Friday, March 24, 2017

Is Your Mouth Making You Sick?

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Dry Mouth

Since saliva plays such an important role in the oral cavity, decreased salivation can lead to many problems. If this condition persists for months or years, a patient may develop oral complications such as difficulty swallowing, severe and progressive tooth decay, oral infections (particularly fungal), or combinations of these. As a result, detecting the early signs of dry mouth is critical. The dentist and/or dental hygienist can be instrumental in detecting one of the earliest signs, possibly before the patient is even aware of his or her dry mouth, by observing the amount of saliva pooled under/around the tongue during dental procedures. Little or no pooling of the saliva may indicate the patient is beginning to suffer from dry mouth. Other early signs to look for would be dental decay located at the necks of teeth next to the gums or on the chewing edges of teeth.
I have rampant tooth decay. My teeth are also very soft. They stick together like I have caramel stuck between my upper and lower teeth. It's a very weird feeling. - Brenda Mueller
If you don't have Sjogren's or dry mouth, you still need to keep your appointments with the dentist. The health of your teeth can keep your whole body healthy.


I am conducting research on autoimmune disorders. I have a survey and if you fill it out, I will send you my "10 Day Wellness Journal" as my way of saying "Thank You" for participating.

Take the Survey

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Why should you drink green tea?

I only drink water and green tea. I love a cup of warm tea. I don't add any sweeteners or any other flavors to it. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.

  Top 10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

1. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter

Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.

2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Green tea also helps keep blood sugar levels stable in people who suffer from diabetes. The compounds polyphenols and polysaccharides present in green tea can be useful for both types of diabetes.

3. Reduces Cholesterol Levels

Green tea can also effectively reduce bad cholesterol in the blood and improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.

4. Promotes Oral Health

Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of cavities. The natural fluoride in green tea, polyphenols and catechins can effectively kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay, bad breath, cavities and various gum diseases. The oral benefits of green tea are lost when sugar, honey, or other sweeteners are added to the tea.

5. Helps Maintain Body Weight

Several studies have proven that a cup of green tea daily can reduce body fat, especially in the abdominal area. It can also significantly decrease body fat percentage, body weight and waist circumference.

6. Prevents Hair Loss

Green tea is packed with antioxidants that help prevent hair loss and can also promote hair re-growth. The polyphenol catechins in green tea help block DHT, which is the key factor for hair loss.

7. Fights Against Aging

The antioxidants, especially those known as polyphenols, in green tea help protect the skin from harmful free radicals. In fact, polyphenols help fight against various signs of aging, promote longevity, and treat skin diseases.

8. Lowers Blood Pressure

Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It helps keep blood pressure down by repressing angiotensin, which leads to high blood pressure.

9. Reduces the Risk of Cancer

Multiple studies show that the numerous antioxidants in green tea may lower the risk of various types of cancer like breast, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal, bladder, lung, and stomach cancer. In fact, the antioxidants in green tea are 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 24 times better than vitamin E.

10. Keeps Bones Strong

The high fluoride content in green tea helps maintain bone strength. Regular consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of osteoporotic fractures. Read more...

What are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties. There are over 8,000 identified polyphenols found in foods such as tea, wine, chocolates, fruits, vegetables, and extra virgin olive oil, just to name a few. Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining your health and wellness.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Autoimmune Disorder Survey

I have created a survey for people with autoimmune disorders. Here is the link take the survey.

Everyone who completes the survey will receive my "10 Day Wellness Journal".

Thank you for your participation! Brenda Mueller

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Brenda Mueller's Recommendations for Dry Eye Care

My Recommendations for Eye Care

Brenda Mueller's Eye Care Recommendations for Moisture Seekers

In today's video I share my favorite products for keeping my eyes healthy and feeling their best.

  Systane Ultra Artificial Tears

Systane Ultra Tears


Bedtime Bliss BTB01 Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Oil Side Effects The dosage for primrose oil varies depending on the particular ailment. We suggest consulting your doctor before taking any new supplements. Reported side effects are rare and mild, and include nausea, stomach pain, and headaches. Stomach pain and loose stools may mean that the dose is too high.

If you take medication for blood thinning or blood pressure medication, speak to your health care provider before consuming evening primrose oil. If you’re prone to seizures and take a class of medications called phenothiazines, which is used to treat schizophrenia, you shouldn’t take evening primrose oil because it may increase your risk of seizures.

Ariel EDGE Plush Hot/Cold Eye Mask

Ponds cold cream cleanser

Pond's Cold Cream Cleanser

Pond's Dry Skin Cream

Pond's Dry Skin Cream

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

What is Lichens Sclerosis?

