Foods That Can Increase The Risk Of Lupus

Lupus is one of the many types of auto-immune & inflammatory diseases, and its exact base cause is still not fully understood. Most doctors believe that it develops and occurs due to a combination of factors, such as genetics and environment. As of yet, there is no cure for this condition.

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Moreover, the signs and symptoms for Lupus may vary from person to person, and many other conditions share the same symptoms. Thus, it’s not always easy to detect and may take some time before it’s professionally diagnosed. However, the good news is, once you have the diagnosis, there are several ways that you can help reduce the severity of your Lupus symptoms and significantly improve your daily quality of life, such as various OTC and prescription medications, switching to a better and healthier anti-inflammatory diet – (fatty fish, lots of fruits and veggies), bringing down your stress levels, taking certain vitamins and minerals, etc.

If you want to try improving your diet to reduce your symptoms and medication side effects, or to reduce your risk of developing lupus altogether, there are some foods and substances that you should try to avoid and keep off your table as much as possible.


Alfalfa and Garlic

Both alfalfa and garlic contain certain ingredients that can trigger and stress out your already overdriven immune system, which then leads to a flare-up of lupus symptoms.

A kind of amino acid, known as L-canavanine, is present in alfalfa, while garlic contains thiosulfates, ajoene, and allicin. All of these have shown and proven to exacerbate lupus symptoms, according to extensive clinical studies. What’s worse, alfalfa can also cause muscle aches, heavy fatigue and joint pain.

Red Meats

Red meat is quite high in saturated fat. It’s usually ok to eat occasionally, but if consumed too frequently, saturated and trans fats can be major contributors to heart disease. Some other examples of foods that contain high amounts of saturated and trans fats include high fat dairy products, butter, palm oil and coconut oil.

Cutting down on your saturated and trans fats is one of the most highly recommended dietary changes of them all, since coronary complications are a common and serious consequence of untreated lupus.


While you do not have to 100% stop drinking it, limiting alcoholic beverages will help ensure that your medications will work properly. Alcohol interferes and does not mix well with many medications, including popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen. The most typical and upsetting outcome of combining too much alcohol with NSAIDs are stomach ulcers. In more extreme cases, it will cause internal bleeding in the stomach.

If your rheumatologist has prescribed warfarin to treat your lupus, consuming alcohol while taking it could also increase your risk of liver problems. So if possible, it’s best and safest not to drink any alcohol at all.


Sodium is vital for our health and survival if consumed in moderate amounts. But taking in too much salt can increase your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. These are both potentially serious outcomes with lupus already, so taking steps to avoid developing high blood pressure or heart issues is essential.

If you enjoy eating out a lot, ask your server if they can prepare your meal without any added salt. You can also request that he/she skip the unhealthy and unfavorable sauces, and serve you lemon and benign spices instead to give your food a zing. It may be a bit difficult at first, because as a society, we have grown so accustomed to putting extra salt and other unnecessary substances into our food. But with enough willpower and determination, it will get easier. You will quickly see how much better you can control your salt intake when it’s not spread out over your dish.

Nightshade Vegetables

Although there isn’t any conclusive scientific evidence yet to prove it, some people with lupus have reported that they’ve experienced sensitivities and flare ups after consuming nightshade veggies. Some of these nightshades include: white potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, and eggplants.
These are some delicious and better alternatives that you can try adding to your meals instead: Zucchini, string beans, red onions and sweet potato.

Store-Bought Baked Goods

Nobody enjoys hearing it or thinking about it, because who doesn’t love a sweet and tasty pastry with their coffee? But the hard truth must be spoken.
All those cute and highly addictive donuts, cookies, cakes, muffins and other commercial desserts that you see on every typical supermarket shelf or bakery are absolutely loaded with all the worst stuff for lupus and every other health condition. Sugar, carbs, artificial ingredients, saturated fats, you name it.

But you don’t have to give up those oh so yummy desserts. With just a few changes in the ingredients, and some know how, you can make much healthier treats that taste just as good. Stevia and almond flour work wonders.

Final Thoughts

As previously mentioned, dietary changes can be hard to achieve on your own, especially if you have certain addictions. If you are finding it difficult, it might be helpful to consider joining a support group with people who share similar struggles.

Additionally, severe symptoms and side effects of medications can have an impact on your mental health. Speaking to a mental health professional can be very beneficial as well.

Lastly, to be on the safe side, always check with your doctor before making any health related changes.

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