Lupus Q and A- Lupus Fatigue, Osteopenia, Scleroderma, and Pain

by | Apr 20, 2018 | Lupus Blog | 0 comments

Hi Connie. I was diagnosed with mitral stenosis in 1997 and SLE in 2010. Lately I feel so fatigued even in the morning when I’ve just woken up. I look forward to weekends so that I can have plenty of time to sleep. What could be the main cause if my perpetual fatigue?

Veronica Okello

Hi Veronica, couple of things. With mitral stenosis which is a  narrowing of the mitral valve opening that blocks (obstructs) blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle in your heart.

Typically, one would not notice any symptoms unless the blockage is severe.
Since there’s a lapse of Lupus diagnosis of 13 years, I would suspect that there’s isn’t a direct correlation.
If you were my patient, I would want to know what your adrenals are doing by measuring cortisol levels which provides me with an idea of what’s going on there.
I would also want to know what things have changed, was there increased stress, injury, life changes, menopause, infection, etc.

Hi Connie, what is your opinion on caffeine and gut health? I want to quit tea/coffee but I also have to be awake for work. —   Kelly Ragan

Hi Kelly, I place my patients on an elimination diet coupled with supplements and herbs depending on what we are treating. So I do have my patients refrain from coffee or caffeinated tea. However, there’s mixed findings on whether coffee is good or bad for you. I find that it really depends on what you read.
I personally love coffee and it doesn’t have a negative effect on me, I have just a cup of coffee daily in the morning and it’s all I need.
Having said that, in order to truly find out if you are sensitive to coffee, you’d have to eliminate it first for over 28 days.
I hope that this helps.

Hi Connie! I was wondering if you would be able to recommend a good, long term calcium supplement to for osteopenia. Thank you! –Anna Henderson

Hi Anna, although Calcium was regarded as the main nutrient for osteoporosis prevention, now we are seeing multiple nutrients play a role in prevention of osteoporosis.
Those of you who don’t know, we measure bone density through a scan typically measured in the hip and the low back region and weigh the result against the norm.
Osteopenia is when the bone density is lower than the average but not enough to classify it as osteoporosis.
According to the recent clinical research standards, main nutrients you should consider for osteoporosis and osteopenia are,calcium, Vitamin D . Phosphorus, vitamins C and K, copper, zinc, and manganese all play a role.
With Lupus, due to the gut permeability issue, we are not able to absorb as much as the normal population and due to the drug-nutrient interaction, it also adds to the risk.
So I do have a fantastic supplement from Xymogen, our main supplement vendor and partner.  They’ve done clinical research to prove that this proprietary combination of supplements help patients resorb bone much better than without.
Here’s the link, please private message me to get our practitioner and referral code.  Because their supplements are pharmaceutical grade, patients are not able to directly purchase from them.
Also I typically measure the N Telopeptide to make sure there’s improvement in the patients bone resorption, within the field of functional medicine, it’s considered a more accurate metabolic measure of the effectiveness of the supplement that you take.

I have SCLE and wonder if I should be having symptoms of SLE. I just started having joint/bone pain and it’s not typical for me. Fatigue and skin symptoms are my normal.

-Jennifer Hanuska

Hi Jennifer, it’s a possibility but without proper testing and validation, it’s hard to say. I’m thinking SCLE is scleroderma in which can it too can cause joint pain, “tightening”, etc. And the symptoms can manifest differently at different stages of the disease

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