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Acupuncture and Natural Medicine for Lupus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or simply lupus, is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's protective antibodies attack various tissues. It is characterized by episodes of fever, pain, swelling (especially in the joints), inflammation, fatigue, and distinctive skin rashes.

SLE afflicts women ten times more often than men and is more prevalent and more severe in Asian and black populations.

SLE's distinctive rashes include malar rash, which produces a reddish band across the face from one cheek to the other that resembles sunburn; and discoid rash, which is also reddish, but with raised or rough patches.

Typically, SLE sufferers experience flares, or active periods, that are followed by quiet periods called remissions. As the disease progresses it can affect your kidneys, lungs, joints, skin, nervous system and other organs. When the disease causes inflammation in the kidneys it is called lupus nephritis.

There is no cure for lupus, but fortunately there are ways that people with this disease can learn to manage their symptoms and live a full and productive life.

Mild cases of lupus are often treated with acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are sometimes used along with anti-malarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine. Low dose corticosteroids may also be prescribed. In severe cases, higher doses of corticosteroids, such as prednisone, and drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclophosphamide, methotraxate, azathioprine, belimumab, or mycophenolate mofetil may be prescribed.

These drugs should be used with caution, particularly when treating non-cancer-related illnesses, since all of them have serious, sometimes fatal, side effects. They can also harm or cause the death of an unborn baby.

The most common side effects of chemotherapy drugs (such as methotrexate) are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, skin pigmentation, liver damage, memory loss or brain fog, and hair loss.

How We Can Help

At Maryland Holistics, we offer acupuncture and natural care options that can help to manage the symptoms of lupus and restore a sense of control and well being to your life. We emphasize an inclusive approach to wellness that combines a variety of natural, non-pharmacological treatment therapies tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.

Acupuncture can reduce fatigue and many types of chronic pain, often reducing the need for powerful pharmaceutical drugs that come with serious side effects, especially with prolonged use. It can also restore more restful sleep and reduce the stress, anxiety and depression so often experienced by people with autoimmune disorders, and promote a deep sense of well being.

The first randomized clinical trial (RCT) of acupuncture that specifically addressed SLE was conducted in 2008 and was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pittsburgh. Building on earlier RCT's that showed acupuncture reduces the pain and fatigue caused by chronic osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, researchers concluded that acupuncture was feasible and safe for patients with lupus and could be considered a useful non-pharmacological method for managing pain.1

In addition to acupuncture, we offer expert advice on proper diet and nutrition, the right amount of exercise, work/life adjustments, as well as meditation and other stress reducing therapies. We believe these are critical factors in managing lupus as part of an overall medical treatment plan that can help you reach your health goals.

1. Greco, C.M., Kao, A.H., Maksimowicz-McKinnon, K., Glick, R.M., Houze, M., Sereika, S.M., Balk, J.,Manzi, S. (2008). Acupuncture for systemic lupus erythematosus: a pilot RCT feasibility and safety study. Lupus, 17 (12), 1108-16. doi:10.1177/0961203308093921
"Lupus can affect various organs and systems in different ways, with the most significant or worrisome effects often occurring in the kidneys or nervous system. Most of my patients with lupus have said they felt acupuncture was helpful for their condition. During the acute phase, I often schedule appointments weekly. Once stabilized, patients appear to have benefited from treatment on a monthly schedule."

Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac.

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Pain Relief
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Before Your Visit
Information for Physicians
About Dr. Eric Windsor
Biochemical Research on Acupuncture
How We Work with Lab Tests and Imaging

About Maryland Holistics

Maryland Holistics LLC is the private practice of Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac., L.Ac. Our serene, professional office is located in Ellicott City, MD. Maryland Holistics has provided care to thousands of satisfied customers since opening in 2009. Dr. Windsor is a preferred provider in the CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GEHA, and United Healthcare networks.

3525 Ellicott Mills Dr., Ste E
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 301-588-5858
Fax: 443-308-5690