Sjogren's Syndrome What is Sjogrens Syndrome?Sjgrens Syndrome is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are a abnormality of production in antibodies within the blood that are against particular tissues in the body. This particular illness causes inflammation in certain glands within the body. These glands would consist of Lacrimal Glands which produce the tears, Salivary Glands and Parotid Glands which produce the saliva in the mouth. There is Primary Sjogrens Syndrome and Secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. Primary Sjogrens Syndrome is gland inflammation that is not associated with another connective tissue disease. Secondary Sjogrens Syndrome is when the gland inflammation is associated with another connective tissue disease. An Example of Secondary are Rheumatoid arthritis.
salivaryglands.jpgsalivarygland.jpg
The Causes and Symptoms
There is no exact cause of Sjogrens syndrome. There are leading scientific resesearch that is growing on the issue that it is an genetic inheritance. This would be mostly likley found in a famiy that has history with Sjogrens Syndrome and also found in families that have history of autoimmune disease. Knowing that this disease effects certain glands in the body and also other organs, there are things to look for and be aware of. When a tear gland is inflamed, the eye will become dry, irritated and less tear production, infection and also a gritty feeling. When the salivary glands are inflamed, this will show with mouth sores, swelling, mouth dryness and lip dryness, difficulty im swallowing, dental decay and gum disease. Other glands can also become inflamed, but they are not that commen. These would be located within the lining of the breathing passage way and vagina which leads to some pain during intercourse. There are also symptomes outside the glands. These would be called extraglandular whcih include inflammation within the joints, lungs, kidneys, nerves, muscle disease and lympnode enlargment.

Treatment
The treatment for Sjogrens Syndrome vary for the parts of the body that are effected. For the dryness of the eyes, you can use ointments, artifical tears, and limiting the use of hair dryers. If the dryness becomes worse the tear ducts can be tied (plugged) off and the tears will cover the eye longer. There are now eye drops out that can reduce the inflammation called Cylcosporine Eyedrops. If there is puss or alot of redness and pain you should be seen and evaluated by your docter. Treatment for the mouth is to humidify air, good dental care to prevent tooth decay and also drinking plenty of fluids. A way to stimulate the glands is to suck on a sugarless lemon drops. When you need treatment for air passages ways you can use salt water nasal sprays to help with dryness and for vaginal areas, use vaginal lubricant.

sjogrens_syndrome.jpg

Who is affected
In the Untied States there are over one million people who have Sjogrens Syndrome. Women are 90% of all people who are affected by Sjogrens Syndrome. This disease does not have any particular age or race that is affects
Interesting Facts
-Henrik Sjogren, a swedish physician, discovered Sjogrens Syndrome in 1933.
- About half of affected patients also have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis or other connective tissue diseases

Citations

http://www.medicinenet.com/sjogrens_syndrome/page2.htm
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/sjogrens_syndrome/rheumatology_overview.aspx
http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/what-sjogrens-syndrome.html?pageNum=3
http://pain-and-depression.com/Message-Boards/wp-content/uploads/2008/sjogrens1.bmp
http://donationsstatic.ebay.com/extend/logos/1138824832230.jpg