What is Lichens Sclerosis?

What is Lichens Sclerosis?

Lichen sclerosis is an uncommon condition that creates patchy, white skin that's thinner than normal. Lichen sclerosis can affect skin anywhere on your body.

Anyone can get lichen sclerosis but postmenopausal women have a high risk.

Sometimes lichen sclerosis improves on its own, and you won't need any treatment. If you do need treatment, your doctor can suggest options to return a more normal appearance to your skin and decrease the tendency for scarring.

My Story

One day, about eight years ago, I had to go to urgent care and the doctor saw the scars on my legs that had developed. He asked if I knew what it was and I told him no. I said that I guess it had to do with autoimmune, but I didn't have a diagnosis. The doctor didn't know what it was, but he told me to get to the doctor and get a diagnosis. He thought it looked awful and that he thought it would spread. 

When I got home I called my doctor. He sent me to a dermatologist. There, I was diagnosed with Lichens. He said that my skin would become thin like cigarette paper. He prescribed some sort of ointment and told me to come back in 30 days.

I used the ointment and I didn't see any improvement. The doctor didn't see any improvement either. I didn't go back. When he said there wasn't a cure. That was pretty much all I needed to hear. Just like with Sjogren's and Lupus, I went on my own to do it my way.

I went to a new dermatologist a couple of months ago. I have lumps on the back of my neck and chest. I had a big lupus sore on my leg that turned into something else and it was taking forever to heal.

  Grab your copy of my 10 Day Wellness Journal -

After the doctor examined it she said that I have different stages of Lichens. Nothing can be done. She suggested that I keep my skin moisturized. She said that Lichens is super slow when it comes to progressing. I believe that.

I asked her why the tops of my feet itch and the hairline at the base of my head itch really bad when I eat too much sugar. She said that it is because of the Lichens. Even though I can't see the Lichens everywhere on my skin it does make my skin super sensitive. Like most other autoimmune disorders, sugar aggravates Lichens.

So there you have it. This how I learned about Lichens Sclerosis.

  Symptoms of Lichens Sclerosis

Symptoms of Lichens Sclerosis

Sometimes, mild cases of lichen sclerosis cause no noticeable signs or symptoms. When they do occur, lichen sclerosis symptoms may include:
  • Itching (pruritus), which can be severe
  • Discomfort or pain
  • Smooth white spots on your skin
  • Blotchy, wrinkled patches
  • Easy bruising or tearing
  • In severe cases, bleeding, blistering or ulcerated lesions
  • Painful intercourse
Question: Can you relate to this? Please leave your comment below. 


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

What is Raynaud's Phenomena?

My third diagnosis was Raynauds. This is an odd one. It started with my fingers and toes, in the past few months it seems to be affecting my nose. My symptoms are textbook. My fingers will turn white while I'm handling frozen food. I don't use ice in my water anymore because it causes a spasm. In the mornings when it is in the mid 30's outside, my finger tips will turn red and they feel like they are going to explode. As soon as my fingers hit that point, the spasm ends and they return to normal.

What is Raynauds Phenomenon?What Is Raynaud's

Raynaud’s (ray-NODES) is named for the French physician Maurice Raynaud, who first recognized the condition in 1862. The disease causes an interruption of blood flow to the fingers, toes, nose, and/or ears when a spasm occurs in the blood vessels of these areas. Spasms are caused by exposure to cold or emotional stress. Typically, the affected area turns white, then blue, then bright red over the course of the attack. There may be associated tingling, swelling, or painful throbbing. The attacks may last from minutes to hours. In severe cases, the area may develop ulcerations and infections, which can lead to gangrene.

Raynaud’s can occur as a “primary” disease; that is, with no associated disorder. It can also occur as a “secondary” condition related to other diseases, such as scleroderma, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Approximately 5-10 percent of all Americans suffer from Raynaud’s, but only one out of ten sufferers seeks treatment. Both men and women suffer from Raynaud’s, but women are nine times more likely to be affected. Some researchers estimate as many as 20% of all women in their childbearing years have Raynaud’s.
  Grab your copy of my 10 Day Wellness Journal -


Monday, March 13, 2017

Day 9: Create a Shopping List

Shopping for groceries without a list can cause a few problems:

  1. I will forget something that I think is important.
  2. I end up zig zagging around the store as I remember items.
  3. I end up going back to the store an extra time because I forgot an item.
  4. I buy something that I already have at home. I didn't check my inventory first.
  5. Shopping without a list can be stressful.

