Ask Dr. Liliya Slutsker: Lupus

January 11, 2018

My dear friends and neighbors!

Creating a healthy lifestyle through clean eating, nutrition, and exercise is my passion. However, today’s question is about Lupus. Lupus has many faces, and it’s a long conversation.

I would try to answer the question to the extent of public education.


However, my blog  answers are not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I would refer you to  your medical provider and use their knowledge and expertise to take care of you.


And just for your confidentiality, I would encourage you to send the questions to Dr.Liliya”s mail box:



Systemic lupus erythematosus (also known as lupus or SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of your body. Lupus is an autoimmune condition, meaning that your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues, thinking that they are foreign; this can lead to pain, swelling and damage to organs such as kidneys. The cause of Lupus is not clear.


People with lupus often have disease flares, in which symptoms worsen, followed by period of remission, in which symptoms improved. Lupus is mild in some people and could be worse in others. However, treatments are available to reduce symptoms, reverse inflammation and minimize organ damage.

Lupus is a systemic disease and may affect many organs : nervous systems, lungs, kidneys, heart, digestive system, eyes, most frequently starts with skin.


Most people with SLE have skin abnormalities at sometime. The most common is a rash known as the “butterfly rash” this appears as the redness over the cheeks and nose after being in the sun. The rash on the last few days, but often comes back.

Light sensitivity: between 60 and 100% of people with Lupus are  sensitive to ultraviolet UV light. This photosensitivity causes the person to develop a rash after exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun or fluorescent lamps. Some people are also sensitive to UV radiation from sunlight. Glass protect individuals sensitive to UVB (from sunlight or fluorescent light), but only partially protects those sensitive to UVA.

Blonde, blue eyes, fair skinned individuals are much more for the sensitive than brunettes or individuals with darker skin.

Those who are for the sensitive should do the following to minimize UV exposure ;

Avoid areas of high sun exposure brackets beaches, snow, Lakes, brackets especially between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.


-Avoid medication that may cause photosensitivity( sulfa meds).

-Use a sunscreen with a sun protection Factor SPF of 50 or greater daily does sunscreen should be applied 30 to 60 minutes before going outside and should be replied every 2 hours. Sunscreen should be applied even when patient is inside or building.


Medication precautions:A number of medications are known to worsen lupus. You should not take this medication if that is an acceptable alternative. Sulfur containing antibiotics that should be avoided.


Diet and nutrition: Most people that have lupus do not require special diet but should instead eat a well balanced diet .

A well balanced diet would be low in fat but high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and contains a moderate amount of meat, poultry and fish.

-People visit active lupus and fever may require more calories

-If you are swelling edema in your feet or legs, decrease the amount of salt and sodium in your diet.

-Extra vitamins are rarely needed if you eat a balanced diet. If you’re not able to eat a balanced diet or dieting to lose weight, you should take supplemental vitamins.

Drinking a moderate amount of alcohol (one drink or less for women and two drinks or less per day for men) is usually safe. However, alcohol can interact with medication used to treat lupus.


Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.


In your health,

Liliya Slutsker, MD