Sunday, 11 June 2017

Best weaponry for fighting Sjogren's Syndrome - Division Human Shield - Part 3 of 3

Times have been so incredibly busy for me that I looked on the computer clock and said to myself "How on Earth will I find energy to post anything this month"? But I had to find that energy somewhere because the blog must go on, the information is important, the need for information must be satiated and it's all for a greater good. So what do you do on those times when all your energy phased away but you love something so much you need to find the diesel to get yourself going? Having a blog you love is almost like having a child, with the respective emotional integrity but the honesty in the feeling behind loving your blog is vital to maintain it afloat. 

So I just 'scrubbed' my eyes, not rubbed... and decided to play some motivational music that would give the energy but not in a rage type modus operandi. I didn't go for the typical fury-driven songs, I played Jack Johnson and John Legend, dreamt of sharks playing guitars, sea starts dancing on the background and sexy velvety R&B dancers. Crazy stuff? Definitely, but at least I managed to start typing some initial paragraphs towards what is really important, i.e., sharing with you my experiences, my acquired information.

This is the final chapter to the Best Weaponry for Fighting Sjogren's Syndrome - Division Human Shield. The other two parts can be found here and also here. With this third and final part to my personal advice towards a better management of your problem, there is no disregarding of a visit to a specialist. I do it every year by visiting my rheumatologist. And we actually have great conversations. She appreciates my efforts in getting to know this problem better and looking for solutions to remedy it. And I don't say this of medical doctors very often, mostly because some, if not the biggest part of them, are actually arrogant presumptuous people who can't see past their incredibly tough to gain titles. The fact that their jobs exist on the grounds of people being sick and needing treatment says very little to a lot of them. However, I can see a wind of change and some are starting to understand that the very privileged professional group they compose, orbits around the horizon threshold of the black hole that sickness is, especially for something so 'unknown' as Sjogren's Syndrome. Some are starting to understand that humility is the first step towards knowledge, and for one to improve knowledge one needs to admit that there is so much more to learn and a lifetime is not at all enough to know it all.

And because there is no such thing as knowing it all, I decided to share MY learned information, so we can exchange ideas and get much better some day. The recipe is simple, read with interest, judge with impartiality, share with love:

Coconut oil and olive oil instead of hydrogenated fats

(image from

Hydrogenated fats/Trans-fats are triggers to inflammation. As simple as it gets. The highest our intake on these type of fats the worse it gets in terms of inflammatory proneness and endothelial function. In addition, a more vegetarian diet, say a much more reduced in saturated and trans-fats and low in protein, is known to result in a profile of higher antioxidant levels, reduced levels of C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker) and lower risk of coronary heart disease [1, 2]. And in all honesty our body does not know very well how to use these hydrogenated/trans-fats anyways, so why poison it any further? If you don't believe me read Kinsella et al (1981) [3]. The good alternative I've been using is coconut oil, the virgin version whenever possible. The anti-inflammatory potential of this natural oil, alongside its anti-pyretic properties has been vastly confirmed with acute inflammatory models [4].

Rice milk instead of cow's milk

(image from

I could come again with coconut milk or some vanilla-flavoured version of soy milk, but let's be creative, original, different. Rice milk tastes awesome, in opposition to almond milk that often makes me wanna puke! Rice milk works in a neutral way on my taste buds and helps me avoid as much as possible dairy. Actually, dairy products are a big NO NO for inflammatory diseases... and also for those who want to have ripe cut bodies for the Summer! The fact that the allergenic/immunogenic potential of dairy can trigger/increase immune/allergic responses is enough information for me. And I tell you of milk as I tell you of honey and peanuts that I also very much reduced to extremely limited consumption. Only when I have stupid cravings I resort to these, but even then I try to have the bare minimum. In addition, I also replaced the typical butter and yogurts for soy butter/yogurts, and/or olive oil butter (it's only 15% olive oil fat in a plant fat emulsion though - but with a really nice taste). 

And this is my final list of tips in regards to dieting. Believe me, after three years these guidelines made a whole lot of difference in my life. Just give it a try yourselves after consulting with a doctor and you might as well enjoy the same benefits I am enjoying these days. Now, in terms of products that help with my eye and mouth dryness, and those that just caused me loads of secondary effects, I have to tell you of the following. I AM NO FAN OF HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE and I definitely do not understand this new wave of applause that looks into this product as if it were the panacea for the immunologic imbalance. Pure stupidity in my humble opinion. A product that takes around 6-month to start producing proper results [5] and in the meanwhile can cause irreparable retinal toxicity with likelihood for irreparable damage [6], can only be a joke. I don't care if they say that the incidence of retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eyes) in users of hydroxychloroquine is low to very low. Vision, and the loss of it, is no joke for one to roulette it.  

Two comfort shields I have been using on a daily basis whenever I am dealing with terrible discomfort caused by Sjogren's on my eyes and mouth are: Hycosan Extra and Boots Expert Dental dry mouth spray. I should be charging these companies for publicity, but believe me these have helped me tremendously along the way. When things get more serious in terms of dry eyes and Hycosan is not enough anymore (which is rare though) I have to resort to a less fluidly and more oily option. This is typical of when I am stuck in closed environments with very active air-conditioning pumps working all day!

     (image from                                                             (image from Amazon UK)

Finally, Naproxen helps when I can't control the inflammation by the rules of diet, but to be fair that happens once every year... which proves my point that this metabolic response can be optimised to reduce our afflictions. 

Remember, no artificial sugars, no 'artificial' fats, no immunogenic foods, no carbonated drinks that will pore your teeth even further. 

Be safe, be well.

[1] Szeto, Y. T., Kwok, T. C., Benxie, I. F. (2004). "Effects of long-term vegetarian dieton biomarkers of antioxidant status and cardiovascular disease risk". Nutrition, 20, pp. 836-866.

[2] Ridker, P. M., Rifai, N. R., Stamper, M. J., Hennekens, C. H. (2000). "Plasma concentration of interleukin-6 and the risk of future myocardial infarction among apparently healthy men". Circulation, 101, pp. 1767-1772. 

[3] Kinsell, J. E., Bruckner, G., Mai, J., Shimp, J. (1981). "Metabolism of trans fatty acids with emphasis on the effects of trans, trans-octadecadienoate on lipid composition, essential fatty acid, and prostaglandins: an overview". American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 34(10), pp. 2307-2318.

[4] Intahphuak, S., Khonsung, P., Panthong, A. (2010). "Anti-inflammatory , analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil". Pharmaceutical Biology, 48(2), pp. 151-157.

[5] Hydroxychloroquine,, [], last visited on the 11th of June 2017, last update unknown.

[6] Hydroxychloroquin and  Ocular Toxicity - Recommendations on Screening, The Royal Collge of Ophtalmologists - The British Society for Rheumatology, [], last visited on the 11th of June 2017, last updated on October 2009.

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