Lifestyle decisions have a big impact on health and chronic disease prevention and disease management. Adhering to a wholesome diet and committing to regular physical activity promotes general overall health. Healthy diets have been shown to support normal growth, development and ageing, influence healthy pregnancy outcomes and aid in maintaining healthy body weight. In addition, healthy eating reduces the risk of chronic disease and helps those suffering from chronic diseases to manage their symptoms, often leading to improved overall health and well-being.
Malnutrition is a common symptom in scleroderma patients and can result from poor eating habits or diminished nutrient absorption due to gastrointestinal complications. Chronic nutrient deficiencies can further complicate the progressive nature of the disease, so careful and continual monitoring of dietary habits is a critical component of a successful treatment plan. Due to the individualized nature of scleroderma, there is no single scleroderma diet. Depending on the patients’ needs a specific focus may be placed on anti-inflammatory foods, foods that are easily digested, or foods that are calorie and nutrient dense and easy to prepare. All people living with scleroderma will benefit from an increased intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables, and elimination of harmful junk foods that lack any nutritional value.
Many scleroderma cases benefit from individualized nutritional support that activates the release of toxins through liver-produced bile. Other traditional detoxification methods often fail as toxins are backed up into the brain, skin and kidneys causing the condition to worsen. People living with scleroderma are encouraged to find a nutritionist familiar with the disease. An individualized dietary plan should be developed to provide the necessary nutrients and calorie density for improved outcomes.
Some healthy and simple dietary tips and guidelines are provided below (prepared Pamela Piotrowski, RD):