Tag Archives: GERD

Eating Healthy with Scleroderma

Healthy eating can be difficult sometimes, but we all know it can be beneficial for your health. There are foods that can be included or excluded from your diet that could help to manage some symptoms of scleroderma. Results may vary from patient to patient, since each person is unique, and it’s always best to discuss food options with a nutritionist when possible.

Staying Healthy and Strong with Scleroderma

At our recent Scleroderma Patient Education Conference in Chicago, Bethany Doerfler, MS, RD, LDN for the Northwestern Scleroderma Program discussed how to stay healthy. She goes into detail about nutrition and describes the portion sizes when preparing your meals. She discusses the loss of muscle and how eating the right portions of protein, as well as exercising could help to improve that problem. To watch the video for more information click here: 

Combatting Symptoms with Food

Scleroderma affects thousands of people and the symptoms that accompany the disease can sometimes be exhausting. In addition to medications prescribed by your doctor, these recommendations could be a nice addition to your daily regimen. Here are some scleroderma symptoms and food recommendations that could help manage them:
• Decreased GI Mobility/Constipation: High fiber diets with 100% whole grains, fruits, and vegetables; daily probiotic     and/or yogurt with active cultures
• Inflammation: Deeply colored fruits and vegetables can help to increase antioxidants; eat fatty fish, ground flaxseeds,   and walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids; eat vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts, seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil; consider taking a 1000 IU Vitamin D3 tablet with your fattiest meal, which allows for better absorption.
• Fatigue: In order to keep blood sugar regulated, and have continuous energy you should eat small meals throughout the day. If taking an iron pill, you can take with juice that contains vitamin C to allow for better absorption.
• Raynaud Phenomenon: Animal sources of protein with zinc and iron
• Tight skin: Foods rich in vitamin E such as nuts, seeds, wheat germ, and canola, olive, and peanut oil

Source: University of Michigan Health System. “Eating Well with Scleroderma by Linda Kaminski, MS, RD, CDE” http://www.med.umich.edu/scleroderma/patients/nutrition.htm


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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