Sjogren’s Syndrome: Causes & Sypmtoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Sjogren’s Syndrome is an annoying and potentially dangerous condition characterized by general dryness.

What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease and primarily appears as a general dryness of the eyes and mouth. The moisture-producing glands of the body are very important, as that moisture can often help the body rid itself of toxins and foreign substances.

Autoimmune diseases come in a wide array of forms and can have very unusual symptoms and manifestations. Sjogren’s syndrome is no different and primarily appears as a general dryness of the eyes and mouth. The moisture-producing glands of the body are very important, as that moisture can often help the body rid itself of toxins and foreign substances.

Causes

The cause of the condition is not specifically known, but it is widely believed to result from genetic and environmental factors. As with all autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system essentially begins attacking healthy cells, and the subsequent inflammation in those moisture-producing glands can damage the glands permanently, making it difficult for them to secrete fluids to those parts of the body.

A secondary version of this syndrome can also arise as a side effect of a bacterial or a viral infection, or as a secondary symptom of another autoimmune disease.

Symptoms

While dryness of the eyes and mouth doesn’t seem like the end of the world, as with many autoimmune diseases, the condition can worsen, resulting in more extreme symptoms and a serious impact on quality of life.

Sjogren’s syndrome is not the easiest condition to diagnose, given that its main symptoms are dry eyes and mouth, which are quite common in people as they age.

Some of the other common symptoms of Sjogren’s include:

  • Dry skin
  • Numbness in the arms and legs
  • A dry cough
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fatigue
  • Thyroid problems
  • General joint pain

However, if the symptoms become more serious, people can usually get a blood test to reveal higher levels of antibodies that are commonly associated with the syndrome.

A lip or salivary gland biopsy can also show high levels of lymphocytes, which will form near damaged salivary glands caused by this syndrome. Once the diagnosis is made, however, the treatment must begin.

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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