Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. It’s more common in women than men - with a female: male ratio of 9:1.
It mainly affects individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 (with the disease most frequently occurring in people around 50).
It affects glands that secrete fluid - such as your tear and salivary glands (leading to dry eyes and mouth). Other symptoms include fatigue and joint pain - but it can also affect your organs’ function (kidneys, intestines, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, or central nervous system). There is also an increased chance of developing lymphoma.
“Sjögren’s syndrome is more common in women than men - with a female: male ratio of 9:1”
There is no single test that confirms the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome. Specialist doctors (normally rheumatologists) use several tests to diagnose Sjögren’s syndrome:
- Blood Tests: looking for Sjorgen antibody markers.
- Eye Tests: testing tear production and using dyes to examine the eye’s surface for dry spots.
- Dental Tests: including salivary flows.
- Medical history, including understanding dry eye and mouth symptoms.
“In some cases, lifestyle changes can help with specific symptoms - such as fatigue and gastrointestinal reflux. Over-the-counter products can help with dry eye and mouth symptoms.”
In some cases, lifestyle changes can help with specific symptoms - such as fatigue and gastrointestinal reflux. Over-the-counter products can help with dry eye and mouth symptoms.
No single medicine has been conclusively proven to slow the progression of Sjögren’s syndrome or treat all aspects of the disease. Several different types of medications are used to manage symptoms:
- Dry eye and dry mouth treatment.
- NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation.
- DMARDs (Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs) to modify how the immune system functions.