Shopping lists:

Are A Time Saver

I like to get in and get out when it comes to grocery shopping. I organize my shopping list by aisle. I'm sure, like me, you know your grocery store all too well, so you know exactly where everything is, so it makes creating a shopping list much easier. I'm also not wasting time looking for things I don't need. Shopping lists are a money saver! Did you know that having a list can reduce you food expense by between 20 and 25 percent?

Are A Money Saver

Did you know that having a list can reduce you food expense by between 20 and 25 percent? Who knew? Whatever is on the list is the only thing I buy.

Have Health Benefits

Because I use a list my shopping is a habit. Since I have lost weight, I only buy the food we are going to eat. I do not keep ingredients for baking in the house and I don't keep junk food around either. Fortunately I have buy in from my husband and he is really good about saying "no" to junk food.
  Shopping Lists can make shopping fun!

Can Make Shopping Fun

With a list, there is no reason to be stressed figuring out what you may or may not have in ample supply at the home. You follow the list and relax, knowing your approach is organized and on the mark.

Inspires Input

I like it when my husband participates in what I put on the shopping list. Then I don't have to guess at what I think he might be interested in eating. Also, when we go shopping together, I send him off to get the foods that he added to the list. We can get our shopping done much faster that way.

Question: Do you use a list or try to shop from memory? Please leave your comment below.

Friday, March 10, 2017

What is Lupus?

My second diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder came 18 years ago. Lupus. So what the heck is that? I knew it was autoimmune and I knew it was causing these sores on my skin and I knew it was piggy-backing on my Sjogren's.

What is Lupus?

Lupus (SLE) can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. Symptoms vary but can include fatigue, joint pain, rash, and fever. These can periodically get worse (flare-up) and then improve. While there's no cure for lupus, current treatments focus on improving quality of life through controlling symptoms and minimizing flare-ups. This begins with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet. Further disease management includes medications, such as anti-inflammatories and steroids.

  My Lupus Symptoms - Brenda Mueller

The effects of lupus on the body

Lupus in the body

The Face: Two common symptoms of lupus are a butterfly-shaped rash on the face and extreme sensitivity to sunlight.

The Hair: Hair loss and weak hair that breaks easily are often early signs of lupus.

The Mouth: Lupus, as well as some drugs used to treat the disease, can cause lesions inside the cheeks, lower lip or roof of the mouth. Dry mouth caused by secondary Sjogren's syndrome can lead to dental decay, gum disease, and difficulty swallowing.

The Esophagus: Inflammation of the esophagus can cause difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, heartburn and gas.

The Stomach: Lupus can cause nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. Use of NSAIDs can raise the risk of bleeding ulcers.

The Abdomen: When the linking inside the abdomen is inflamed, it can cause a build-up of fluids in the abdomen.

The Pancreas: Lupus raises the risk of pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas.

The Colon: Lupus may cause ulcers in the lining of the colon and rectum, causing bloody diarrhea.

The Liver: The liver can become inflamed, enlarged, or jaundice. People with lupus are also more prone to autoimmune hepatitis.

The Kidneys: Kidneys can become inflamed, but there may or may not be symptoms. Blood and urine tests can detect kidney problems.

The Blood: A less common symptom of lupus is anemia, or a low red blood cell count. Lupus can also increase the likelihood of blood clots.

The Heart: Inflammation of the heart muscles or the sac that surrounds the heart can cause chest pain. Chronic inflammation can cause scarring, restricted blood flow, and formation of blood clots.

The Eyes: People with lupus sometimes develop secondary Sjogren's syndrome, which causes extremely dry eyes.

The Brain: Inflammation of blood vessel walls within the brain include symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, change in mood, trouble concentrating and seizures.

Swollen Glands: The inflammation caused by lupus can cause swollen glands throughout the body.

The Lungs: Inflammation of the lungs can make breathing uncomfortable or even painful.

Joints and Muscles: Inflammation of the joints can cause swelling, stiffness and pain. Some people experience muscle aches and pains.

Question: How long have you been living with Lupus? Please leave your comments below.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What is Saliva and Why do I Need it?

What is Saliva?

Saliva is an important part of a healthy body. It is mostly made of water. But saliva also contains important substances that your body needs to digest food and keep your teeth strong. ... Has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

What does saliva do?

The digestive functions of saliva include moistening food, and helping to create a food bolus, so it can be swallowed easily. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase that breaks some starches down into maltose and dextrin. Thus, digestion of food occurs within the mouth, even before food reaches the stomach.

