Meet the women fighting lupus with a plant-based diet

A chronic autoimmune disease, lupus is most commonly discovered among women of childbearing age. Those diagnosed with lupus often face symptoms such as pain, fatigue, hair loss and fever. Many also struggle with kidney disease and seizures.

While general medical consensus says there is no cure, select evidence suggests that lupus can be managed, and perhaps even overcome, through a change in diet.

Living Vegan is by no means here to espouse the belief that a vegan or plant-based diet will cure whatever ails you. Student debt? Go raw vegan! Baldness? How about a juice cleanse? Terminal illness? Broccoli will fix you right up. Just no.

However, a number of lupus sufferers, including one established medical professional, say that a plant-based diet has vastly improved their quality of life. Some even claim that they’re symptom-free as a result of a simple change in diet.

A look at some of these stories follows.

Brooke Goldner

Dr Brooke Goldner

A fully licensed medical professional, Dr Brooke Goldner is among the best-known names in the study of lupus and diet.

She had already suffered through kidney failure, mini-strokes and being told that she would never bare children, by the time she discovered a plant-based diet. Now, according to the doctor herself, she’s living symptom-free and tests negative for lupus.

Dr Goldner has since become a passionate advocate for micronutrient-dense, plant-based diets, and has written extensively on the relationship between lupus and a plant-based diet. She’s even authored a book on the topic, Goodbye Lupus, which you can purchase here.

Joycce Hale

Joyce Hale

According to the story she shared with Forks Over Knives, Joyce Hale’s quality of life had not only been compromised by her condition for years, but was expected to get much worse.

Faced with the prospect of no longer being able to drive or work, Hale decided to take matters into her own hands and began to experiment with a wholefoods, plant-based diet.

The results were extraordinary. Hale has now weaned herself off lupus medication, no longer pays regular visits to the hospital and is “whole again”. Her new-found health, she says, can be credited to her plant-based diet.

Gina Yashere

Gina Yashere

According to a story she shared with The Telegraph, comedian Gina Yashere was diagnosed with lupus in 2005. She’d found herself struggling with joint pain and swelling so severe, it prevented her from living her day-to-day life.

Having looked into alternative therapies, Yashere discovered raw-food veganism on a trip to Thailand.

After changing her diet, she says it only took about six months for her symptoms to disappear, and she ditched her medication for good.

Jami Heymann

Jami Heymann

Jami Heymann, who also shared her story with Forks Over Knives, says she went from “crippling” lupus to a healthy, vibrant lifestyle as a result of her wholefoods, plant-based diet.

Having suffered through partial seizures and significant joint pain as a result of the disease, Heymann took it upon herself to research autoimmune disease success stories, and found one of her own.

Having dropped sugar, animal products, gluten and oil from her diet, she now says she feels “totally healthy and normal” and lives symptom-free.

Now, she keeps a blog, Sweet Veggie Life, where she shares her experience leading a plant-based lifestyle.

Header image: Facebook/Living Vegan
Body images: Facebook

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