Which dietary modifications are used in the treatment of scleroderma?

Updated: Sep 09, 2019
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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There are no specific dietary recommendations in patients with systemic sclerosis. Appropriate caloric intake should be encouraged. The following points may be considered:

  • Patients with esophageal involvement should avoid hard solid foods

  • Patients with intestinal hypomotility may benefit from high-fiber diets

  • Vitamin deficiencies and malabsorption should be addressed in patients with frequent or severe bacterial overgrowth

  • Large doses of vitamin C (>1000 mg/d) should be avoided because this stimulates collagen formation and may enhance fibrotic tissue deposition

A study of 51 Romanian patients with systemic sclerosis that 25hydroxy-hydroxyvitamin D serum levels were insufficient in approximately two thirds of cases, and inadequate in almost one quarter. Vitamin D levels did not correlate with extent of skin involvement, but low levels did seem to be related to more aggressive disease with multivisceral and severe organ involvement, especially pulmonary and cardiac. [191]

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