Friday, 14 November 2014

Sjogren's Support Group Highlights

At a Sjogren's Syndrome support group meeting this year we started off by discussing an article found in The Toronto Star on March 28 and also seen on Global TV locally. There's a video here.

The story is about benefits of coconut oil, specifically for dry mouth. Two of our members were part of Dr. Leslie Laing's small trial of 12 people discussed in the video. They found that their mouths were more moist and their teeth were brighter. Cristina Montoya, RD told us that Dr. Laing said that the fungal load and the bacterial load was lower, and there was less evidence of yeast. This practice of swishing the coconut oil in your mouth is called oil pulling.

The coconut oil should be virgin oil and cold-pressed. It is also good for cooking since it breaks down at a higher temperature than olive oil does. It can be obtained in large containers at Costco.
Cristina also reports that the coconut oil is good for the skin, hands and vaginal area.
At the end of the meeting Cristina talked about supplements. She takes 2000 units of Vitamin D daily though she prefers to get her D from the sun in summer. She recommends fish oil, and for a calcium supplement she says calcium citrate is more readily absorbed by the body.

We also discussed food and how much easier it is to eat moist and protein rich food. She described a wonderful soup of ground beef, spinach, lentils, rice and dill, made by her mother in law. She also described a delicious moist cake called Tres Leches which is a treat. Many members have trouble eating pineapple. The enzymes in it affect the mouth unless it is boiled or cooked.
Tres Leches cake from

She also gave us tips some tips on humidity in the home. A steam humidifier on your furnace would not give more than 20% to 30% humidity which is not enough for Sjogren's. Supplementing with a personal or room humidifier may help. It is necessary to be careful as too much humidity may led to the spread of airborne bacteria.


  1. Just learned something - I didn't realize that Sjogren's also causes dry mouth. Are you affected by this, Anette?

    1. Yes, I find dry mouth a real problem. I can barely eat things like mushy bread and dry chicken or crackers - that's why that lovely cake looks so good. I take salagen to help with the dryness. If I don't my throat gets dry too and my voice starts to disappear.

      Soup is now a big favourite with me.

  2. I've been using coconut oil for about 12 years. I love it. I moisture my dry face in the morning, after a shower, before make-up and again to take makeup off. I also use it in my dry nose and vaginally. Plus, my dog loves it! All around favorite product in our house.