Those diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome deal with an autoimmune condition attacking their moisture-generating glands. The result is excessive dryness of the eyes and mouth in particular. Emerging studies imply a very low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet might aid in handling Sjögren’s signs.
This piece dives into possible keto diet advantages and important factors for someone with Sjögren’s. We’ll analyze how ketosis could lessen inflammation, improve tear and saliva output, increase energy, and prevent dental complications common in Sjögren’s. Tips for safely implementing a keto plan with Sjögren’s are shared too.
The goal is providing an informative look at how a targeted ketogenic approach could potentially ease Sjögren’s discomfort through natural means. Those searching for lifestyle changes to manage Sjögren’s may find a structured keto regimen warrants discussion with their healthcare provider.
How Could a Keto Diet Help Sjögren's?
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a very low-carb, high-fat eating plan. It aims to reach and sustain ketosis, a metabolic state where the body uses ketones rather than glucose for energy. Some research indicates keto may regulate immune function and reduce inflammation. Since Sjögren’s is an inflammatory autoimmune condition, a keto diet may help in several ways:
Sjögren’s causes chronic inflammation, especially around the glands. Some studies suggest ketosis curbs pro-inflammatory immune cells and molecules. This anti-inflammatory effect could protect the moisture-producing glands.
Improving Dry Eye
One study had Sjögren’s patients follow a ketogenic diet for 12 weeks. Nearly 70% of the participants experienced less eye dryness and improved tear production. Researchers think ketosis may enhance lacrimal gland function.
Increasing Saliva Production
In the same 12-week keto study above, 64% of patients had increased saliva production. Ketosis may help recover capacity in the salivary glands damaged by Sjögren’s. More saliva could mean less dry mouth.
By transitioning the body to run on ketones rather than glucose, keto diets can boost and stabilize energy levels. Some find this decreased fatigue with keto helps them function better.
Preventing Dental Issues
Sjögren’s-related dry mouth enables cavities, gum disease,mouth sores, and oral thrush. More saliva production on keto could prevent these dental complications. /
Implementing a Keto Diet with Sjögren's
- ⦁ Minimize carb sources: Like grains, starchy veggies, fruits, beans, and sugar.
- ⦁ Prioritize healthy fats: Like olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
- ⦁ Eat moderate protein: From poultry, eggs, beef, pork, and low-carb dairy.
- ⦁ Stay hydrated: Drink water, herbal tea, and sugar-free fluids.
- ⦁ Supplement electrolytes: Like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- ⦁ Consider exogenous ketones: They raise ketone levels to help achieve ketosis faster.
- ⦁ Check ketones: With urine strips or a breath meter to ensure you reach ketosis.
- ⦁ Make adjustments as needed: Tweak your carb limit and calories based on your ketone readings, symptoms, and weight goals.
Other Tips for Managing Sjögren's with Keto
If you want to try keto with Sjögren’s, work with your healthcare provider to make an individualized plan. Be sure to:
⦁ Use humidifiers and nasal saline spray to add moisture to dry airways.
⦁ Apply eye ointments or gels to lubricate dry eyes.
⦁ Drink beverages through a straw to minimize dry mouth and throat.
⦁ Avoid irritants like smoke, spices, alcohol, and caffeine.
⦁ Do oil pulling with coconut or sesame oil to clean the mouth.
⦁ Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate saliva.
⦁ Use Lubricity dry mouth spray to coat and moisturize the mouth.
⦁ Get regular dental cleanings and use prescription strength fluoride toothpaste.
⦁ Apply moisturizing lotions and thick ointments to hydrate dry skin.
Is the Keto Diet for Sjögren's syndrome, Safe
Most research suggests keto is safe for Sjögren’s, but it’s not right for everyone. Discuss it thoroughly with your doctor first. Those with kidney disease, pancreatic insufficiency, gallbladder issues, or dyslipidemia should avoid keto. Extreme carbohydrate restriction can also interact with certain medications for diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Make sure you’re getting essential micronutrients like calcium and vitamins D and K. Work closely with a healthcare professional experienced in keto to minimize risks and optimize nutrition.
Sjögren's Symptom Relief on Keto is Possible
Early studies report significant improvement in dry eyes and dry mouth for many Sjögren’s patients following a ketogenic diet. Reduced inflammation and improved gland function may be the driving factors.
Of course, keto takes dedication and lifestyle adjustments. But for those hoping to manage Sjögren’s naturally, a well-formulated ketogenic diet is worth discussing with your doctor. Controlling symptoms could greatly improve your comfort and quality of life.