Sjogren's syndrome Definition: Sjogren's (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's white blood cells destroy the exocrine glands, specifically the salivary and lacrimal glands, that produce saliva and tears, respectively.
SymptomsThe hallmark symptom of Sjögren's syndrome is a generalized dryness, typically including xerostomia and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, part of what are known as sicca symptoms. Sicca syndrome also incorporates vaginal dryness and chronic bronchitis. Sjögren's syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other organs of the body, including the muscles (myositis), kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, biliary system, pancreas, peripheral nervous system (distal axonal sensorimotor neuropathy or small fiber peripheral neuropathy) and brain. Many patients have gastric issues such as GERD or gastroparesis. Skin dryness in some Sjögren's patients may be the result of lymphocytic infiltration into skin glands. The symptoms may develop insidiously, with the diagnosis often not considered for several years, because the complaints of sicca may be otherwise attributed to medications, a dry environment, aging, or may be regarded as not of severity warranting the level of investigation necessary to establish the presence of the specific underlying autoimmune disorder condition
Tretment Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to treat musculoskeletal symptoms. For individuals with severe complications, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed, and sometimes IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin). Also, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate may be helpful. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is another option and is generally considered safer than methotrexate. However, these prescribed drugs have a range of side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, dizziness, hair loss, stomach aches/cramps, headache, liver toxicity, and increased risk of infections. Also, patients who are on immune suppression drugs are more likely to develop cancer later