By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Regular exercise may slow kidney damage in people with lupus while stress may prompt the opposite effect, new research suggests.
The autoimmune disease causes the body to attack and damage vital organs such as the kidneys. Singer Selena Gomez put lupus in the spotlight when she received a kidney transplant because the disease had ravaged her own kidneys.
But the new research, which included two mice trials and a slightly different human trial, offers new strategies that might help other lupus patients avoid the same fate.
In the first trial, only 45 percent of mice with the disease that did moderate exercise (45 minutes of treadmill walking a day) had severe inflammatory damage to the kidneys, compared with 88 percent of those that did not exercise.
In another experiment, mice with lupus that were subjected to daily stress had significant increases in inflammatory kidney damage compared to those that didn't have stress, according to the Ohio State University researchers.
"If we observe similar results in human studies, this could mean that stress reduction and a daily regimen of physical therapy should be considered as interventional strategies to be used alongside current medical treatment," said study senior author Nicholas Young, a research scientist in rheumatology and immunology at Ohio State.
The researchers have already begun to explore that possibility. Young and his colleagues had a small number of lupus patients do a daily tai chi exercise program. Initial findings showed a significant decline in some indicators of inflammation in the patients.
The scientists are now trying to arrange a larger clinical trial with lupus patients.
"We may have started to characterize an effective way to reduce inflammation and help people with lupus aside from conventional drug therapy," Young said in a university news release.
The results will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology meeting in November, and they were published recently in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.
"We've shown on a molecular level that both exercise and stress can impact inflammation by regulation of the immune system, which may provide a unique opportunity to help people suffering from the chronic inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases like lupus," Young said.
SOURCE: Ohio State University, news release, Sept. 13, 2017
Note: This article was published more than one year ago.
The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate.
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.
Here are some questions and conversations from MyLupusTeam:
• Kidneys: Does anyone notice being swollen and barely having to pee some days, then out of the blue you go continuously all day long and lose a lot of fluid? Im beginning to notice this is a regular thing.
• Was just diagnosed a month ago with 4&5 nephritis lupus. Having major issues with feet swelling. Any suggestions to help with the swelling or ideas how long it takes to get rid of the fluid build up?
•"I am overwhelmingly grateful for my stellar comeback from Stage 4 CKD, diffuse proliferative nephritis. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take the medications prescribed by your rheumatologist, listen to your body and transition off temporary medications as soon as possible, eat a healthy and balanced diet (go vegan!!!) and exercise regularly and vigorously!"
• "As of the middle of last week my bloodwork is showing that the lupus has begun to affect my kidneys. These tests were performed a week after being on Prednisone. Fortunately, it seems i have a competent doctor because, he too, wants to only try the prednisone for a one month period due to the severe side effects."
Have you found a way to keep a regular exercise schedule and minimize stress?
Share in the comments below or directly on MyLupusTeam.