Sjogren'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 decreased saliva production and dry eyes. Inflammation of the glands that produce the saliva in the mouth (salivary glands, including the parotid glands) leads to dry mouth and dry lips.

Sjogren'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 Sjgren's syndrome, is sometimes referred to as sicca syndrome.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: LynnJ, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

In February 2008 I was diagnosed by my first doctor with Lupus/rheumatoid arthritis. After this doctor had me on prednisone for 9 months I changed doctors. He took me off prednisone and took all the necessary blood test and made the diagnosis of a very mild form of lupus. I did not have another flare up until January 2013. I went to another doctor and he diagnosed me with Sjogren"s syndrome and he did not prescribe medication but explained to me how to manage it. I feel better knowing that I can manage this disease without prescription drugs. I am aware that the disease could worsen as I get older but I exercise regularly, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep, I also use Biotene for dry mouth daily. But most importantly I"m not going to the doctor every month.

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Comment from: Gayle, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I feel so bad for everyone suffering from Sjogren's as I too have suffered for 11 years. Every day is such a struggle and you can never plan things because you don"t know if you will have a good or bad day. I have the related autoimmune problem that goes with it, of Hashimoto's thyroid and vasculitis on the legs. Just want to let you know of two things that helped ease a lot of pain. First I had all of my tear ducts cauterized. That keeps the tears you do make stay in your eyes longer. Then about 8 months ago my eye doctor helped my badly scratched eyes that hurt terribly with every blink. I now wear a no prescription contact along with my glasses. It protects my eye like a Band-Aid and doesn"t hurt as badly. I hope this helps someone else too.

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