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Thoughts on gluten free diet and Sjogren's Syndrome

 gluten free diet and Sjogren's Syndrome

Here you will find an interesting case history published in the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity • Autumn 2011 and at the bottom some links to gluten free recipes.

The following is a patient case history from the clinic of Alexander R. Shikhman, MD, PhD, FACR :

A 28 year old woman was seen in our clinic due to her complaints of longstanding irritable bowel syndrome and recent onset of eye dryness. Her initial presentation included abdominal pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. She was seen by several gastroenterologists and underwent several upper endoscopies and colonoscopies with mucosal biopsies which were non-diagnostic. Her lab test results showed positive IgG antigliadin antibodies and she was told that "this is a common finding among healthy people, and is not indicative of any illnesses." She was seen by her ophthalmologist and prescribed with contact lenses which she could not wear due to significant eye discomfort and irritation. Further eye examination showed that she had diminished tear production and was referred to our clinic to rule out Sjogren's syndrome.

Upon physical examination in our clinic the patient not only demonstrated profound eye dryness but also showed evidence of dry mouth, fissured tongue and patchy areas ofthrush as well as very dry skin. A sonographic evaluation of her major salivary glands was suspicious for moderately advanced Sjogren's syndrome. Her laboratory test results showed: positive anti-SSAI Ro antibodies, elevated serum immunoglobulin G, low neutrophil count as well as low levels of vitamin D and fenitin (a serum marker of iron storage state). Also, the patient was found to have positive serum IgG and salivary IgA anti-gliadin antibodies as well as positive HLA 002 (a molecular marker associated with gluten intolerance).


Based on a combination of clinical history, physical findings and laboratory test results, the patient was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and Sjogren's syndrome. In addition to the aforementioned tests, the patient underwent food intolerance testing based on serum IgG4 antibodies which showed not only gluten but also cow's casein intolerance. Her treatment options included a traditional route of therapy based on drugs or an integrative approach based on dietary modifications and food supplements. She opted for the integrative approach and started a gluten-free and dairy-free diet as well as iron glycinate, vitamin D, specific probiotics and digestive enzymes.


After the first month on the diet and supplements, she reported a remarkable improvement of her irritable bowel symptoms and in three months, she started noticing an improvement of the dryness. Laboratory tests performed six months after initiation of the therapy showed normalization of the IgG level, disappearance of anti-SSA/Ro antibodies and a slightly suppressed neutrophil count. Through following the prescribed diet and supplements she is now symptom free.


Melissa at gluten free for good has great recipes and wisdom if you are following this dietary path.

Melissa says "The gluten-free diet is the medical protocol for celiac disease. Why not for all autoimmune diseases? Gluten causes inflammation. Decreasing inflammation via diet and lifestyle should be the first step in reducing the impact of the disease, so it makes sense to eliminate gluten.
Right?
Apparently Venus is on a vegan diet to combat her symptoms. There are rumors she’s dabbling in the gluten-free diet as well."

Melissa is author of The Gluten-Free Edge

more on gluten free and Sjogren's Syndrome
one-pot roasted salmon, rice and vegetables
Do you have Sjögren’s and celiac disease or celiac intolerance?
What do you think? Should people with autoimmune conditions follow a gluten-free diet?
Have you tried a gluten free diet to help your Sjögren’s Syndrome?

13 comments:

  1. Yes, I noticed a difference right away. Now when I eat something that my body doesn't like I feel it right away. Symptoms depend on the food. It's not just gluten. Best thing is to go on a gluten, dairy and grain free diet for thirty days then start reintroducing foods to see what is bothering you. I stay away from breads and most pasta.

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    1. Thanks Celia for sharing. Most people do seem to recommend gluten and dairy. Personally I have been off these for years but do find i am much better when I have no grains at all.

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  2. I generally stay away from gluten and notice right away when I do eat it. I try to stay away from dairy and eggs as well and limit sugar as much as possible. One thing I've found is doing hot yoga helps me tremendously. I highly recommend it for fellow Sjogren's sufferers!

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    1. Very interesting and thanks so much for what works for you. I was just reading another comment about yogs helping SS pain. Best wishes.

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  3. I was DX'd with Sjogrens & RA 2 years ago. I've been G'free for over 17 months & I'm feeling fantastic. However I have continued to take plaquinel and pilocarpine, & use eye drops, everyday too. But I feel good! No flares, & not many aches or pains. I highly recommend going G'free with Sjogrens & all of the AID DXs

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    1. This is fantastic news that will inspire others, I'm sure.

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  4. I was diagnosed with Sjogrens nine years ago and I am 48. I was miserable, exhausted, my hair was falling out in clumps and then I went on a gluten free diet. I have been gluten free ever since. I have never been on any medication, don't use eye drops or anything else. Just recently I noticed that I would have a reaction to alcohol, so I switched to potato or Tito's vodka if I want a drink, or wine and I am fine with that. The only thing is over the last couple of years I have developed pretty bad osteoarthritis in my hands and I know it is from inflammation, so I have decided to try a completely grain free diet for 30 days and see if this helps. Exercising helps me a lot also, cardio and weights to keep myself strong and maintain a healthy weight.

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  5. I was diagnosed with Sjogrens nine years ago and I am 48. I was miserable, exhausted, my hair was falling out in clumps and then I went on a gluten free diet. I have been gluten free ever since. I have never been on any medication, don't use eye drops or anything else. Just recently I noticed that I would have a reaction to alcohol, so I switched to potato or Tito's vodka if I want a drink, or wine and I am fine with that. The only thing is over the last couple of years I have developed pretty bad osteoarthritis in my hands and I know it is from inflammation, so I have decided to try a completely grain free diet for 30 days and see if this helps. Exercising helps me a lot also, cardio and weights to keep myself strong and maintain a healthy weight.

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    1. Hi Karen, What an amazing transformation from going gluten free! Let us know how grain free goes, please. Sorry to hear about the osteo (I have that too) I wish I had the energy and tolerance to do cardio and weights.
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  6. The online Natural Herbs Clinic offers Sjogren's syndrome herbal treatment for all chronic and obstinate health issues. Expert of health uses superb herbal extracts in tablet form, which are easy to take, effective and safe for long-term use.

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  7. So it is important to know about the symptoms and possible herbal treatment options, such as extra Natural Herbs for Sjogren’s Syndrome, such as rheum rhabarbarum, ginger, vitamin E, and others.

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  8. I'm doing the AIP (Auto immune protocol/paleo) way of eating and feel it's working very well. Much less fatigue, less pain, sleeping better. If I occasionally lapse and have sugar I flare up pretty quickly. I'm combining it with having 2 lots of 15 minute de-stressing activites per day, doing acupuncture and a gentle walk every day. It's transformed my life, things are beginning to turn around.

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    1. Tersesa, so happy to hear this is working for you to change the Sjogren's symptoms. Many people swear by AIP. I have tried acupuncture in the past and am planning to do so again soon. It helped to reduce my tinnitus.

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