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Living With Sjögren’s


Gentle Digestive Tips to Avoid GERD in Sjögren's

Up to 30-60% of people living with Sjögren's may experience heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)*. Choose foods that allow the stomach to empty quicker after eating. Softer and moist textures also minimize the colon stimulating distension after a meal, which can cause bloating and heartburn.

Please seek advice from your health care provider if your symptoms persist.

  1. Take three deep breaths before and after each meal. 
  2. Eat every 3 to 4 hours and no less than 2 hours between meals and snacks. 
  3. Include ripe skinless fruit, well-cooked vegetables, and softer textured grains.
  4. Choose gluten-free carbs at dinner time (i.e. gluten-free bread, rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potato, cassava, gluten-free pasta or rice noodles).
  5. Go easy on high-fat meals (i.e. fried foods, heavy cream pasta sauces, and fatty meats such as ground lamb, pork or beef ribs).
  6. Include soft foods like watermelon or melon. Avoid eating more than 1/2 cup in one sitting. 
  7. Be careful with raw vegetables and salads in general. They are the biggest triggers for people whose bloating starts in the stomach. 
  8. Eat only a side serving of salad at the end of the meal. Avoid rough textures such as kale, cabbage and celery. 
  9. Eat softer meats such as chicken, turkey or fish (sardines, cod, salmon, tilapia, trout). If you enjoy red meat, go for bison or goat. 
  10. Avoid trigger foods and beverages: chocolate, coffee, alcohol, peppermint, spicy food, carbonated drinks, tomato and tomato products. 
  11. Consume herbal teas such as ginger with lemon, cinnamon, and fennel seeds to calm your stomach between meals. Camomile or peppermint tea may be a trigger.

*Volter F. et al (2004); Sjögren’s Foundation. Living with Sjögren’s Survey. (2021)

*article courtesy of Cristina Montoya, Registered Dietitian