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My mother passed away from Lupus and connective tissue disease. I was wondering if Lupus was hereditary. Thanks


Thanks for writing in.
I'm so sorry you lost your Mom to lupus.
Not everyone realizes how serious this disease can be.

A lot of research has been done (and is still being done) trying to identify a lupus gene. So far no one has really found one.

The more forward-thinking doctors (such as Mercola, Oz, Hyman) believe that genetics "load the gun" but lifestyle is what "pulls the trigger." In other words, there may be more potential in a given family to develop a certain disease, but that disease will only occur if enough challenges are presented to the body (for example, stress, poor diet, pollution, radiation, trauma, accidents, poor sleep, lack of community or good relationships, lack of joy, lack of meaning and purpose in life).

Only 1% of diseases are purely genetic. Meaning if your parents had the disease, you will definitely get it. Only 1%. That's good news, because that means most of the diseases you hear about, including lupus, can be turned around somewhat, or even completely, by lifestyle changes.

I was diagnosed with lupus in 1993. I had severe lupus, with kidney failure, congestive heart failure, anemia, stroke, and all the weakness exhaustion and hair loss that go along with it all. I was helped back to strength by medication but only was able to get off the medication and totally reclaim my health by making drastic changes in both my line of work and my diet (I am gluten free and dairy free and no artificial sweeteners or MSG, and I eat a lot of vegetables).

In short, if your mother had lupus, even severe fatal lupus, it is not inevitable that you will too. But you will need to make conscious healthy choices to avoid illness. Genes run in families, but so do lifestyles and so do food allergies. I'd suggest you check out a few books on lupus, some of which may be available at your local library.

The Lupus Recovery Diet, Jill Harrington
Super Immunity Solution, Joel Fuhrman (not lupus book, but a wellness/ nutrition book)
How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This (my book)
Integrative Nutrition, Joshua Rosenthal (you can download this book for free at It's not a lupus book; it's just about nutrition)

Any of these will give you some ideas on how you can use your kitchen and other choices to keep and even improve your current health.

I wish you all the best!

Carla Ulbrich

The Singing Patient: Author, Speaker, Humorous Songwriter and Entertainer - Carla's book "How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?"


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Carla Ulbrich


I can answer questions such as "what is lupus?" (How common is it? Is it contagious? What are the symptoms? etc.). Also, I can answer questions such as "what are the available treatments for lupus?" (both standard and alternative). Really, I'll take almost any question on lupus, though. If I can't answer it, I'll be very surprised, but I'll also go find someone who can.


I've been living with lupus (SLE) since 1992. I've had three severe bouts with it, including symptoms such as kidney failure and stroke (if you can call having a stroke a "symptom"). I have completely regained my health, though I have to be mindful to take care of myself, lest I get sick again. I use both mainstream and alternative medicine, and have tried just about everything under the sun to alleviate symptoms. A lot of it worked.

Lupus Foundation of America Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor Toastmasters Folk Alliance

How Can You Not Laugh at a Time Like This? (Tell Me Press, pub.) What is Laughter Lupus Sundial Newsletter

BA in music (UNC-Greensboro)

Awards and Honors
Novelty Song of the Year, Just Plain Folk Awards Winner, South Florida Folk Festival Song Competition Lupus Foundation of America Seal of Approval (for book)

Past/Present Clients
Medicaid Conference Alaska Palliative Care Conference Right at Home Health Care SePHIMA Anritsu Club Med Nursing in Practice

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