Have you been wondering which supplements to take to improve your Sjögren’s symptoms?
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the complexities of choosing the right supplements?
Have you tried various products but they didn't work quite as you had hoped they would?
Have you been disappointed by the lack of guidance from your doctors?
If so, then read on, because in this guide we'll hopefully bring some clarity to the topic of effective supplementation for Sjogren's, and help you understand how to choose supplements successfully and cost-effectively to manage your Sjögren’s symptoms, as well as your health in general.
Seeking professional guidance
And we will say upfront, that you absolutely should be following the guidance of a qualified nutrition professional when choosing and taking supplements, especially if you're taking any medications.
This is not a disclaimer that we are including for legal reasons, but a very important message that we hope you take seriously, for the reasons we detail below.
That being said, we're here to provide guidance that goes beyond surface-level solutions, as well as to help you avoid wasting your time and money, or risking your health with ineffective supplements.
Why Choosing the Right Supplements for Sjögren's Matters
You may have tried various supplements for Sjögren's without seeing significant results. It's often very frustrating, time-consuming, expensive and confusing to keep experimenting without a clear plan.
Sjögren's is a complex condition, and the combination of supplements that really helps one person will unlikely be the same combination that really helps another person, even if they have similar symptoms. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing the best supplements for Sjögren's (and the same goes for diet as well).
And it comes down to the underlying issues, or root causes, that contributed to the initiation of disease process on an individual level, and the factors that are currently causing it to progress and flare up in that individual.
For example, one person may need to improve their digestive function in order to reduce their inflammation and improve their symptoms, while another person with the exact same symptoms may need to strengthen their detoxification mechanisms, while another may need to balance their hormones.
Using a supplement without having the right knowledge of why it is being used can not only be a waste of your time and money, it can also be dangerous to your health.
Recognizing the Risks of Improper Supplementation
Using supplements incorrectly can have negative consequences.
Let’s review the 3 main risks of taking the wrong supplements:
1. They can cause harmful reactions
Supplements are available without prescription, which leads many people to think there’s no harm in trying choosing supplements without expert guidance. This is a misconception. The body holds a delicate balance. Both medications and supplements have the power to upset this balance because they interact with a complex set of mechanisms. The difference is that supplements usually need to be taken over a longer period of time to achieve the desired effect, while medications work almost immediately (but with greater side-effects). However, as with medications, supplements shouldn’t be given (or taken) lightly. The right supplement, at the right dosage and for the right amount of time, can be as effective - and often more effective - than the right medications. The wrong supplement, at the wrong dosage, for the wrong amount of time, can be harmful - sometimes as harmful as the wrong medication. This is why, if you want to make the most out of supplementation and avoid the risk of adverse effects, you should do it under the guidance of a qualified nutrition professional.
2. They might interact with your medications. When Naturopathic practitioners are in training, they learn about the potential complex interaction that supplements could have with medications and with symptoms. These interactions become more complex with each additional medication in the mix, and with each symptom a patient is experiencing.
Again, this is why supplementation shouldn’t be taken lightly.
3. They could have little to no effect on your symptoms. The final (and most common) risk, is that you’ll simply be throwing away your money by purchasing expensive supplements which target the wrong issue. And let’s face it, supplements can get expensive, especially when buying good quality ones. The other related risk is that you buy a supplement brand which does not deliver on its promises. Since supplements aren’t controlled by government authorities, many companies can get away with putting different dosages than the one advertised, which further increases the health risk (and the risk that it won’t work).
The bottom line is that supplementing should not to be taken lightly, despite the fact that it commonly is taken lightly. Supplements affect the body and its mechanisms in complex ways, and unless one is professionally trained in understanding thoroughly assessing these interactions, we recommend seeking out a professional that will help you with a targeted approach.
This will not only help you save time and money, and reduce the potential risks to your health, but also help ensure that you get really good results from the supplementation.
The ABC's of an Effective Sjögrens Supplementation Plan
Having said this, let’s see how right supplementation looks like. The right supplementation protocol (plan) meets the following criteria:
It targets Specific Issues. The right supplement protocol addresses the underlying issues in your body which are contributing to your specific Sjögren’s symptoms. As mentioned earlier, there is no one-size-fits-all supplement or supplement protocol. It entirely depends on the individual, their health history and constellation of symptoms. You can find out what the issues are by undergoing professional assessment and testing - this can't be done on one's own, or through their medical doctor.
It gets the dosage and formulation right: Understanding the different forms of supplements, their effects on the body and their interaction with current medication is crucial to getting really good results, and avoiding potential harms.
It considers product quality: As previously mentioned, some products may contain incorrect dosages or harmful additives, and many supplements sold online are outright fraudulent. The right supplement protocol will include trusted products and ensure the supplements meet quality standards.
It considers your digestive capacity: The right supplement protocol will consider your body's ability to tolerate, digest and absorb multiple supplements, and will be focused on the most effective selection that won't cause discomfort or overload your system.
Seeking Expert Guidance
To navigate the muddy world of supplementation for Sjögren's, we highly recommend working with a qualified professional who will help you get clarity and prescribe exactly which supplements to take, based on your specific situation and needs. In particular, nutritional therapists and naturopathic doctors have the knowledge and expertise to create a customized supplementation plan based on your unique requirements and on the results of lab tests which help pinpoint exactly which supplements will be of benefit to you. Other nutrition professionals do not have the breadth and depth of training in nutritional supplementation that these experts do. Working with a professional will help you minimise the risk to your health, ensure the supplements you buy are of safe and of good quality, and ultimately leading to you saving time and money.
At Beyond Sjögren's, we specialise in targeted supplementation, testing and evaluation, alongside diet and other important environmental and lifestyle factors.
Using the right supplements as part of a holistic Sjögren’s management plan plays a really important role in helping your body function better, and in turn significantly improving your symptoms. When choosing the right supplements, it's essential that you do this mindfully and consider all the variables, since the wrong supplement can be expensive and harmful to health. To find the right supplements for you, avoid random advice on the internet and seek guidance from a professional who can assist you in selecting the right supplements based on your specific needs and test results. By taking a holistic approach to supplementation, you can improve your Sjögren’s symptoms and overall well-being more effectively.
- - -
Book a free consultation
If you would like to learn more about what a targeted supplementation plan might look like for you, and some next steps that you can take to start feeling better, book a free consultation.
There are no expectations or obligations - just a chance discuss your situation and the best next steps you can take to start feeling better!