Lupus Diet and Microbiome

Is there a lupus diet? What is the microbiome?


There are so many diets and eating trends to choose from when you’re deciding how to nourish your body. If you have lupus, you may be reducing inflammation through medication. But did you know that there are certain foods that can help reduce inflammation too? Whether you were recently diagnosed or you have been living with lupus for many years, it’s important to understand how your eating habits impact your quality of life.


Diet alone can not be used to manage your lupus, but it can be useful in conjunction with your current medical care. Your recommended diet depends on the level of disease activity and the medications being used to treat your lupus. The gut is affected by lupus, so maintaining gut health, or the Microbiome, is also important in managing disease. As noted in The Lupus Book, “Healthy individuals have large amounts of healthy bacteria in their intestine of all different types. This sum of our bacterial make-up is called the microbiome.” An individual with lupus has a gut with a less diverse microbiome which results in less T cell diversity. This leads to the release of pro-inflammatory proteins which cause inflammation throughout the body.


Medical professionals have not yet discovered an ideal diet specific to lupus, however, a rheumatic diet is currently recommended for those with SLE. Patients are encouraged to eat from all of the food groups; generally foods that are all colors of the rainbow. If patients are aware of food allergies, those should still be avoided. Please consult with your medical team before making any changes to your lifestyle or eating habits.


The following information is adapted from the sixth edition of The Lupus Book.

Alfalfa sprouts should be avoided

Alcohol use should be limited or avoided

Limit fat and salt if you’re taking steroids

Increase calcium if you’re experiencing osteoporosis

Gluten-free diets are essential for those with celiac disease

Vitamin and supplements may be necessary for vegetarian and vegan diets


Click below to read more about the Arthritis Foundation’s recommended rheumatic diet:


Click below to read more about the Lupus Foundation of America’s dietary and nutrition recommendations:


For more information about lupus and nutrition see the most recent edition of The Lupus Book. Schedule a visit with one of our compassionate doctors at Wallace & Lee Center if you have further questions about your treatment options.