Sjogren’s Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatments

Sjogren’s Syndrome Diagnosis & Treatments

The autoimmune disease known as Sjogren’s syndrome occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the salivary glands, drying out the mouth and eyes. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system creates extra antibodies in the bloodstream that assault the body’s healthy tissues, damaging them and hindering normal function. 

What is Sjogren’s Syndrome? 

Sjogren’s syndrome relates to the salivary and lacrimal glands that produce saliva and tears, respectively. Inflammation of these glands, prompted by the immune system, causes them to malfunction and produce significantly less. Naturally, this condition creates dryness in areas that are typically lubricated. 

The term primary Sjogren’s syndrome is used when the disorder causes gland inflammation and isn’t associated with another connective tissues disorder. When Sjorgren’s syndrome is linked to Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune diseases that target connective tissues, it’s referred to as secondary Sjogren’s syndrome. 

Signs and symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome 

Since Sjogren’s affects two specific areas of the body, symptoms may vary according to the individual and the severity of the disease. Symptoms for inflammation of the lacrimal gland include: 

Symptoms for inflamed salivary glands caused by Sjogren’s include but are not limited to: 

Other symptoms triggers by Sjogren’s syndrome are: 

What are the complications, and who is affected by Sjogren’s Syndrome? 

If not caught early on, complications from Sjogren’s can become increasingly severe. Since the autoimmune disorder affects multiple body systems, these complications may vary. Timely diagnosis and routine treatment may slow the progress of certain complications but currently, there is no cure for this autoimmune disorder. 

This list is not comprehensive, as there can be a wide variety of complications linked to this autoimmune disorder, however, these are some of the more common ones. 

Eye problems 

Lung problems 

Pregnancy complications 

More likely to develop Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 

Miscellaneous complications 

Sjogren’s affects more females than males – approximately 90% of Sjogren’s diagnoses are for female patients. The autoimmune disorder can develop at any age for either sex but more diagnoses happen from aged 40 and on. 

Diagnosis and Treatment 

Sjogren’s is frequently difficult to diagnose as its symptoms run the gamut and affect a host of internal organs, tissues, and systems. Blood tests and ophthalmological tests are commonly used to check for this autoimmune disorder as well as salivary flow rates or a biopsy of the lower lip. If an initial test is inconclusive, your rheumatologist will move on to another set of tests. 

Treating Sjogren’s combines at home treatments for the disease’s symptoms paired with medical intervention. When Sjogren’s begins to act in conjunction with other autoimmune disorders, such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or Raynaud’s, a combination of treatments may be necessary. 

Treating symptoms of Sjogren’s 

Next steps: Scheduling and Appointment Info 

If you have diagnosed Sjogren’s syndrome or you experience a number of its associated symptoms, it’s wise to establish a relationship with an Orlando Rheumatologist. You can also find COVID-19 updates for patients, including news about the vaccine, emerging variants, and more. We make healthcare easy so you can get the help you deserve.