few favorite recipes you’d like to share?

(Click on the links for a printable version of these recipes picked by Jeanette!)

Veggie scramble – This veggie-packed egg dish is scrambled in coconut oil and topped with avocado and tomato

Citrus fish tacos – Lettuce leaves serve as the “tacos” in this tilapia recipe, complete with mango salsa

Creamy zucchini pasta with shrimp – “Zoodles” (julienne-peeled zucchini “noodles”) and an avocado-basil “cream” sauce? Yum!

Which foods do you eat or avoid with your lupus in mind? Please add a comment below or join PatientsLikeMe to chime into this forum discussion!

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