Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune connective tissue disease that can affect any part of the body. As occurs in other autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. It is a Type III hypersensitivity reaction caused by antibody-antigen complex formation.
SLE most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, and nervous system. The course of the disease is unpredictable, with periods of illness (called flares) alternating with remissions. SLE is treatable using corticosteroids and other immunosuppressants; there is currently no cure.
Functional Medicine Approach : SLE
German Female, 9 years old
The client presented with a diagnosis of SLE, and symptoms of continuous hair loss for 2 years, bloated digestive system for 3-4 days at a time, poor energy, became tired easily and caught colds monthly. Had skin rashes that appeared periodically.
The client was prescribed steroid therapy orally and topically to reduce symptoms.
Functional Medicine Analysis and Diagnosis
- Protein and fatty acid digestion was poor. There were a lot of fatty acids remaining at the end of the intestine.
- Intestinal absorption of nutrients was limited.
- In the stool, found numerous unwanted fungi and bacteria, whilst the bacteria beneficial to the body were found in low levels.
- From the blood test, found a monoclonal antibody which caused by chronic immune stimulation, as a result of consumption of certain foods such as eggs and milk in large doses.
The 4R Balancing Program
We replaces the beneficial bacteria. Replaced the nutrients found to be lacking including antioxidants and minerals. We supplemented with enzymes to improve the breakdown of proteins, allowing more effective absorption and better resulting bacterial profile.
The quantity of carbohydrate and sugars in the diet were limited to decrease the growth of fungi in the gastrointestinal tract. Foods were avoided that provoked the immune system. Commenced a regime of herbal therapy to weaken and eliminate the damaging bacteria and yeast such as garlic, oregano and coconut oil, a rich source of caprylic acid, fat with anti candida properties.
Implemented a new eating habit increasing fiber from vegetable and fruits which assists in maintaining the right gut bacteria balance. Commenced supplementation of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Implemented an anti-inflammatory diet, along with specific nutrients to help heal the gut wall, damaged by bacteria, yeasts, fungi and food allergy reactions. This included Turmeric, Fish oil, Glutamine and other amino acids.
After 6 months of the 4R program hair growth returned to almost normal. Steroid use was discontinued. Blood testing showed much lower levels of antibodies, and stool testing showed improved performance of digestion and absorption. Bacterial balance in the gut was improved but still showed presence of damaging bacteria, indicating the need for further re-balancing of the gut bacteria and continuation of the supportive therapies for some time.