Lupus Q&A 19: Tight Muscles, Lupus Flare, Medications, and Fatigue

by | Feb 9, 2018 | Lupus Blog | 0 comments

Click the video above to listen to this week’s Lupus Q&A. The questions and answers are posted below as well if you prefer to read 🙂

Jenifer Greeno: Is there something to take as a supplement to aid with tight/sore muscles. It’s beyond the normal sore from exercise – they are also really tight while doing yoga. I drink coconut water after yoga, I drink lots of water throughout the day, take epsom salt baths…I’m not sure what I’m missing. It seems to be in my large muscle groups mainly like hamstrings, quads, psoas, etc…

There’s a difference between “feeling” tight and limited ROM.  Although you’re getting some magnesium, it’s not enough to offset the need for the electrolytes that you’re after specifically magnesium.

The “tightness” comes from the systemic “inflammation”  While it’s tempting to isolate the muscles as being the issue, muscles get lots of neurological input, nutritional input, and inflammation input.  So the inflammatory processes in our bodies will often affect our nerves ability to deliver the signals as the nerve fibers need nutrients such as B vitamins and protein.  Then the muscles need all the vitamins and minerals to allow for proper contraction and relaxation as well as nutrients for recovery.

Such processes are limited and compromised due to all the factors of Lupus, such as leaky gut which affects our nutrient absorption, as well as increase in inflammation as our immune system is bombarded with the toxins permeating into the body.    Think of heating and air and the efficiency of such systems when we’ve got a big gap around the windows of our home.  Not only will we have to deal with the pests that enter, but we’ve got an inefficient system that struggles until it breaks down.

We are really the same way is why my focus is so much on the restoration of our gut lining.

Trish Fields: I have a very specific spot on my spine that hurts very badly when I am in a lupus flare. It almost feels like if I could stick my finger in between the bones in my spine and rub it then the pain would ease. I’m wondering if it’s just were I got an epidural or there is a general type of spinal pain or issues with lupus.

The overall inflammation of your body will accentuate the weakest link in your body. That particular spot likely is that weak hinge point that you like to hang out on. It’ll cause wear and tear if you don’t tighten up the loose screws (muscle) and improve stability. That’s the reason why I share so much of the yoga-pilates based exercises with you to help you to safeguard yourselves from injury and degeneration. Lupus causes us to degenerate faster than normal population but it’s not directly due to Lupus, it has more to do with the challenges of moving due to the general pain. This weakness will spread quick as our muscles when we don’t use them, we lose them. All the meds don’t help us either, all that’s happening and all the conventional treatments for Lupus cause secondary unintended consequences is why we MUST work harder to fight for our health.

Debbie Ann Mather: What can replace prednisone that’s natural?

Prednisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s a corticosteroid that we normally produce in our adrenals. When we take prednisone, our own adrenals shut off and as a result, the rest of our endocrine system goes into a confusion altering our thyroid, insulin, sex hormones, etc.

If you are having a severe lupus flare, listen to your doctor and take the prednisone.

I’ve heard many of you say that if you taper off prednisone your body begins to have a lupus flare, it’s because if you’re on it long time, then it completely shuts off your adrenal gland and it alters our normal body physiology in such a way that it can’t function without it.

Tapering needs medical supervision and taking these natural supplements will begin to support your body to decrease inflammation by helping your body’s natural function as opposed to altering it with another drug.

Curcumin, Fish Oil, Probiotics would be where you can start and if you can afford it, CBD oil is amazing.

We have them available links below, we will be releasing the efficacy and validated research to support everything that we sell so you can make informed choices about which product you want to trust your body with.

Katherine Acosta: Going to start Benlysta soon. I’m wondering if you’ve had any experience with it?

As much as I hate it, Benlysta has done wonders for me. We have lots of DNA damage as a result of our antibodies and those fragments of our own DNA are deemed by our immune system as harmful so we get attacked.  When we get attacked, we flare up more and create more inflammatory markers to drive up the inflammation.  Benlysta helps to stop the B lymphocyte cell production which is the part of our immune system that tends to be aggressive so it calms it down.

Remember though that any “Biologics medications that work to alter our physiology have unintended consequences so we must get busy at supporting our cells to offset the damage and to return back to restored immune function as our ultimate goal.

It’s helped me a ton to have relief from my fatigue and pain as well as keep my kidneys from being attacked.

It doesn’t work for everyone, I understand that I am one of the lucky ones but I don’t believe in luck, I work very hard to keep myself in top notch shape.

Stephanie Smith: My lupus is flaring on my hands. How can I get them to stop itching? The cortisone cream is not working.

It sounds like a potential histamine reaction, try Benadryl and see if it helps. Not so sure I understand clearly, is it a rash, is it dry, is it red and swollen? In any case, I’d go see your doctor as this would need an assessment to make sure there’s no infection.

Angela Maiuri: I don’t understand why my hands get swollen during a lupus flare…why the hands?

It’s one of those questions again, while some may have severe low back pain,  with systemic inflammation, some are affected in the hands.

It also may be the nerves that are irritated at the wrists also known as carpal tunnel syndrome which can be independent of lupus but flares up when Lupus is flaring.

Shirley Canipe: Fatigue is a major problem for me, it is just as bad even if I get enough sleep. I work 49 hours a week. I am completely drained all day.

As I always say, we are nutrient deficient, our bodies are so busy working against us that it’s not efficiently absorbing nutrients to produce energy. Its main focus is fighting a war so its priorities are a bit skewed right now.

Having said that, the amount of inflammation, leaky gut, and nutrient malabsorption leading to deficiency will all collectively affect your energy levels.

Key is to support your gut, restore it’s micro biome with good probiotics, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, and continue to move sensibly.

We have a clear disadvantage. But we’ve got to help our bodies recover by doing our part to support it as much as possible.

Chelsea Dawn: I’m having a very hard time knowing my physical limits. I’m a single mom of three and I’m constantly trying to micro manage what’s needed to be done and what I feel needs done. It’s hard for me to just take a step back and let the house be dirty. My kids are big helps and do lots of chores so I do have help. But I’m always wearing myself thin and it makes me super sick to where I’m down and out from anywhere to 1 to 4 days of not being able to get around without a walker and toilet riser. My question is…What’s a good way to manage my time for my kids, myself, and also all the daily chores of life ?

Oh my, I know exactly how you feel. Take a breath and work on not doing so much. Remembering that if you go down, it doesn’t help your kids or your house, in fact, nothing matters more than your health. Have a perspective check and don’t push too hard.

Also it’s helped to have an organized schedule around when and what I clean and if I can’t do it, right then, walking away has been hard but you know what, we make something so small so big sometimes. Everything will be ok, focus on you, it’s ok.

Janelle Hall: My lupus number is really high I don’t know what high means and also can it be lowered? I was told by my primary Dr that my numbers where beyond help.

I’m so sorry that you were told that. You may want to try another physician. Specifically a Rheumatologist who knows the ins and outs of Lupus. I also recommend asking your doctor for an Avise test, as this is the best test out for testing for Lupus.

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