The Myers Way Approach to Sjögren’s Syndrome

January 16th, 2015

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Myers Way Approach to Sjögren’s Syndrome

More than 4 million Americans are diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the moisture-producing glands. That includes the salivary and lacrimal (tear-producing) glands, causing painfully dry eyes and mouth. But like other autoimmune diseases, Sjögren’s isn’t limited to one area of the body: it’s a disease of the immune system as a whole and can progress to cause damage to the kidneys, intestines, liver, and other vital organs.

I believe that if you can get to the root of the problem, you can recover from Sjögren’s Syndrome. That’s the central premise behind The Myers Way®, my proven approach to preventing and reversing autoimmune disease.

The conventional view is that, once you have Sjögren’s, it’s going to be there forever. Doctors will prescribe immunosuppressive drugs to help you “manage your disease.” Instead of toxic medications, try some of these strategies to ease your symptoms while you work to find the root cause:

  • Hydrate. Dry eyes and mouth are the hallmarks of Sjögren’s Syndrome. To lessen the severity of these symptoms, give your body plenty of water.
  • Supplement with Omega 3s. Taking a fish oil supplement every day will reduce inflammation and help your tissues stay moist.
  • Try homeopathic eye drops and stress mints. I personally use Similasan Dry Eye Relief for my dry eyes, and I’ve found that sucking on homeopathic stress mints not only relieves my stress, it also increases saliva production.

The Root Causes of Autoimmune Disease

You’ve probably been told that your genetics determine your health. That’s only partially true–in fact, your genetics account for only about 25% of your risk for developing Sjögren’s. The rest comes from environmental factors such as your gut health, your diet, toxins, infections, and stress. In my book, The Autoimmune Solution, I refer to these factors as the “pillars” of autoimmune disease.

Pillar I: Leaky Gut – Your gut is naturally permeable to very small molecules in order to absorb vital nutrients from food. In fact, regulating intestinal permeability is one of the basic functions of the cells that line your intestinal wall. Certain factors such as gluten, infections, toxins, stress, and age can cause the tight junctions between those cells to break apart, allowing toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them, beginning a cycle of inflammation that can lead to autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s.

Pillar II: Diet – At the root of autoimmune disease is chronic inflammation. Gluten, grains, legumes, and other foods that are not easily broken down put a strain on your digestive system, contributing to leaky gut and provoking a constant immune response from your body. The chronic inflammation worsens symptoms of Sjögren’s–gluten has actually been linked to more than 55 diseases and is often called the “big masquerader.” That’s because the majority of symptoms of gluten sensitivity are not digestive in nature, but rather neurological such as pain, sleep disturbances, fatigue, depression, cognitive impairment, and behavioral issues.

Pillar III: Toxins – You interact with thousands of toxic chemicals each day. The pesticides in conventionally grown food, the heavy metals in your dental fillings, synthetic ingredients in your household cleaning products and body products: each one is a drop in the bucket that is your toxic burden. If your body has a tendency to store toxins, the buildup of chemicals in your system could push you over the edge into autoimmunity.

Pillar IV: Infections and stress – These two go hand-in-hand! Emotional, mental, and physical stress lower your body’s ability to fight infections, and infections put more stress on your body. Certain viral infections like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and herpes simplex Virus (HSV) have known correlations with autoimmune disease.

 

The Myers Way® Approach to Treating Sjögren’s Syndrome

Heal your gut. 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, therefore healing your gut is essential to restoring your immune system and your health. I call my approach the 4R Program: remove the bad, replace the good, reinoculate, and repair!

Get rid of gluten, grains, and legumes. I recommend that all of my patients remove gluten from their diets because it’s such an inflammatory food. For my patients with autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s Syndrome, I highly recommend removing all grains and legumes from the diet as well.

Tame the toxins. Reduce your toxic exposure wherever possible. Start with incorporating more organic food into your diet and drink lots of filtered water, both to provide moisture to your tissues and to help your body detoxify.

Heal your infections and relieve your stress. Stress can trigger or retrigger infections, and in a vicious cycle infections put more stress on the body. Prioritize stress reduction to give your immune system a healthy boost, and identify and treat any existing infections.

 

Get 35 Gut Recovery Recipes for Free!

Receive 74 pages of delicious recipes and tips to repair a leaky gut PLUS a $10 gift card when you join my free weekly newsletter

Your information is secure and will never be sold or rented to a third party.

