Sjogren’s syndrome is a disease that occurs in the moisture-producing glands. These glands include the salivary glands as well as the tear glands. There is an infiltration of these glands with the white blood cells. These cells are an essential part of the body’s immune system. The glands are affected and less moisture is produced. This leads to the dryness of mouth and eyes.
In some cases infiltration of internal organs such as the nervous system, kidneys and the lungs is also seen. Sometimes the intestines and liver are also infiltrated. Because of this, multiple organs are affected. A wide variety of symptoms can be caused.
The occurrence of sjogren’s syndrome is seen in people who have suffered from rheumatic disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. This is also known as secondary sjogren’s syndrome. When the occurrence of this syndrome is without any rheumatic disorder, it is known as primary sjogren’s syndrome.
About 3 percent of the population is affected by this syndrome. The condition has a presence throughout the world and in all ethnic groups. Anyone can be struck with this disorder. However, elderly women and middle-aged women are more likely to be affected.
The exact cause of sjogren’s syndrome is not known. An auto immune response is given by the moisture producing glands. Thus the cells of the body are mistakenly attacked by the immune system. The gland can be damaged by the infiltration by lymphocytes. What causes it is not yet known. But this is surely a combination of environmental factors as well as genetic factors.
The main symptoms of this syndrome are dry mouth and dry eyes. Dryness can be found in other areas as well. These include the skin, airways of lungs vagina and lungs.
Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder of an autoimmune nature. The disease of autoimmune is basically those which come from the abnormal production of anti bodies in the blood. These antibodies are directed towards the various tissues present in the body. The Sjogren’s syndrome occurs independently most of the time and sometimes occurs in the presence of other connective tissue. The signs and symptoms of this syndrome includes enlargement of parotid glands, dry eyes, gland inflammation etc. It is not at all related to the connective tissue disease and hence is called as primary Sjogren’s syndrome.
Sjogren’s secondary syndrome involves gland inflammation and connective tissue disease like rheumatoid arthritis, systematic lupus and scleroderma. This syndrome can affect people of any age but then the symptoms of it are only noticed at the age of 40 or 45. The causes of Sjogren’s syndrome are that attacks the glands which are responsible for making saliva and tears. It also causes dryness of organs and affects kidneys, liver, pancreas etc. People who suffer from this syndrome generally experience joint pains which worsen as the day passes.
The other areas which this disorder or disease affects is the eyes and mouth. In short this disease can affect a person’s whole body and can make him weak and pale.
This disease can occur both in male and female the disease is also commonly found in families who have members with the autoimmune illness. It is seen that the patients affected with Sjogren’s syndrome have symptoms very similar to diminished lacrimal and salivary gland functions.
Treatment for this disease is generally very simple and is treated by anti-fungal and antibiotic preparations. As people suffer from dryness moisture replacement therapies will be fruitful for the patients. Products like vitamin E oil, toothpaste, gum and mouthwash would be perfect to avoid dryness in mouth. Hence it is always suggested by doctors to take all the necessary precautions so that people do not face major complications in the later stage of the Sjogren’s syndrome disease.
Now that people know about this disease it is their duty to take care of themselves to avoid any complications. After knowing the cause and symptoms of this syndrome one can surely not try neglecting it as it can have adverse effects. Hence to live a healthy life one must follow proper diet plan and maintain good hygiene so that they will remain safe from this Sjogren’s syndrome.