Yoga for Scleroderma

Looking for some exercise to improve joint mobility and flexibility? Yoga is a great option! Not only can it help with joints and flexibility, but it has other widespread positive effects in other areas of your body, such as aiding in improving digestion, increasing circulation and breathing capacity. Kathy Randolph, a certified yoga instructor, has specialized in developing a yoga routine designed for people with scleroderma. Her yoga routine consists of several postures that can help stretch and strengthen the spine, massage the abdominal organs and strengthen the core, including overall flexibility of the muscles in the body. Two poses that Kathy recommends in particular to act as “abdominal cleansers” and decrease digestive symptoms, include bandha and nauli kriya poses. The contraction and relaxation of abdominal muscles in these exercises massage your internal organs and help move the digestion process along.

If you’re interested in Kathy Randolph’s yoga for scleroderma, check out her DVDs, “Assisted Yoga for Scleroderma” and “Yoga for Scleroderma,” featuring a therapeutic mix of stretching poses and breathing exercises.

Even better news? The “Assisted Yoga for Scleroderma” DVD is on sale for just $15! You can find this great deal on the Scleroderma Foundation website, and click the “Shop” tab at the top of the page.

Treatment Options for GERD

This week Bethany Doerfler MS, RD, LDN, a clinical research specialist working with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, answers one of the many questions that patients prescribed new medications may have. Look for additional posts with commonly asked questions in the future to appear on this blog as well.


Q: My GI MD prescribed a proton pump inhibitor. I have read these can contribute to loss of bone density. I already have Osteoporosis should I continue to take this medication?

A:  A combined medical and lifestyle approach is needed to effectively treat GERD. Dietary changes alone cannot entirely prevent stomach contents (food and digestive acids) from washing back up into your esophagus. If untreated with medication, acid exposure can create inflammation and ulceration in your esophagus. Some observational research studies suggested a higher risk of hip fracture in patients who are on long-term acid suppression therapy, spiking concern over bone health. However, recent studies indicate long term PPI use does not increase risk of osteoporosis in the hip or lumbar spine (area studied by a bone density scan) .1 Furthermore, the American College of Gastroenterolgoy suggests that patients with known osteoporosis can remain on PPI therapy.2
If you have osteoporosis or are concerned about developing loss of bone mineral density, it is best to optimize your calcium and vitamin D rather than stopping your PPI therapy. Vitamin D deficiency can be common among patients with Scleroderma. Adult females should aim to consume a mixture of calcium from foods and supplements and achieve a total of approximately 1000 mg calcium daily and 600 IU Vitamin D daily. If you have been diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency you may need to take a prescription dose that is higher and is prescribed by your doctor.

Referenced Articles:

  1. Targownik LE, Lix LM, Leung S et al. Proton-pump inhibitor use is not associated with osteoporosis or accelerated bone mineral density loss. Gastroenterology 2010;139:93-101.
  2. Katz, PO, Gerson LB et al. Corrigendum: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Am J Gastroenterol 2013;108:308-328.


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