Healthy eating for lupus

To date, no diet is known to cure, prevent, or relieve lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE) symptoms. However, poor nutrition makes it harder for your body to battle chronic illness. To ensure that you have a healthful, balanced diet, your health professional may oversee your food intake or refer you to a registered dietitian. Consider the following tips when planning your daily diet:

  • Avoid or cut down on caffeine. Reducing caffeine intake improves sleep and can diminish the stomach upset caused by some of the drugs prescribed for lupus care.
  • Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. This type of diet may make you less vulnerable to conditions—most notably heart disease—that are associated with the steroid treatment of lupus.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. If you are taking corticosteroids to treat lupus, you are at risk for developing osteoporosis. The recommended daily calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50 is 1,000 mg a day, increasing to 1,200 mg a day for adults older than 50. The recommended daily intake of vitamin D to help with calcium absorption is 400 to 800 IU for adults ages 19 to 50, and 800 to 1000 IU a day for adults age 50 and older.
  • If you have serious kidney disease, follow your health professional's or registered dietitian's advice regarding protein and salt intake.
  • Get your vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet should give you enough vitamins and minerals. However, you may need supplements if your appetite is poor or to counteract the effects of certain medications (for example, extra calcium while taking corticosteroids). Do not take supplements without your health professional's or dietitian's guidance.

Last Updated: May 13, 2008

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.