Sjögren’s Syndrome Symptoms: 11 Clues You Might Be Ignoring
Sju00f6gren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease that develops when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own healthy cells. Symptoms typically appear in adults over the age of 40, particularly in women, and studies show that up to 31% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have Sju00f8gren’s.
1. Your eyes feel dry
One of the most common symptoms of Sju00f6gren’s syndrome is dry eyes, which occur when the immune system attacks the glands that produce tears, preventing them from producing moisture. Dry eyes must be recurrent, daily, and persistent for at least three months.
2. Your mouth is dry, no matter how much water you drink
Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva in your mouth, as well as the immune system attacking glands that produce saliva, causing you to constantly reach for water.
3. You have dental problems
Saliva has a bacteriostatic effect, which means it prevents bacteria from multiplying. Some Sju00f6gren’s syndrome patients develop gingivitis or tooth decay, while others develop mouth ulcers or a fungal infection that turns the tongue red or white.
4. You wake up feeling aches and pains
Sju00f6gren’s syndrome is a systemic disease, which means it can affect any part of the body. The pain usually occurs in small joints such as the fingers, wrists, and ankles, but tenderness and swelling can also occur in the knees, shoulders, and hips.
5. You have vaginal dryness
Sju00f6gren’s syndrome can exacerbate the thinning and inflammation of vaginal walls, resulting in painful sex, a burning or itching sensation, and an increase in vaginal discharge, according to a small study published in the Archives of Rheumatology.
6. Your skin is dry and itchy
Dry, itchy skin and an eczema-like rash are common symptoms, according to Dr. McCoy, who recommends using heavy moisturizers and taking extra steps to lock in hydration.
7. You’re always tired
Even if you get enough sleep, autoimmune diseases like Sju00f6gren’s can make you tired. This could be due to active inflammation wearing your body out, or it could be due to symptoms keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep.
8. You have a cough that isn’t going away
A chronic cough affects 40 to 60 percent of people with Sju00f6gren’s syndrome, and the autoimmune problems can spread to the lungs, causing pulmonary disease. If you don’t have enough saliva to protect against acid reflux, you might wake up with a dry cough.
9. Your glands are enlarged
The salivary gland near the jaw may be visibly larger in some patients, and touching your face in front of the ear may reveal that your glands are swollen, giving you a “chipmunk cheek” appearance.
10. You keep getting brain fog
“The most important thing is to make sure there’s nothing else driving it,” says memory and cognitive behavioral therapy expert Dr. Stephen McCoy.
11. Your nerves feel funny
Neuropathy is a condition in which the peripheral nerves become inflamed or damaged, causing symptoms such as numbness, weakness, burning, and cold.
What to Do if You Suspect Sjögren’s
There is currently no FDA-approved medication for Sju00f6gren’s syndrome, but there are ways to manage the symptoms. Dr. McCoy recommends lifestyle changes like exercise and sleep to help clear up brain fog, and your doctor may refer you to a rheumatologist for additional testing.
How long does a Sjogren’s flare up last?
7. Flare-related fatigue is an unpredictably high level of fatigue that can last for days or weeks and is caused by an increase in disease activity or an infection that has gone undetected.
What can mimic Sjogren’s?
Sjogren’s syndrome-like symptoms
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Oral contraceptives
- Blood pressure medications
What does Sjogren’s pain feel like?
Multiple joints are painful, usually episodically with periods of joint pain, known as “flares,” followed by periods of little or no joint pain, which is indicative of inflammatory arthritis. Tenderness and swelling of the joints, when present, are indicative of inflammatory arthritis.
Do Sjogren’s symptoms come and go?
The severity of Sju00f6gren’s varies from person to person, as it does with other autoimmune diseases. Some patients have a mild disease that only affects the eyes and mouth, while others have symptoms that wax and wane in severity or even go into remission, and still others have severe and chronic (long-term) symptoms.
Will Sjogren’s shorten my life?
Although life expectancy is comparable to that of the general population, it can take up to seven years to correctly diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome, and while life expectancy is not typically affected, patients’ quality of life is.
Can you get disability for Sjogren’s syndrome?
Not everyone diagnosed with Sju00f6gren’s syndrome will be awarded financial assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Severe cases of Sju00f6gren’s syndrome may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance Program ( SSDI ) disability benefits.
Does drinking water help Sjogren’s?
Dry mouth can be relieved by drinking more water and using saliva-stimulating products, and inflammatory arthritis symptoms can be managed with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or disease-modifying drugs.
What vitamins should I take for Sjogren’s?
Sjogren’s syndrome herbs and supplements
- Evening Primrose.
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids.
What happens if Sjogren’s is left untreated?
If left untreated, Sjogren’s disease can lead to serious complications such as an increased risk of lymphoma and multiple myeloma, oral yeast infections, and dental cavities.
Can Sjogren’s turn into lupus?
Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome can be caused by lupus, scleroderma, primary biliary cirrhosis, or another autoimmune disease. Sjogren’s syndrome has a slow and insidious onset.
What is the best medicine for Sjogren’s syndrome?
Sjogren’s syndrome is often treated with hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil ), a malaria drug. Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as methotrexate ( Trexall ), may also be prescribed.
Does Sjogren’s cause sun sensitivity?
Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation, which can trigger an autoimmune response, causing rashes, light sensitivity, and sudden flare-ups in symptoms in Sjogren’s syndrome patients. Protect yourself from direct sunlight by wearing sunscreen or sun-protective clothing.
Why did I get Sjogren’s?
Scientists aren’t sure why some people get Sjogren’s syndrome; certain genes increase the risk, but it appears that a triggering mechanism u2014 such as infection with a specific virus or bacteria strain u2014 is also required.
Does Sjogren’s show up in blood test?
Antibodies associated with Sjogren’s include anti-Ro (SS-A) and anti-La (SS-B) antibodies, rheumatoid factor, and antinuclear antibodies. A blood test can detect specific antibodiesu2014immune system proteins that normally bind to harmful substancesu2014that may signal autoimmune diseases.
Is Turmeric Good for Sjogren’s syndrome?
Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have been known for centuries, and the active component, curcumin, has been found to be helpful in reducing cellular infiltration in the salivary glands, which causes damage in Sjogren’s syndrome.