Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the entire body. Symptoms include extreme dryness, fatigue, chronic pain and problems with your organs. Patients with Sjogren’s syndrome often experience severely dry eyes and/or mouth.
It is the most common autoimmune disease, impacting some four million Americans, most are women. People who suffer from Sjogren’s syndrome are at greater risk of developing lymphoma.
Most of the complications of Sjogren’s syndrome stem from decreased tears and saliva.
Because symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome can look like other diseases, it can be a difficult diagnosis to make. It can also develop as a complication from other autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Our doctors will evaluate your symptoms, perform a physical examination and blood tests.
Treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms. Eye drops can relieve dry eyes. There are medications to increase the production of saliva, though drinking water and chewing gum can help. Other medications can reduce joint pain and rash experienced by some patients.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent further problems and improve a patient’s quality of life.