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My wife has Sjögren’s syndrome and experiences flare ups every few months.

Q. Dear Terry, “My wife has Sjögren’s syndrome and experiences flare ups every few months. She mainly suffers from eye and mouth dryness, joint pain, and fatigue. What are some natural ways to help support her? ” – John P., Ames, IA

A. Dear John, Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and dryness in the mouth, tear glands, lining of the bronchial airways, and vagina. Sjögren’s syndrome can also be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and scleroderma. Not surprisingly, it is more common in families with members experiencing autoimmune illnesses. About 90% of patients with Sjögren’s syndrome are female.

To help with overall hydration, I think sea buckthorn is an excellent choice. In a three month study, sea buckthorn was shown to reduce redness and burning of the eyes. Sea buckthorn has also been studied in women with Sjögren’s syndrome and improved vaginal dryness, burning, itching, and pain.

When your wife looks for a sea buckthorn extract, make sure it is rich in many nutrients, including omega-7, but also omega 3, 6, and 9. A complete sea buckthorn oil extract from both the berry and seeds should include beneficial phytosterols, tocopherols and carotenoids, just like the material used in the clinical studies. I believe environmentally-friendly, solvent-free supercritical CO2 extraction technology is the best extraction method for sea buckthorn. That way, you know you’re getting the same type of sea buckthorn oil that has been clinically tested. I would take a sea buckthorn oil that comes from the berry and seed, four to six times per day.

For additional support, she may also want to consider adding curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Curcumin has also been clinically studied for its effects on joint health. I prefer curcumin enhanced with turmeric essential oil. This curcumin has been shown in published human studies to be better absorbed than standard curcumin. I would take enhanced absorption curcumin twice per day.

She could also consider adding omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, naturally bound to phospholipids and beneficial peptides, as this is much closer to nature and how people were meant to absorb and use these nutrients. I would take omega-3s from salmon twice per day.

Lastly, for energy I think red ginseng (Panax ginseng) can be very beneficial. Because of pesticide contamination in cultivated ginseng, I prefer ginseng that is grown using novel hydroculture techniques. This yields a ginseng that is much cleaner and more powerful. I would take ginseng once or twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.

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