  • Christiie Abraham

    Thanks Dr. Meyers. I have Sjogrens & follow you on Facebook. I plan to try those stress mints. My mouth gives me lots of trouble because in addition to the SS I am wearing Invisalign braces. Fun 🙂

  • tif57t .

    Yes Dr Meyers, I HAD Sjogrens (2 yrs) and I did all the above, however, I added copious amounts of easily absorbable Magnesium and within maybe 2 wks at the most the Sjogrens was gone forever and I’ve continued using Magnesium supplementation with a Magnesium product that is easily absorbed into the blood. Figured out all this on my own by internet research. The product I initially used was Natural Calm and have since switched to ReMag and am very happy I’ve been able to sort out my autoimmune problems. The world is woefully short of Magnesium in their bodies and perhaps you will cover the subject of Magnesium insufficiency in future posts as Magnesium is important for life itself and not enough Naturopath doctors cover this subject with the exception of Dr Carolyn Dean?

    • Susan Manning

      Hello tif57t, I have SS as well (3yrs). Where you on Plaquenil? Were you able to get off immune suppressing drugs completely? Are your dryness issues resolved? Thanks! Seriously considering ordering the magnesium supplements you suggested. Any other suggestions? Thank you!

      • tif57t .

        Yes I took Placquenil and Methotrexate for 8 years. Now no meds, no gluten, low sugar, added coconut oil to cook with, also use Avacado oil to cook with (coconut oil and Avacado oil also for baking). Never had sjogrens after couple weeks of massive doses of Natural Calm Magnesium (and never got diarrhea either but some do, I just never did but after last knee repl surgery noticed I was not absorbing the magnesium as I had in the past to switched to ReMag and that is why the switch. Often times surgeries can change how your body absorbs nutrients and this happened in my case). Everyone and i mean EVERYONE on the planet is extremely low in magnesium (it’s no longer in the soil that grows our food…and this is no mystery…just go drcarolyndean dot com to learn). Mostly the reason for the Placquenil and Methotrexate was for Rheumatoid Arthritis. When I gave up all gluten containing products; i.e., wheat containing products, the RA disappeared in 7 days never to return. I might mention that I went the gammit and made all the gluten free bread recipes available on the internet and then I learned that I could eat Sourdough bread if I made my own Sourdough Starter. So 1 yr ago I learned how to make the starter and how to make the bread and have come up with a pretty or very simple process for producing the bread I eat (which is fermented 24 to 48 hrs. The key to eliminating the gluten and phytic acid in the flours made in this country is the long long fermentation process. If you’d like more info on this go to cheeseslave dot com which is where I started my journey. Need more info, let me know.
        (Tiffany)

        • Lisa O.

          So is your sourdough bread made with wheat flour and it is OK for people with gluten issues? Thanks for all your info!!

          • Lisa O.

            Also, can you please give us your simple process for making the bread? Thanks!

          • tif57t .

            See above reply

          • tif57t .

            I ferment the dough in the refrigerator 48 or more hours before baking. It works fine. doesn’t need to come to room temperature before baking. I bake it in a round pot with a cover (enameled cast iron from Walmart that I covered the lid knob with couple layers aluminum foil so it wouldn’t melt as the temp your baking at is 450 deg 30 min covered, 18 min uncovered). Yes I use regular wheat flour (448 grams Bread Flour, 2 tsp yeast, 1 tsp Real Salt [brand] whisking these ingred together, adding 1 C Sourdough Starter that is mixed into the somewhere between 1 to 1-1/4 C cool water), pour the water/SD starter into my Kitchenaid mixer using bread hook (sourdough is wetter than regular bread dough), when mixed for about 1 min then put dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with shower cap (works better than anything else), put in fridge 2 days then bake (making a note as to time/date I made the dough otherwise I never remember when I made the dough). The long fermentation process (24+ hr and up to 72 hr) kills off the gluten entirely as well as the phytic acid. I’m gluten intolerant and can eat this bread with no reactions and I certainly get a reaction if I eat any gluten containing products. You can as well make this bread like regular bread without the Sourdough starter using Bread Machine Yeast only then you mix it by hand without a mixer (since you really don’t need that equipment with regular bread dough). I can recommend a YouTube Channel: “Artisan Bread With Steve” – without the quotation marks, of course. If you’ve never made your own bread he will show you how easy peasy his method is and produces wonderful results. I’ve used his recipes as well if I get lazy with Sourdough. You just need to ferment Steve’s recipes for the 24+ hrs as I do for the SD bread and for the above reasons; covered in a bowl in the fridge. For info on Gluten/phytic acid and sourdough bread go to: cheeseslave.com. I was amazed. Problem with USA flour is how it’s processed (milled). All European flours cause no gluten problems and Europeans make their bread with a Sourdough Starter which they call a “sponge”. I’ve certainly done a whole lot of research and it’s all paid off in the end.

