Sjogren’s Syndrome is related to the immune system functioning improperly. The two most prominent of symptoms a person has is a dry mouth and dry eyes.
This disorder is something which often is related to other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, or rheumatoid arhritis. The condition is very drying, because it goes after the mucous membranes in your body. So therefore, you have a lack of any tear or saliva production.
A lot of people that develop this problem, are at least 40 or older. It seems that females have the problem much more often then men.
Other than the dominant symptoms of dry eyes, there are symptoms such as, (1) rashes on the skin, (2) the salivary glands swell, (3) dry vaginal area, (4) tiredness, and (5) a very dry type of coughing.
Sjogren’s Syndrome is caused by autoimmune conditions where the body attacks it’s own tissues and cells.
This syndrome type first attacks sweat glands, but can also affect other parts of your body negatively. It can hurt the joints, kidneys, lungs, liver, thyroid, skin and nerves.
Complications of Sjogren’s Syndrome affect the mouth area a lot of time. People with this syndrome are prone to cavities and other dental problems. Vision problems are not uncommon since dry eyes develop a sensitivity to bright lights. Yeast infections are also pretty common in the mouth area as well.
The less common complications can be the results of the inflammation this medical problem causes. This could mean kidney problems, liver dysfunctioning, and lung problems.
Sjogren’s Syndrome can also hurt the unborn baby and cause problems with the heart.
Nerve problems can occur where you feel numb areas in the extremeties.
To diagnose Sjogren’s Syndrome isn’t always easy. A number of blood tests will be done first to determine it. Doctors will want to see your blood sugar levels, and also a sedimentation rate blood test for inflammatory medical conditions. There is also a blood test to determine levels of blood cells, and the presence of antibodies that appear in Sjorgen’s Syndrome.
Eye testing will also be involved. The eye specialist will do a Shirmer Test where a specially treated piece of paper is used to measure your ability to produce tears. The Slit-lamp test is also used to find out about any possible damages to the cornea.
Other diagnostic tests include urine tests to determine kidney function, and spit tests to determine the levels of saliva being produced.
Treatment involves treating the symptoms. There are medications that will help increase saliva production such as Evoxac, and medications that help your rheumatoid factors as well as medicines for the immune system such as Cyclosporine.
Sjogren’s Syndrome often goes away in time for the most part. No one usually has it indefinitely, but it is important to treat the problems that are steeming from it since they can result in other medical problems.