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.
- Take three deep breaths before and after each meal.
- Eat every 3 to 4 hours and no less than 2 hours between meals and snacks.
- Include ripe skinless fruit, well-cooked vegetables, and softer textured grains.
- Choose gluten-free carbs at dinner time (i.e. gluten-free bread, rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potato, cassava, gluten-free pasta or rice noodles).
- 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).
- Include soft foods like watermelon or melon. Avoid eating more than 1/2 cup in one sitting.
- Be careful with raw vegetables and salads in general. They are the biggest triggers for people whose bloating starts in the stomach.
- Eat only a side serving of salad at the end of the meal. Avoid rough textures such as kale, cabbage and celery.
- Eat softer meats such as chicken, turkey or fish (sardines, cod, salmon, tilapia, trout). If you enjoy red meat, go for bison or goat.
- Avoid trigger foods and beverages: chocolate, coffee, alcohol, peppermint, spicy food, carbonated drinks, tomato and tomato products.
- 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