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Sjogrens Syndrome

What Is Sjogren's Syndrome?

Sjogren's (SHOW-griens) syndrome is a disease that affects the glands that make moisture. It most often causes dryness in the mouth and eyes. It can also lead to dryness in other places that need moisture, such as the nose, throat, and skin.

Who Gets Sjogren's Syndrome?

Most people with Sjogren's syndrome are women. It can occur at any age and in any race. But it is rare in children and most often shows up after age 40.

What Causes Sjogren's Syndrome?

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease. The immune system is supposed to fight disease by killing off harmful viruses and bacteria. But with autoimmune diseases, your immune system attacks parts of your own body by mistake.

In Sjogren's syndrome, your immune system attacks the glands that make tears and saliva (spit). The damage keeps these glands from working right and causes dry eyes and dry mouth.

Doctors don't know the exact cause of Sjogren's syndrome. They think it may be caused by a combination of two things:

What Are the Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome?

The main symptoms are:

Sjogren's syndrome also can affect other parts of the body, including the skin, joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, digestive organs, and nerves. Symptoms can include:

Sjogren's can also make you very tired.

How Is Sjogren's Syndrome Diagnosed?

Doctors use a few ways to diagnose Sjogren's:

Doctors may also use:

How Is Sjogren's Syndrome Treated?

Treatment differs for each person. It depends on what parts of the body are affected. Treatment will focus on getting rid of symptoms. Treatment may include:

Treatment for dry eyes may include:

Treatment for dry mouth may include:

People with dry mouth can easily get mouth infections. Tell your doctor if you have white patches or red, burning areas in your mouth.

Medicines and Dryness

Some medicines can cause eye and mouth dryness. If you are taking one of the drugs listed below, ask your doctor whether you should stop.

Drugs that can cause dryness include:

What Research Is Being Done on Sjogren's Syndrome?

Studies are being done on:


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