Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Sjögren's & a JuiceFast

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I hope you’re all recovering from the holidays. I’ll get to the point. I’ve been reading a lot about doing a juice fast (80% veggies, 20% fruit) for a while. I’m wondering if anyone has tried this. I watched the movies, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” one and two and they had a big impact on me. In the movies, people who have autoimmune diseases, including lupus, and taking a ton of meds, were able to decrease or stop their meds and felt SO much better! I’m thinking of doing this for a month. However, I don’t know if I can do it for that long. I’ll shoot for three days to start. I’ve been reading and researching this and can’t see why I shouldn’t give it a try. That’s why I bring this here. Perhaps some of you have tried it or similar and have felt great or perhaps terrible. Before undertaking such a big task and lifestyle change, I’d love your input. It would mean a lot to me to hear your thoughts.

Thank you so much,

I don’t do a cleanse…I just try to eat as healthy as I can. Several servings of fresh vegetables, 2 servings of fruits a day and 3 carbs and several oz of protein. I try to make 1-2 smoothies a day…something like 1+C of kale or spinach, maybe 1" of cucumber, or piece of a beet, little parsley, an ounce of frozen fruit (or some fresh), and some chia or flax seed and a few ice cubes. I keep a baggy of -2" pieces of banana in my freezer to. I put it all in my vitamix and have a delicious frozen or non frozen drink. I DO feel much better when I don’t eat sugar, carbs or processed foods.

Many of these things are just hoopla to get you to buy products etc. I do have friends that have done it but it never allowed them to go off their meds.
Never undertake something like this without talking to your doctor first about it. That is rule #1 as I always say. If doc says ok then give it a try but please do not go off meds without doc knowing and his ok. Doing that with some of our meds could be deadly as some of them require tapering down doses in order to quit eventually.
Good luck and let us know what happens.
Hugs and hang on strong!

I have done a lot of reading also and it does seem like food might be causing our bodies to attack itself. I quit eating gluten a year ago and I feel terrific. So, I go back and forth about quitting the plaquenil. I have thought I would stop taking it to find out if the gluten was causing my problems. I have read here about a lot of others that have quit their meds and then regretted it. Maybe I feel so so well because of the plaquinil. I have decided to cut down to one pill a day...I will keep you posted. I am exercising again and living my life that I had before....


Thank you for the feedback. I have talked to my doctor and he thinks juicing and smoothies is fine, but to stay on my meds unless my many specialists tell me to do otherwise. I won’t do anything with my medication on my own. But if I could just get off prednisone is be so happy! I’m still researching and will be speaking with my doctors nutritionist on staff. Thanks, again.

My personal experience with cleanses/fasts comes from my mom trying to get me to try various types over the past few years. To give you a little background I have Lupus and Sjogrens and my mom has her own business as a health counselor where she helps people improve their diets to improve their health whether they have health problems or are trying to prevent getting health problems in the future. The title of "health counselor" is a little bit misleading in my opinion because she counsels her clients using only alternative medicine type things such as taking a bunch of vitamins/supplements instead of presciption meds and thinking diet and exercise can drastically improve chronic illnesses (I will say that there are certain chronic diseases that diet can potentially really help a lot such as diabetes but Lupus is not one of those diseases). I have a difficult relationship with my mom because she thinks I can cure my lupus by eating vegan and exercising. She is constantly telling me to do some sort of cleanse/fast and that it will make me feel so much better and I won't have to take all the meds that I take so I decided to talk with both my rheumatologist and my primary care doc to get their opinions before doing something like a cleanse/fast. They both told me that it was not a good idea and could potentially be harmful to me especially given the various types of medications I take. I also did some research online and while there is a lot of information out there saying that a cleanse/fast can really help they are coming from an assumption that the person is relatively healthy and/or from a site that is not very reputable. The Mayo Clinic website talks about the potential problems that can come from doing cleanses/fasts as well as there not being any benefit from doing one. That is just my personal research on cleanses/fasts but it was my doctors opinions that really convinced me not to do it. With all the crazy alternative medicine stuff I've tried or been told to try over the past 14 years of dealing with my Lupus/Sjogrens it has become my personal rule of thumb that if it actually has been proven to work it would be called medicine not alternative medicine. My mom's response to my discussions with my doctors on the topic was to say that they don't know what they are talking about and they didn't learn anything about it in school like she did. A doctor typically spends about 11-16 years in school depending on their specialty and my mom spent about 2 years in school to get a certificate (she does not have a bachelors degree) to become a "certified health counselor" so I think I will stick with my doctors opinions. If you are seriously considering doing the fast you should discuss it with your doctors and find out if there are any risks for you personally before making a decision. We all have Lupus in common on here but our individual treatment plans vary greatly so what works for one person may not work for another.

