Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
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.
Sjogren's Syndrome - Treatment and DietQuestion: What treatment has been effective for your Sjogren's syndrome? Have you made any dietary changes, and have they been effective in managing your Sjogren's syndrome?
The uncomfortable feeling of dryness of the mouth can be annoying. It can also lead to dental problems and infections of the mouth. Many products are now available over-the-counter as well as by prescription for the relief of chronic mouth dryness and prevention of its complications.