Sjogren’s Syndrome is a disease where the immune cells from the Immune System of the body attack one’s own exocrine glands – especially those that produce tears and saliva.
It is classified as a systemic autoimmune disease.
This disease is often seen in women – almost 90% of the time.
Disease often has an onset age of over 40.
The disease can affect any men and women of any age.
More than 4 million Americans are effected by this disease.
1.) Primary Sjogren’s syndrome
– Can be a secondary disease, years after onset of another associated rheumatic disorder such as: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Erythematosus, Scleroderma, Biliary cirrhosis, others.
- Can be difficult – a wide variety of symptoms can be seen
- Generalized Dizziness – Hallmark
- Dry mouth
- Dry cough
- Dry eyes
- Skin dryness
- Nose dryness
- Vaginal dryness
- Organ involvement with possible damage: Lungs, Liver, Kidney, Blood vessels, Pancreas, and others
- Swollen salivary glands
- Joint pain
- An elevated IL-IRA (Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist) which may be a marker for fatigue.
- Increased levels of ANA (anti-nuclear antibody) and rheumatoid factor can be seen – both are associated with autoimmune diseases
- Measures the production of tears
- A strip of filter paper is placed inside the lower eyelid for a 5 minute period.
- When a low amount is analyzed – often is indicative of Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Examination of salivary glands – simplest confirmatory test.
- Small lesions in the gland will be seen.
- Stones inside salivary gland can be seen. (Sialectasis)
No known cure
Goal is to control inflammation process of this disease and to improve symptoms.
. Artificial tears
. Ciclosporin – [Restasis] – medication to help treat dry eye
. Cebimeline – [Evoxac] – medication to help stimulate salivary flow
. Pilocarpine – helps stimulate salivary flow
. NSAID – Help with pain in joints and musculoskeletal symptoms
. Steroids [corticosteroids] – treat advance cases/symptoms
. Immunosuppressive drugs – treat advance cases/symptoms
. HydroxychloroquineÂ [Plaquenil] – Disease modifying anti-rheumatic agents (DMARDs)