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Sjogrens Syndrome


Per this week's NIH meetings on the subject of Sjogrens's syndrome, can you comment on the relation of Sjogrens's to blood type (beyond its general auto-immune implications for O's) and the ER diet? My type-O father died of it, and his five middle-aged type-O daughters are nervously watchful about things like contact lenses, periodontic disease or numbness in toes. Thanks for your great answers on this board.


Sjogrens's syndrome is a chronic disorder of unknown cause characterized by a particular form of dry mouth and dry eyes. This loss of tears and saliva may result in characteristic changes in the eyes (called aqueous tear deficiency or keratoconjunctivitis sicca) and in the mouth with deterioration of the teeth, increased oral infection, difficulty in swallowing, and painful mouth. There are many different causes for dry eyes and dry mouth. When they occur as a result of an "autoimmune" process, the condition is called Sjögren's syndrome, which usually occurs in middle-aged women and has prevalence in about 1 in 500 persons. Patients may also have inflammation of the joints (arthritis), muscles (myositis), nerves (neuropathy), thyroid (thyroiditis), kidneys (nephritis), or other areas of the body. Also, patients may have severe fatigue and disruption of their sleep pattern. Also, the blood of Sjogrens's patients may contain antibodies directed against normal cellular substances such as nuclear antigens and immunoglobulins. Therefore, this disease is termed an "autoimmune" disorder to denote the apparent reaction of the immune system against the patient's own tissues

  • Fucus (Bladderwrack). One approach to dryness is to help break up the thick, sticky secretions. Agents that contain iodides include 10% saturated solution of potassium iodide (SSKI). Since one of the main problems with Sjögren's is Candida overgrowth, perhaps using Bladderwack would have the additional benefit of providing low levels of iodine, plus some of the anti-Candida properties found in this seaweed.

  • Urtica dioca rhizome (Nettle Root). Utica dioca rhizome contains a lectin which can down-regulate the immune system, helping to modulate auto-immunity, plus Urtica dioca has potent anti-candida properties.

  • Probiotics. This has had a beneficial response in decreasing oral Candida infections and thus decreasing mouth discomfort.

  • The Ask Dr. D'Adamo internet advice column ran from 1996 to 2009, at which time Dr. D'Adamo's teaching and programming responsibilities no longer allowed him to devote time and resources to directly answering visitor questions. However we've recently reorganized this treasure-trove of material and made it again available to his readership. He occasionally posts new entries. These are marked with a NEW tag.

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