“Is there a diet I can go on to help treat my disease?”
It’s one of the most common questions that I receive at the foundation. The answer is, unfortunately, no.
There is currently no diet that will help to put your disease into remission. However, there are certain foods that may exacerbate your condition.
Pemphigus and pemphigoid are very patient-specific diseases. Everyone’s disease activity varies. Well, the same thing goes for diet and these diseases. The foods that negatively affect one person’s disease activity may do nothing to another individual. It is about becoming an expert on you.
We recommend keeping a food calendar or journal. Write down all of the foods that you eat each day, along with your disease activity. Over time you may begin to see patterns form. For example, you may see that every time you eat onions, new lesions appear or current lesions worsen. You then can try to omit onions from your diet to see if it helps.
Patients have reported improved disease activity after changing their diets or eliminating certain foods. It should be noted that other patients have reported no change from adjusting their diet. Again, it is about becoming the expert on you and working with your treating physician every step of the way.
Foods that patients have reported to be bothersome (you may want to talk with your doctor about avoiding these):
- Acidic Fruits
- Potato Chips
- Barbeque/cocktail sauces
- Red Sauces
- Worcestershire sauce
- Tortilla Chips
- Red wine
Some patients’ oral disease activity is so bad that it is hard for them to consume any food at all. Lesions in the mouth can be painful and cause severe discomfort when eating. The result is a poor nutrient intake, which can result in weight loss and loss of the body’s protein stores. The resulting malnutrition causes fatigue, impairs wound healing, and decreases the body’s resistance to infection.
Suggestions to help prevent malnutrition:
- Eat a variety of foods daily.
- Take a multivitamin with minerals if you feel you do not eat the recommended serving sizes of each food group.
- Weigh yourself weekly. If losing weight, investigate ways to increase calories and protein in your diet.
Soft foods which may be easier to swallow:
Cook coarse or hard foods, such as vegetables until they are soft and tender
Soften or moisten foods by dipping them in gravies or cream sauces
Take a swallow of a beverage with solid food
Eat small frequent servings rather than a large amount of food at one time
Rinse your mouth with water, peroxide, or Biotene during and after eating to help remove food and bacteria and to promote healing
- Soft fruits, such as applesauce
- Nectars, such as peach, pear, or apricot; no fresh juices, like orange or grapefruit juice
- Apple juice (diluted with water if necessary)
- Canned fruits
- Pureed meats and vegetables
- Milk shakes (add protein powder or egg whites for additional calories and protein)
- Custard and puddings
- Macaroni and cheese
- Pasta with margarine or butter
- Scrambled eggs, egg beaters, omelets, egg salads
- Oatmeal and Farina (cool to room temperature)
- Whipped potato (sweet potato or yams)
- Mashed vegetables (carrots and peas)
- Cottage cheese
- Meatloaf and tuna casserole
- Ensure drinks