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Lupus and Chinese Medicine.

This month is Lupus awareness month, and as such I thought that it would be good to both talk about Lupus and what Chinese Medicine can do for those that suffer from it.

There are a number of different types of Lupus:

1. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or SLE.

This type is commonly referred to as SLE and is the systemic form of the disease and is also a chronic condition. Being a systemic inflammatory, immune system disease means that multiple parts of the body can be affected. So any joints, the skin, organs - like the kidneys, lungs, heart or the nervous system and possibly the brain can be affected. Also no two patients will show the same symptoms, and therefore they will require individualized treatments. This is arguably Chinese Medicine’s real forte; we are specialists in tailoring the treatment to the patient.

2. Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

a. This type of Lupus has 3 sub divisions
i. Chronic cutaneous (discoid) lupus
ii. Sub-acute cutaneous lupus, and
iii. Acute cutaneous lupus.

b. This type of Lupus will develop on exposed areas of skin, it is aggravated      by exposure to sunlight and some artificial lights.

3. Drug-Induced Lupus

Some medications can trigger SLE like symptoms. When medications are stopped the symptoms will generally disappear.

4. Neonatal Lupus

This is a rare form of the disease and is passed to the developing fetus in utero. For more information please see the website             lupus-sle.org.

Chinese Medicine’s approach to Lupus is to address the symptoms of each individual as they present in the clinic and to assist in reducing the inflammatory response. This is normally done through the use of Herbal formulas. A herbal formula is a tailored solution to the individual and will have no adverse side effects as its effectiveness is monitored by the practitioner. As a Doctor of Chinese Medicine it is my role to ensure that any medications the patient is prescribed by their other physicians is not affected by my prescription(s) of Chinese herbs. The role of Chinese Medicine is to compliment to Western Medicine.

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