Saliva is important because it:

  • Keeps your mouth moist and comfortable
  • Helps you chew, taste, and swallow
  • Fights germs in your mouth and prevents bad breath
  • Has proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay and gum disease
  • Helps keep dentures securely in place

Did you know...

Normally, the body makes up to 2 to 4 pints of saliva a day. Usually, the body makes the most saliva in the late afternoon. It makes the least amount at night. Question: How much water or liquid do you think you drink everyday? Please leave your comment below. Source:

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What is Sjogren's Syndrome?

Sjögren’s Syndrome (pronounced “show grins”) …is a chronic, inflammatory, multi-system, auto-immune disorder that is progressive. This means those who have Sjögren’s have it for the rest of their lives and it may affect many parts of their bodies.  Auto-immune refers to a process whereby the cells that are usually directed to fighting infections are actually attacking our own cells, creating inflammation and damage to tissues, in particular the mucous membranes (moisture-producing tissues/glands). This damage is slowly progressive (gets worse with time).

Sjögren’s predominately affects woman (90% of people with Sjögrens are women: 10% men). sjogrens-infographic

What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?


The two main symptoms of Sjögrens syndrome are:
• Dry eye (keratoconjuctivitis sicca) and.
• Dry mouth (xerostomia)

However, people who have Sjogren’s Syndrome usually have a varied mixture of many other symptoms, which may include:

• Extreme fatigue 
• Muscle pain 
• Arthritis (joint pain, swelling, sometimes deformity)
• Dry/itchy skin 
• Dry nose with crusting and infection
• Dry vagina, recurrent thrush
• Gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn, indigestion)
• Difficulty swallowing, alteration of taste
• Painful mouth with ulcers, recurrent oral candida
• Rampant tooth decay
• Hoarseness, cough

Swollen salivary glands – The 3 main glands being:
  • The Parotid glands, which sit in front of the lower part of each ear (they are the same glands that swell during mumps)
  • The Submandibular glands, which sit on the jaw bone (mandible) in the lower mid section of each cheek
  • The Sublingual glands, which are found under the tongue.

Question: How long have you had Sjogren's Syndrome? Please leave your comment below.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Sjogren's Syndrome - Why am I so Thirsty?

Holy cow! I need to water, now!

Symptom #1

Thirst gradually started to become more and more prevalent when I started showing signs of Sjogren's Syndrome. I was watching Oprah one day and she had her trainer and chef, Bob Greene on and they were discussing being thirsty. Bob said, "If you are constantly thirsty, then you are dehydrated." I thought about that. "How could I be dehydrated? I am drinking so much water it's crazy." Thirst is also a classic symptom of diabetes. Now, at this time I was overweight, but my doctors had never raised the issue of diabetes.

Hey, no tears!

Symptom #2

One day I watched a sad movie, and when I cried, there were no tears. That is weird. My eyes got all messed up. I had a mucus substance instead of tears and my nose didn't run either. What's going on? My eyes were scratchy, dry and red. Fortunately, I found artificial tears right away. Those gave me some relief.

How do I spell relief?

Symptom #3

Indigestion. I'm not talking a little heartburn either. I not only carried a water bottle everywhere with me, but I carried a bottle of Mylanta, too. I remember being in my cubicle at work and having Mylanta on my desk. I was drinking a few bottles each week. If you have ever tasted Mylanta, you know it can be an acquired taste. I would chug Mylanta before, during and after my meals. I would take a swig or two in between meals if I had to.

Aahhh, Ambesol!

Symptom #4

Canker sores! Now those are attractive. I'm not talking the one little canker sore you get on your tongue. I'm talking sores on my mouth, tongue and down my throat. The pain was incredible.

How dry I am...

Symptom #5

The last thing that happened to me was the skin on my face dried out and I developed a few hairline cracks in my skin. I used moisturizer everyday and it didn't make a bit of difference. All of these things didn't happen one at a time over a period of weeks or months. They all happened within days of each other. I wasn't freaking out, but I just didn't know what to think about what was happening to me. One or two of these symptoms by themselves wouldn't raise any alarm bells, but five? I knew something was really wrong and I felt like crap and I looked like crap.


I went to the Urgent Care. Fortunately, I met a wonderful doctor. I told him everything that had been happening and he listened. He really listened and he recognized it right away.

The doctor said, "I can tell by looking at your face that you are dry." "Your skin, and eyes are dry and the glands in your face are swollen." I think you need to get to a rheumatologist because I think you have Sjogren's Syndrome." "You are what we call, "a moisture seeker" and you need a specialist."