            There is a product out there called GlutenEase which I use if I eat out at a restaurant and don’t know if I’ll get glutinated. Take 2 caps 5 min before eating unknown food and have no gluten issues. I just make sure I’m always gluten free at home and only use GlutenEase for eating out as I’ve read that if you overdo the product it could stop working for you.

            I’ve been gluten intolerant and gluten free for 5 yrs now (my how time flies) since I really DID NOT want Rheumatoid Arthritis nor Sjogrens nor drugs of any kind. I’ve been around this world now for 73-1/2 yrs and still learning and do like to cook and bake.

            Make sure to check out YouTube Channel: Artisan Bread With Steve as I’ve told loads of people about his Channel and they’ve all loved it and marveled at how easy it is to make your own artisan bread.

          • I think it’s really wonderful if this works for you, but I do need to mention that I do not recommend eating fermented wheat bread if you are sensitive to gluten. I would be very cautious, because I don’t think the fermentation process is going to break down the gluten entirely. There are other fermented foods (like sauerkraut and coconut yogurt) I would try in place of fermented bread for those who are sensitive.

        • Susan Manning

          Thank you, Tiffany, for taking the time for reply with such valuable information! I do all the above as well except for the magnesium. I will add to my daily regimen and hope to have the same success as you. I do have Hypothyroid in addition to the SS. How did you discover you had yeast problems and how did you treat? Thanks again! Susan

          • tif57t .

            Well…there is a really simple yeast or candida test that you can do in the morning. Do this very first thing in the morning after arising. In a CLEAR drinking glass, pour about half full or full (really doesn’t matter) with warm water. Guess you could use cool too and maybe that doesn’t matter either. But this does: Conjure up some saliva in your mouth and spit this onto the top of the water in the glass. Wait 15-30 seconds (which could take less) and see if any spirally things come down into the water from the saliva on the top of the water. If it does this, yes indeed you have yeast infection. the exact directions are on the internet just about everywhere, Google Home Test For Candida/Yeast. Anyway, what I used to eradicate it was Calcium Bentonite Clay (website: livingclay.com). Lots of “stuff” to learn when you’re wanting to get well, huh?

            Another good place to go for Thyroid issues is DrBrownstein.com (I’ve got a lot of his books including the one on Thyroid [which is all incompasing in what it covers]).

            Well now I’m learning about Diatomaceous Earth and its benefits to your colon by cleaning out all the sludge.

          • tif57t .

            Go here for “candida spit test” instructions:

            http://www.healingthebody.ca/candida-infection-spit-test/

      • tif57t .

        Also you may want to read my Reply to Linda Scifres (above) which gives more sources/details.

    • melinda scifres

      Yes, I would love to know more also! Have had sjogrens for years. Didn’t take any drugs just changed my diet drastically. Have a total of 6 autoimmune diseases. Had ITP AND took chemo like drugs for short term plus mega doses of steroids, everything subsided for a few years. Now it’s all coming back. love to know where you found your research information. I do magnesium and D 3. Maybe not right kind?

      • tif57t .

        Learn Magnesium information from the expert (and I do not use that term loosely) Dr Carolyn Dean (dot) com. There are many very good books written by Dr Dean (and that’s where I started my education and all her books are available through her website or from Amazon dot com either in Kindle format or paperback format) plus (on Dr Carolyn Dean’s website) there are easily downloadable PDF articles about Magnesium (including what types are better absorbed) and also downloadable PDF articles on all the additional minerals your body requires to function and combat dis-eases of all types. My very first introduction to Magnesium supplementation was from Natural Calm (Google the name for the website) but have since graduated to the very very knowledgeable Dr Carolyn Dean. Can’t recommend her enough for health. As for the minerals required, Dr Dean sells a Mineral supplement (liquid) but it’s costly (however much its required) but you might want to check out the website 90forlife dot com and read about why these minerals are so important and that may change your mind completely. It is important to eat properly but also important to have the Magnesium and the correct minerals in the correct quantities. I had numerous so-called autoimmune diseases which do not have any more. Take no Pharma drugs of any type/kind. Make my own bread (check out youtube artisan bread by Steve = simple/quick/foolproof even a child could make this bread), exercise regularly….and on and on. Here’s to your improving health.l
        PS- Most probably also there is a Thyroid problem (which I had and discovered from research) that was causing problems, so Google “stop the thyroid madness”. Think the website is: Stopthethyroidmadness dot com. In addition there could be systemic yeast problems (which I also had that was compromising my digestive/immune system which Dr Dean covers on her website, and so I got rid of that as well.

