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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Comment from: Carmen R, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I was diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome in April of 2010 when one morning I woke up with my hands swollen and in a lot of pain. My rheumatologist immediately put me on medications but for some reason I always continually have inflammation and pain in different parts of my joints. I also continue to get many infections that are hard to treat. Four years later I still wake up with inflammation either in my hands or my feet and still constantly suffer from pain all over my joints.

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Comment from: Sandie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I was just diagnosed with Sjogren's officially today. All this joint pain and chronic fatigue for years, I felt like dying, didn"t care. Rheumatologist dismissed me as fibromyalgia only. Well, maybe if he at least took blood work the first time! I mean I've only been in pain for... twenty years! Recently I started getting the dry eyes, dry mouth, depression, passing out from pure exhaustion, but guess what? I now have a name for what I have and I am happy and relieved because I am going to fight for my long, bright future with my wonderful husband! I take Zoloft, Klonopin as needed, and Daypro Alta, no narcotics, no prednisone! I also use some oral and vaginal lubricants.

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