The doctor gave me the short version of what Sjogren's is, and I immediately felt relieved. I had an answer!

Question: If you have Sjogren's, how long did it take for you to realize something wasn't quite right, and to get a diagnosis?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sugar is the Enemy of Autoimmune Disorders

I have learned that sugar is a big contributor to how I feel everyday. An autoimmune disorder can cause me to feel fatigued and sometimes worn out. I have learned that I need to cut out anything that is going to contribute to that feeling. My diet is the best place to start.

It took me a long time to finally say, "There is no place, for sugar in my diet!" and mean it.

  • makes me to feel less energetic.
  • makes my skin itch.
  • causes canker sores.
  • causes weight gain.
When I cut the sugar out of my diet I immediately felt more energetic. This high level of energy was felt for the first week. Then my body leveled back out, to a more normal rhythm.

One more side-affect of cutting the sugar is that my eyes dried out more than usual for the first two or three days. I balanced this by eating more fresh fruits. Even though I have Sjogren's Syndrome, there is a "normal" balance to the dryness in my eyes. Normal for me is having to use my artificial tears once or twice an hour. When I cut the sugar, the first couple of days I have to use the artificial tears three to four times an hour. 

The benefits of cutting the sugar outweigh the first few days of discomfort with my eyes.

In the video below, Dr. Axe tells us how we can kill our sugar addiction naturally. Breaking the sugar addiction isn't a hard thing to do, once you have decided you need to do it.

  sugar_addiction   Sugar is the Enemy of Autoimmune Disorders

Four things you can to do immediately start breaking your sugar addiction

Get the right foods into your diet. Adding in foods that balance out your blood sugar levels and insulin such as healthy protein, fat, and fiber.

Get the sugar and grains out of your diet. Slowly wean yourself off of the sugars and grains and find some healthy replacements that satisfy the sweet craving

Take the right supplements that will help balance out blood sugar levels. Chromium is a great option, a B complex vitamin, and a probiotic supplement.

Start doing the right kind of exercise. Balance your exercise with cardio and resistance training.

Question: What do you think breaking the sugar addiction will do for you? Please leave your comment below.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Asian Turkey Lettuce Cups - Recipe

Who doesn't love an easy to fix dinner! These lettuce cups are colorful, fragrant and will make an exciting dinner.

This is a recipe that is sure to please those with Sjogren's Syndrome. This is a "high" water content recipe!


4 oz ground lean turkey
1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup shelled and cooked edamame
2 Boston lettuce leaves
2 Tbsp sliced scallion

1/2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

Asian Slaw
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage and green cabbage
1/4 cup sliced jicama
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp rice vinegar

In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté first three ingredients for five minutes. Add edamame, scoop mix onto lettuce, top with scallion, and wrap up. Drizzle with sauce, and serve slaw on the side.

Total: 329 calories

Substituting mushrooms for some of the meat in the dish saves fat and calories. I would substitute chick peas for the edamame.


Make this meal and any other Asian inspired meal special by adding these beautiful Japanese serving bowls.  The blue flower pattern on these serving bowls add elegance and taste to your kitchen even home. 


Living with Autoimmune Disorders

I have been living with autoimmune disorders for the past 20+ years. I am going to call them disorders not diseases. I hate the word "disease" when it comes to the world of autoimmune. When I hear the word "disease" I think of kidney disease, Ebola, Tuberculosis, heart disease. In my case I don't see the autoimmune "disorders" as being as bad as those "real" diseases.


What is an autoimmune disorder?

An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells.

What's the difference between a disease and a disorder?

A disease is a pathophysiological response to internal or external factors. A disorder is a disruption to regular bodily structure and function. A syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with a specific health-related cause.

So, there you have it. Autoimmune is a disorder. These disorders disrupt my life, body, and sometimes how I function. That is it.

Charles R. Swindoll said, "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."


I say, "Autoimmune is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."

When you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, your reaction should be, "Thank goodness, someone knows what is wrong, gave me the diagnosis and told me what to do to live with it." Autoimmune disorders are activated by stress, so you receiving a diagnosis of a disorder should give your mind some ease and let you start to relax.

I am not a doctor. I don't have a medical degree. Like I said in the beginning, I have been living with autoimmune for over 20 years, so I do know a thing or two about the subject. I am going to share with you everything that I have learned. What works and what doesn't.

If you have just been diagnosed and you feel scared, anxious, or fearful, I hope that I can help you alleviate those feelings. I do want you to know that you can have hope, and you can live an active and healthy lifestyle.