    • G Gilberto

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve managed to keep my Sjogrens low-grade with Omega 3, Lutein and low stress but if I could get rid of it completely I’d be so happy. Were you able to have a clear lab results too – no more SSA and SSB? Thanks again

      • tif57t .

        Yes, via tests done by my then Rheumatologist (whom I kicked to the curb when he finally [after 8 yr] told me Gluten was the cause of these diseases. Of course, I completely changed my diet to no factory foods and Non-GMO and good oils and the correct supplementation, getting the thyroid under control. Took 3 yrs to correct everything. Lately, I just love Green Smoothies for their super benefits, research it, you’ll be surprised.

        • G Gilberto

          Do you think it was more about the magnesium that helped get rid of your SS or the no Gluten too? Do you eat Diary? Thanks

          • tif57t .

            You do not understand. Gluten is poison to your body. Magnesium is VERY important and is not available or in the foods we eat whether NonGMO or GMO and you should AVOID ALL factory foods (located in the interior aisles of all grocery stores) are as well poisonous to your body because of the derth of additives. You need to research like I did on the internet and learn. You Are What You Eat!
            That is no lie!

            Read my other posts for links on Magnesium and other topics. You are responsible for your own health and the answers are there…just ask Google

            I do not drink dairy products (i.e., milk). I use now Cashew Milk which is great since I love Cashews. I eat Greek Gods Yogurt which is the only one I and my dog love.

            By the way, I eat eggs too (protein)
            as well as Butter (the real stuff not the faux bad for you margarine)

            Very healthy now and doctors wonder how I do it all.

            Maybe you want to read the book “The Big Fat Lie” which is all about chlorestoral and the lie perpetrated by ONE resch scientist and the US Govt.

    • I do have an article on magnesium if you’re interested: http://www.amymyersmd.com/2014/02/protect-heart-chocolate/

  • DadsGreenLife

    Amy, dead link in first paragraph, “can lead” should point to -> http://www.sjogrens.org/home/about-sjogrens-syndrome

    delete this comment after fixing, please. Vic

  • Jason B Jones

    Dr. Amy, Thanks for this post. Funny, I had someone come into my office 3 weeks ago with Sjogrens. Please keep posting amazing info 🙂

  • melinda scifres

    Dr. Meyers, with sjogrens my gums have started receding:( any suggestions. Roots are being exposed.

    • tif57t .

      brush your teeth with baking soda (it re-mineralizes the teeth) or just mix 1/2 tsp baking soda (the regular Arm & Hammer type and it is perfectly safe [Google Dr. Sircus about that]) in 6-8 oz water and use as mouth rinse then spit out this mixture. Also make sure to LIGHTLY (emphasize: LIGHTLY) using your toothbrush, brush the gum line as that’s also where germs/bacteria congregate. Even if at first you don’t like the taste of baking soda, over several days you’ll get used to it and appreciate how clean your teeth feel. Don’t use Fluoridated toothpaste as Fluoride is a poison (research that subject to learn more)

    • Hi Melinda, I’m so sorry that’s been happening! I think you would benefit greatly from a consultation with me, or seeing a biological dentist. Here’s a link to find one: https://iabdm.org/

  • Donna

    How much of the magnesium are you taking:

    • tif57t .

      When I used Natural Calm Magnesium in the beginning I was taking 1 tsp in warm to hot water every hour for about a month or more. After that period I don’t really remember but took it in morning and before going to bed (relaxes you for sleep). After a major surgery developed problem absorbing the Natural Calm brand so switched to ReMag Magnesium which bypasses the digestive tract and goes into the blood stream (where magnesium really works). Check out website drcarolyndean dot com for all sorts of magnesium information you never new. Magnesium is so important …. it is really life itself. Without Magnesium nothing functions at all.

  • Lynn Thompson

    Dr. Meyers. Are you opposed to this use of Restasis, and if so, why? Thank you!

  • Gayle Krampl

    I really would like to order the above mentioned homeopathic stress mints but the site you have listed will not ship to Canada. Boo! Any help appreciated.