(Primary Sjogren's Syndrome; Secondary Sjogren's Syndrome)
DefinitionSjogren's syndrome is an inflammatory disease. The immune system destroys cells in exocrine glands. It occurs most often in the tear and salivary glands. It is a lifelong condition. There are two types:
- Primary Sjogren's syndrome—occurs alone
- Secondary Sjogren's syndrome—occurs with other rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis , scleroderma , or lupus
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CausesThe causes of Sjogren's are unknown. Contributing factors may include:
- Viral infections
- Environmental factors
Risk FactorsWomen and people between the ages of 40-60 years old are at increased risk. Factors that increase your risk for Sjogren's include:
- Other rheumatic or autoimmune diseases
- Certain gene markers
SymptomsSymptoms may include:
- Red, burning, itching, and/or dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of taste and smell
- Dry skin, nose, throat, and/or lungs
- Dental problems
- Swollen salivary glands
- Vaginal dryness
- Skin rashes
- Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
- Muscle pain
- Blood vessels
- The nervous system
- Organs such as the lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and thyroid
DiagnosisYou will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist. You may also be referred to a dentist for an exam.Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Lip biopsy
- Schirmer test to measure tear production
- Slit-lamp examination
TreatmentThere is no cure for Sjogren's. No treatment can restore the ability of the glands to produce moisture. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.Treatments include:
MedicationYou may be given medications to relieve:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Inflammation and swelling
Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle changes may help to relieve symptoms. These include:
- Exercise to relieve stiffness in the joints
- Sipping liquids and sucking on sugar-free candies to relieve dryness
- Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups
- Using unscented moisturizers to help relieve dry skin
PreventionThere are no guidelines for preventing Sjogren's syndrome. The cause is unknown.
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
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Papas, et al. Successful treatment of dry mouth and dry eye symptoms in Sjogren's syndrome patients with oral pilocarpine: a randomized, placebo-controlled, dose-adjustment study. J Clin Rheumatol. 2004;10:169-177.
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Sjogren's syndrome. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/Sj%C3%B6gren%5Fs%5FSyndrome. Updated July 2012. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Venables PJ. Management of patients presenting with Sjogren's syndrome. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2006;20:791-807.
7/7/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Liang Y, Yang Z, et al. Primary Sjogren's syndrome and malignancy risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Jun;73(6):1151-1156.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014
- Update Date: 12/20/2014
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