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How daily exercise and stress reduction affects lupus


Silhouette young woman, exercise on the beach at sunset

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Lupus is an autoimmune disease which is often accompanied by joint pain, swelling and stiffness in the mornings.

This is hardly going to make you feel like exercising but a new research in mice and related pilot study in humans from the Ohio State University shows that regular activity and stress reduction is better in the long run for lupus patients.

In the mouse model, mice began exercising at the age of 11-13 weeks. They exercised 45 minutes a day for seven days on a treadmill. Control mice did not exercise on the treadmill.

Previous studies have shown that physical activity benefits lupus patients but the evidence explaining why has been scarce. As a result moderate exercises and stress management interventions are often not emphasised in the care of lupus patients.

The researchers found that moderate exercise in mice significantly decreases inflammatory kidney damage. 88 per cent of the mice who did not exercise had severe damage while only 45 per cent of the exercising mice showed any damage.

Researchers believe that many biomarkers known to drive inflammation, reduced significantly in the exercise group.

The researchers also tested the impact of stress on lupus mice and to investigate what happens to the same biomarkers. An aggressor male mouse was introduced into the cage for two hours daily for six days. Control mice were handled similarly but the bully mouse was not exposed to them.

The inflammatory markers in mice exposed to the aggressor mouse and associated stress, shot up significantly which cause substantial kidney damage.

Previous studies have shown that physical activity benefits lupus patients but the evidence explaining why has been scarce. As a result moderate exercises and stress management interventions are often not emphasised in the care of lupus patients as the role of such intervention in controlling inflammation is not well understood.

In a small human trial the researchers were able to show a significant decrease in some of the same biomarkers identified in the mouse experiment providing them enough evidence they need to support further human trials.

The researchers believe that exercise and stress can impact inflammation at a molecular level. By introducing exercise regimens and stress reduction intervention, lupus patients may benefit significantly in the future providing much needed relief.

Source: Frontiers in Physiology



 

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!