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Nutrition and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome 

There is a clear link between nutrition and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)/Generalized hypermobility spectrum disorders (G-HSD).


EDS affects gastrointestinal (GI) functions, including digestion, absorption and elimination as well as gut-related immune function.


To date there is limited research available about the ideal or best diet for someone with EDS/G-HSD.


It can be complex to manage diet in the context of the comorbidities that often accompany hypermobility syndromes, such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Diet changes can help you manage symptoms 

Autonomic dysfunction 

  • Drink isotonic fluids (sports/electrolyte drinks) to support hydration

  • Avoid excessive amounts of hypotonic fluids (water)

  • Liberalize salt intake

  • Choose low glycemic carbohydrates; limit concentrated sugars and fast digesting carbohydrates

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • It is important to determine food triggers if you have symptoms of MCAS. 

  • Common food triggers for patients with MCAS include but are not limited to: 

    • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

    • alcohol

    • shellfish 

    • artificial food dyes and flavorings

    • food preservatives 

    • pineapples

    • tomatoes & tomato based products

    • chocolate. 

  • A low histamine diet may be beneficial for patients with MCAS, talk to your dietitian about whether or not this is a good option for you. 

Dysmotility: Gastroparesis 

  • Limit intake of high fat and high fiber foods

  • Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day

  • Chew food very well

  • Choose softer/liquid foods (ground meat, fish, yogurt, apple sauce, smoothies, pureed soup)

Gut-related immune dysfunction

  • Increase intake of prebiotic containing foods; probiotics containing foods, antioxidants and fiber.

  • Eat a diet rich in fresh greens and vegetables, ancient grains, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and almonds

  • Avoid refined carbohydrates. 

  • Limit daily intake of fructose to less than 25g/day. 

  • Eliminate sugar substitutes

  • Eliminate artificial colors/flavors, preservatives, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. 

  • Minimize intake of saturated fats. 

  • Eliminate or minimize casein, gluten, and zein (i.e., dairy, wheat, and corn). 

  • Avoid heavily fried, grilled, and toasted food. 

  • Reduce intake of cured meat. 

  • Limit alcohol consumption

Functional gut disorders (IBS, chronic constipation)

  • Following a low FODMAP  (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) diet may be beneficial. Talk to your dietitian about whether or not this is a good option for you.

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