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Venus William has an autoimmune disease

Hi, I was interested to hear about Venus Williams and her recent diagnosis of sjogrens syndrome, an auto immune disease. Here is a link to a interview were she talks a little about it. I too have found benefit from diet change. Has anyone else? I think there is some evidence about diet but that it is different for each person which makes it difficult to recommend a specific diet. what does everyone else think?

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Pleased you have raised this as I find diet affects the disease for me considerably, although everyone is different. I find that If I stick to a diet where the basics are organic, I can drastically reduce my symptoms. If I start going back to all non-organic or processed foods I get a flare up after about a week or so. I discovered this by accident when trying to eat more healthily by eating as much organic-based food in my diet, and also trying to lose weight. I was very surprised to find that after two weeks my symptoms almost vanished, diet had been the only thing I had changed and it got me thinking. Although flare ups can come and go as well, I experimented by stopping and starting organic foods over several months and the results/improvements were always the same. I would not want anyone else to think this is a cure as it is not, it is clearly personal to me and I still get odd niggles and also my disease is fairly mild compared to some, but for me personally there is a very distinct difference. I have even wondered if my problems are triggered by a certain chemical in non-organic food which promotes an immune response. I know that certain pesticides can cause joint pains and perhaps this is a contributory factor and nothing else. I have also discovered that I do not have to eat everything that is organic, and find that just eating the more staple foods of milk, bread, and potatoes seems to keep my symptoms down, useful as organic food can be quite expensive! Whether the ability to keep symptoms down like this is due to my eating only organics for several months, so almost clearing processed foods from my diet was the key to be able to maintain things on a lower level of staple foods I am not sure but perhaps this was why ? Who knows as far this disease is concerned!There are of course quite a few foods that are not available in organic form but most are, and unusual things not available in supermarkets are available from specialist food shops. All of this I discovered by accident and I would be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this, and whether it made a difference. Would like to stress that what works for me, may not work for anyone else as our bodies are all different but I now increase the amount of organics in my diet according to any pain symptoms I get. To those with a milder disease like mine, (which has still not been definitely confirmed as SLE and still UTCD but working towards lupus) you might feel that anything is worth trying. I still eat exactly the same things, just increase the organic version when I have problems. A friend with Lupus tells me she improves her symptoms by avoiding "nightshade" foods, but it made no difference with me so it shows that we are all different and will get different results or even none at all.

Looking forward to hearing of other peoples experiences with diet.


I have spent many years looking at my diet and how it could help me with my illness. I am fortunate in that my husband works for a wholefoods/organic company so we can buy these foods more cheaply and therefore we have had this kind of diet for many years. I would like to think that it has helped me in preventing my body from giving me a worse kind of Lupus (I don't have organ involvement) but there is no way to tell for sure. I have also gone gluten free as I have a wheat intolerance and I still can't eat it without stomach pains, bloating, and feeling much worse all round. I have not tried cutting out the nightshade family as I love my tomatoes, potatoes and peppers and I don't want to cut them out. I also have found that I'm better when I don't eat sugar as it seems to make me very grumpy and I've noticed my symptoms increase a little (it can be inflammatory). I've noticed I'm better for not eating too much dairy, and if I eat too much chocolate too I get migraines.

I bought a book called 'The Lupus Recovery diet' which I got excited about in May this year as it promised recovery if you stuck to a very strict vegan raw food diet. But I found it too brutal, and I felt sick all the time, lost a lot of weight and apparently looked 'starved'! I couldn't keep up with it and it took over my whole life! I think it would work well for people who have gained a lot of weight and have a slow metabolism, but mine is fast and I need more hot food and protein in my diet too.

I have a Nutritional Therapist at the moment. She has recommended I look into doing the GAPS diet. If you are interested look up Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride and 'GAPS' and you'll find her website. Her theory is that lots of neurological (and auto-immune) conditions are caused by a 'leaky gut' and by healing the gut wall you can heal the whole system. I had a look at the diet and thought 'oh no, not another brutal diet!' but I've been encouraged to try some aspects of it, especially introducing lots of soups an stews made with home made chicken stock. It contains collagen which helps the body repair the gut wall and helps reduce ageing too.

