Sjögren's Syndrome - Describe Your Experience

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What is Sjögren's syndrome?

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by dryness of the mouth and eyes. Autoimmune diseases feature the abnormal production of extra antibodies in the blood that are directed against various tissues of the body. The misdirected immune system in autoimmunity tends to lead to inflammation of tissues. This particular autoimmune illness features inflammation in glands of the body that are responsible for producing tears and saliva. Inflammation of the glands that produce tears (lacrimal glands) leads to decreased water production for tears and dry eyes. Inflammation of the glands that produce the saliva in the mouth (salivary glands, including the parotid glands) leads to decreased saliva production and dry mouth and dry lips.

Sjögren's syndrome with gland inflammation (resulting in dry eyes and mouth, etc.) that is not associated with another connective tissue disease is referred to as primary Sjögren's syndrome. Sjögren's syndrome that is also associated with a connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma, is referred to as secondary Sjögren's syndrome. Dryness of eyes and mouth, in patients with or without Sjögren's syndrome, is sometimes referred to as sicca syndrome.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: CURTISES1, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 29

I have had Sjogren's syndrome for about 13 years, starting with dry eyes and progressing to macular holes in both eyes which have been corrected. My latest problem is skin lesions, like something is depositing out of my feet and legs. It is scaly, and can be removed with a bit of scrubbing but leaves my skin irritated. It is progressing up my body in the form of a severe skin rash. The rheumatologist that I am seeing has prescribed acetonide cream. It works marginally.

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Comment from: maddi6, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome in 2004. I had been ill for 2 years prior to this. I was then diagnosed with mixed essential cryoglobulinemia and I had to have 38 apheresis treatments where they remove all of your blood then centrifuge it and replace the plasma with albumin. So far this hasn't returned but I now have very severe pain across my shoulder blades and into my ribs. I also managed to get a herpes infection on my cornea and will be on anti-viral medication for the rest of my life. I just want to feel well again.

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