Disease Info

Disease: Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease that involves particularly salivary and lachrymal glands. As a consequence, typically, patients complain of ocular and oral dryness and salivary gland swelling. Moreover, skin, nasal and vaginal dryness are quite common as well. In addition to dryness, other frequently reported symptoms are also widespread pain and fatigue. In one third of the patients, Sjögren’s syndrome may also affect other parts of the body, including your joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, digestive organs, and nerves. A minority of patients may develop a non Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a complication of the disease. Sjögren’s syndrome mostly occurs in middle-aged women.

The diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome is made on the basis of medical history, physical exam, ocular and oral tests, blood tests, and salivary gland biopsies. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms by using artificial tears, sugar-free candy, drinking water often for a dry mouth or an oral drug called pilocarpine that may improve dryness. Extra glandular symptoms may require immunosuppressive drugs. Novel biological drugs are in the pipeline for the treatment of the disease.




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