There was a program made recently where a scientist investigated the benefits of fasting in the diet. Here is a link to an article about it:

Today I am going to try a fasting day. I am going to eat a small breakfast so I can take my painkiller and then just eat home made chicken broth and stew for the rest of the day. The research shows that the body needs a regular break from digesting so that it can repair cells, and this is when healing can take place. I'm hoping it will help my body to go into a healing state. We'll see!

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Diet has also made a huge difference to me. I felt best when I was eating raw, organic, vegan for a couple of years or more. Tough though. Now I eat as much organic and vegetarian as possible. And still a lot of raw. I avoid cow's milk and gluten as much as possible too.

BEST ever dietary action I took was to fast. Totally. Water ONLY, and nothing else, for a week. Had tremendous long-lasting health benefits. Should only be done under supervision though. But can be very cleansing. And give you a 'clean slate' as it were to build up from.


How funny, you must have been writing this as I wrote my reply above! How did you do a week long fast? Did you go to a specialist place? I'm planning on doing the one day fast, once a week. have you got any tips? I'm going to use chicken broth, not just water..


I'd love to know how you get on with your fasting and chicken broth diets. I am actually vegetarian, does it have to be chicken? I dont think I could last on water for a week though.... Maybe a day. Please keep me informed.


Going gluten free has helped my ibs and kept my weight down, but has not done much for my aches and pains. When my daughter was at university, she became a vegetarian. So i became used to cooking and eating vegetarian.When i didn't eat vegetarian, i ate only chicken and fish, but It didn't make much difference to my pain levels.

A raw vegan diet may be the answer, but it's very difficult to do. I do recall reading a newspaper article years ago about a women with ra who went on a raw vegan diet and her ra went into remission. Fasting is interesting, particually after watching Horizon the other week.

Going gluten free has definately been beneficial for me. Going dairy free has had some benefits, although i find it so much harder.


I watched the video clip of Venus Willams talking about her disease. I think it's great that celebrities can come forward and talk about their auto immune illnesses as it give hope and inspiration to us all. If Venus can talk about how fatigued she has felt just sitting in a chair then to me it makes it feel more acceptable to have. She has also given hope for how she is managing to conquer/manage her illness.


To start gathering information about fasting take a look first at I met Loren some years ago and he supervised me (remotely, from 'across the pond'!) when I did my first, one-week fast. But there are plenty of other resources out there about fasting. Do your research.

I certainly feel fasting is deeply therapeutic. It helps clear out years, decades, lifetimes of accumulated toxins, that get laid down in adipose tissue. The body only starts drawing on that tissue for energy when it's exhausted other reserves like fat, muscle, etc. That takes at least 3 days. If you're taking in ANY nourishment in that time, even chicken broth, it will be feeding the body, providing glucose for energy, so the adipose tissue won't get touched and the detoxification won't happen.

That first fast, I lost 3 stone. Not in a week, you understand! I lost a lot, tho I can't remember exactly how much now. But even when I went back to eating, I continued to lose weight. And it's pretty much stayed off ever since because my eating now is so much healthier than it was before the fast, and because I cleared out all that crud.


By not eating nightshade family I have less pain in joints. By choosing non gluten grains my brain works better and I have less brain fog and no gut pains even though blood tests were inconclusive [probably cause I wasn't eating gluten at the time.] Eating more than 50% organic diet helps lift my energy levels noticeably. [I'ave also noticed using non-organic mulch in my vegetable garden has decreased the growth by at least 30%.!!!]

Sle can be such a challenge to live with, that it's been good emotionally to be able do what I can that makes a difference. Having fresh juiced in the past found that good and easy drinking freshly made juices every 2 hours. However I recommend that for more than one day it may be wise to be with a health practitioner trained in this area especially if you take medication.


Speaking of celeb, I often notice the use of glamorous young women on Lupus UK leaflets. I could be the only one, thinking.....there are others with SLE older than 29 years old. OK I did digress.


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