WHAT IS LUPUS?
Lupus is a disease which can affect joints, muscles and other parts of the body. It is often described as an auto-immune disease. This means that for some unknown reason people with lupus seem to develop antibodies (which usually fight bacteria and viruses) that attack healthy tissues instead. This produces inflammation in different parts of the body resulting in pain and swelling. Lupus can also affect the skin, heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys and blood and in particular the immune system. Lupus is a chronic, systemic disease. This means that it tends to last a long time, usually for the rest of your life. However, nearly all people with lupus have periods of improvement (remissions). Some people have complete and long-lasting remissions.
There are three types of lupus: discoid, systemic, and drug-induced. Discoid lupus is always limited to the skin. It is identified by a rash that may appear on the face, neck and scalp. Discoid lupus is diagnosed by examining a biopsy of the rash. In discoid lupus the biopsy will show abnormalities that are not found in skin without the rash. Discoid lupus does not generally involve the body's internal organs.
In approximately 10 percent of the people with lupus, discoid lupus can evolve into the systemic form of the disease, which can affect almost any organ or system of the body. This cannot be predicted or prevented. Systemic lupus is usually more severe than discoid lupus, and can affect almost any organ or system of the body. For some people, only the skin and joints will be involved. In others, the joints, lungs, kidneys, blood or other organs and/or tissues may be affected.
Lupus tends to affect women in their childbearing years. However, lupus can occur in young children or in older people. The number of women affected outnumber men by nine to one. The disease is commoner in Orientals and Blacks.
The cause(s) of Lupus is unknown. There is likely a hereditary factor in some cases. A few drugs taken for conditions like high blood pressure or tuberculosis can cause symptoms just like lupus but these symptoms always disappear when the drug is stopped.
Although the symptoms of lupus can vary widely, persons with this disease experience such common problems as: fever, headache, fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, weight loss, easy bruising, aches & pains, edema/swelling, hair loss, and swollen glands. However, the following symptoms and signs are much more indicative of lupus:
- A rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose
- Rashes after exposure to the sun or ultraviolet light
- Ulcers inside the mouth
- Arthritis of two or more joints i.e., the joints hurt and are swollen
- Pleurisy – pain in the chest on deep breathing
- Raynaud's – fingers turning white and/or blue in the cold
From a standard medical perspective, lupus is an incurable illness. Treatment focuses on symptom relief and suppression. Medical treatment program for lupus includes medications, getting enough rest when the disease is active and avoiding sun exposure.
EDGAR CAYCE'S PERSPECTIVE OF LUPUS
Edgar Cayce provided numerous readings for individuals suffering from chronic systemic auto-immune syndromes which resemble lupus. In one case (reading 5288-1), a 43 year-old woman was informed by her physician that her condition indicated "disseminated lupus erythematoza." Although the diagnosis is uncertain, the systemic nature of the illness and skin manifestations are certainly noteworthy.
Edgar Cayce's reading for this person emphasized the role of poor eliminations as a causative factor. When raw materials are assimilated and used by the body's organs, waste materials are produced which must be eliminated from the body. If these wastes are not effectively removed, the body will be toxic (autointoxication or self poisoning). There are four major eliminating routes in the body: 1) the bowel (defecation), 2) the bladder (urination), 3) the breath (respiration), and 4) the skin (perspiration). Reading 5288-1 described a "breakage in coordinations between the eliminating channels of the body" whereby toxins were not being properly eliminated through all these channels. Too many toxins were being eliminated through the skin with a great deal remaining in the body producing a wide range of symptoms such as headache, weakness, nausea, indigestion, cough, dizziness, blurred vision, and pressure in the ear drums. According to Cayce, poor assimilations and glandular dysfunction contributed to the systemic autointoxication.
Treatment recommendations in reading 5288-1 focused on improving systemic functioning such as assimilation, elimination, and circulation. Dietary supplements were suggested to improve digestion. Electrotherapy and manual therapy (massage) were prescribed to assist in cleansing the hepatic organs (especially the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys). Colonic irrigation was mentioned as an option for cleansing the large intestine. The mental and spiritual aspects of healing were emphasized: "but keep the attitude of creative helpfulness for others as well as for self."
Although the specific pathology that was responsible for the autointoxication was not given, in other readings for individuals with chronic systemic auto-immune disease, various etiologies were described. For persons with psoriasis, bowel permeability (leaky gut) was often cited as a significant factor. Toxins that are normally eliminated through the bowel leak out of the gut and are eliminated through the skin resulting in skin lesions. Frequently, toxins also settle in various other systems of the body evoking an immune response and symptoms such as arthritis, headache, depression, and heart disease.