I have tried alternate medicine for more than 2 years for my daughter. While it did a lot of good with the overall health, it did not reduce the antibody count. My daughter had the worst flare up when we decided to reduce the Plaquenil. I feel Plaquenil is a the least harmful med for Lupus and you should never get off it even though nobody knows how it works on reducing the symptoms of lupus.

We discuss with her Rhemy anything before trying it and also continue the meds along with the vitamins and supplements.

I do feel there is some connection between gluten, diary food and lupus--when you try to reduce it, it improves the digestion and that causes less flare ups.

I have read that a juice or any other type of radical cleanse is not good for us. You can cleanse yourself by just eating clean. There is no need to eliminate REAL food. Especially in our case never alter your meds just because of a cleanse or the fact that you feel better. That can cause a lot of damage. There are so many people who want you to jump on the Bandwagon and do the latest health craze, beware.

An anti-inflammitory diet would be the best for us, I really believe.

I council you to consult with your Doctor's about doing this 'juice fasting' before you actually try it. All of this 'juicing' is not a new thing, I can remember 'vegan hippy' friends of mine 'juice fasting' back in the '60s. But they were perfectly healthy in the first place so they did not notice much except perhaps some weight loss. I think that we who have Lupus/Sjorgren's need to watch out for fad diets etc. that could shock our systems and cause flares and possibly more damage to our bodies organs. Please be careful with this 'juice' diet fad.

I’ve tried several alternative treatments including herbs, acupuncture & juicing. I’ve never been able to get off my meds. However, I was able to decrease my Prednisone on Cellcept 1,000 Mg/day. You should check with your Rheumatologist before trying new treatments. Herbs can change the potency of your meds & that can trigger a flare. A well balanced diet & 8 hrs sleep can go a long way in keeping Lupus from flaring.

everybody is different, for me stopping all meds against my doctors advice has worked out ok for me. I'm noticing after 2 years I have no new symptoms, most of my problems are related to organ damage caused by either the lupus or the meds, I'm no worse off than before, I've also stayed away from doctors while I do not advocate anyone doing this, just for me at least its working.

To Hopeful,

You say that you have stopped all your medications against your Doctors orders or advice and that you feel fine? I suppose that you know how insidious sle is? If you in fact do have SLE you must be aware that even though you might feel 'fine' for awhile the Lupus could be going to work on your internal organs including your cardiovascular system as well. Denial of this disease is a dangerous game. I caution you to not take Lupus for granted. Please be well.

It is actually better for people to eat whole fruits and vegetables than to juice them because you are eliminating fiber from your system. The fruit juice part of the juicing without fiber becomes a shot of sugar into your system, while whole fruit is absorbed much more slowly. I supppose this happens with the veggies, too. And you are eliminating protein in your diet, or taking supplements, which are probably soy based. I don’t know how long you can maintain this. How a out a vegetarian diet part of the time?

You’re replies are all very much appreciated and I will take them all under advisement. I won’t do anything against doctors orders and certainly won’t make any changes in my medication without my doctors permission.
Have any of you seen Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross or Super Juice Me by Jason Vale? There were people who did a juice only fast and had autoimmune diseases, including lupus. They said it helped them.

I’m just so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I suppose this is my way of trying to take some control over my disease and syndromes. I’ve started with a clean diet, whole, no processed foods. I lost some weight (I need to lose a lot) and I felt a bit better I think. I’m not certain because I have so much going on with me it’s tough to differentiate between what’s helping and what’s not. I then went into green smoothies with clean eating. I lost a bit more weight. I made sure I got in all my nutrients and protein. But, now I want to try just juice or a juice/smoothie combo. I am in touch with my doctor on a regular basis. I have an appointment with my rheumatologist coming up, so I can further discuss it with him.

Thanks, everyone!

I have noticed a difference when I eat more processed food and sugar my fibro is so much worse. I started with just a smoothie every morning yogurt, frozen strawberries, banana. It’s so good and now I have done it for so long it has begun to be a habit. I look forward to my smoothe. My mom bought me a nutri bullet and it is a great machine. I made a carrot smoothie, almonds milk, oranges, flax seed, you could not even see carrots in it. My smoothie was like a dreamcicle. I I am starting a diet the first of the year 4 smoothies one meal with meat, vegetable, one starch. I feel like I have to do something I have pu t on 50 lbs since I got sick. I need more energy and less pain. I have lost so much my dream job, my dream house. It’s time to reclaim some of my life. I have accepted life will never be the same again. Everyone is different every case of lupus is different I think you should explore every option to see if it helps. Good luck to you…

I’m trying to lose wt too. I lost 40 lbs when the Prednisone was reduced but gained it back this summer when I had to go up to 40mg of Prednisone due to flares because of the heat. I find if a eat smaller more frequent meals my blood sugars are more stable. I’m working on cutting sugar from my diet. I’m looking into The Sugar Busters Diet. I also want to try an exercise program consistently. Our church has The Daniel Plan that I want to try. My goal is to lose 100 lbs this ur& get physically fit.