For example, in reading 943-17, Edgar Cayce observed that toxins were leaking out of the intestines. He noted that the body was attempting to eliminate the toxicity through the skin, which was producing the psoriatic symptoms. However, he went on to observe that if the toxicity were to settle in some other part of the body, a variety of serious illnesses could result:
Would this [toxicity] not be thrown off in the epidermis, or the lymph and capillary circulation, with this particular condition of this body, the intestinal tract would be full of pinholes; or, were it to go to the lungs, there would be tuberculosis; were it to go to the valves of the heart, it would be heart trouble - as would be called; were it to go to the liver, it would be cirrhosis of the liver; were it to go to the spleen, it would be a hardening of one end of it; were it to go to the brain, it would be softening of the brain; were it to go to the glands of the throat or thyroids, it would be that of goitre; or were it to settle in some other portion - were it to SETTLE - it would become a tumor of some character or nature. (943-17)
Perhaps for some individuals, the systemic manifestations of lupus follow a similar pattern of systemic autointoxication. Noninvasive tests which measure bowel permeability are available to assess whether bowel permeability is a contributing factor in lupus. From a therapeutic standpoint, maintaining the integrity of the alimentary canal with diet while focusing on internal cleansing is emphasized in Edgar Cayce's approach to systemic illnesses such as lupus.
Glandular dysfunction is another contributing factor which is mentioned in many of the readings that Edgar Cayce gave for persons with systemic autoimmune disease. Notably, in the numerous readings which describe the causes and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, problems with the glandular system are prominent. Purification of the glands with a medicine containing iodine (Atomidine) in conjunction with hot Epsom salts packs and baths are standard Cayce treatments for rheumatoid arthritis.
BASIC TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
Conceptually, the Cayce approach focuses on assisting the body in healing itself by the application of a variety of therapies intended to the address specific (local) symptoms associated with lupus as well as the general (systemic) aspects of the condition which may be related to the underlying cause of the problem. The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are emphasized from the standpoint of working with a spiritual ideal.
Because of the systemic features of lupus, the Cayce approach utilizes several therapies intended to improve systemic functioning with regard to circulation, assimilation, relaxation, and elimination. Harold Reilly, a physiotherapist to whom Edgar Cayce made frequent referrals, created the term C.A.R.E. to describe the treatment pattern frequently recommended by Cayce. The letters of C.A.R.E. stand for "circulation," "assimilation," "relaxation" and "elimination." Assisting the body to become more normal in these key aspects of its functioning helps the body to increase its vitality and to heal itself. Reilly’s C.A.R.E. model relies heavily on several basic therapeutic modalities frequently recommended by Edgar Cayce, including diet, manual therapy, hydrotherapy, and mental/spiritual healing.
Here are some general therapeutic guidelines for persons suffering from lupus:
- DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation and elimination. The diet focuses heavily on keeping a proper alkaline/acid balance while avoiding foods which produce toxicity and drain the system. Essentially, the diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Certain food combinations are emphasized.
- INTERNAL CLEANSING: Because persons with lupus often suffer from poor eliminations and systemic toxicity, internal cleansing is important. To assist with internal cleansing, hydrotherapy is recommended. Hydrotherapy includes drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily and obtaining colonic irrigations to cleanse the bowel. Following the diet should also assist with internal cleansing. Castor oil packs help by stimulating the liver and cleansing the alimentary canal. Small quantities of Atomidine taken orally is intended to purify the glandular system.
- MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE): Cayce often recommended spinal adjustments to correct specific problems with the nervous system and to provide general (systemic) coordination while improving circulation, assimilations, relaxation, and eliminations. It is difficult to obtain the osteopathic adjustments specified by Cayce. However, a chiropractor may be of some help. The frequency of the adjustments will depend on the recommendations of the individual chiropractor or osteopath. The use of an electric vibrator may also be helpful for individuals unable to obtain regular spinal adjustments. Regular massage will also assist with eliminations and systemic coordination.
- ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and spiritual aspects of healing are frequently discussed in the Cayce readings. Particularly, an attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important. A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained by focusing on a high purpose (spiritual ideal) for being healed.
SPECIAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SYMPTOMATIC RELIEF
The above general recommendations should be helpful for addressing the causes of lupus. However for symptomatic relief, here are some specific recommendations which may help to relieve some of the numerous complaints which can be associated with lupus:
- WATERMELON SEED TEA FOR KIDNEY RELATED PROBLEMS: For symptoms related to kidney dysfunction (such as puffiness under the eyes and swelling of the legs and feet), watermelon seed tea may be helpful in cleansing the kidneys and improving eliminations through the urinary system.
- EPSOM SALTS BATHS FOR ARTHRITIC SYMPTOMS: Hot Epsom salts baths increase circulation and eliminations which can relieve some of the aches and pains of arthritic problems.
- BEEF JUICE FOR GENERAL DEBILITATION: Sipping small quantities of beef juice may be helpful for combating prolonged or extreme fatigue.
- GRAPE THERAPY FOR ABDOMINAL PAIN: Edgar Cayce recommended eating grapes and using grape packs over the abdomen for symptomatic relief of abdominal pain and cramping.