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Created: February 25, 1999
Revised: August 2001
By: Diane Manhattan

You are here: IC Network > Patient Handbook > Related Conditions > Sjogrens Syndrome

An Introduction to Sjogrens Syndrome

Sjogren's Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes white blood cells to attack and/or destroy the glands in the body that produce moisture. This particular autoimmune illness is caused by inflammation in the glands of the body. These glands are known as the lacrimal and salivary glands which provide moisture to the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, upper and lower respiratory airways and the Bartholins glands of the vagina.

There are two types of Sjogren's Syndrome, Primary and Secondary.

Primary is the most common which causes fatigue, dry eyes, dry nose, dry throat and dryness of the vagina.

Fatigue: a very common symptom that causes easy exhaustion & tiredness

Dry Eyes: the eyes may feel "sandy" or "gritty", feel tired, burn or look red, eyes may be sensitive to sunlight and wind, and smoke, long periods of reading can cause tiring eyes, a thick substance may accumulate in your eyes during sleep and the tear glands may swell and be painful.

Dry Mouth, Nose, & Throat: your throat may feel dry and tickley, hoarseness and dry cough may be present, a may experience a decreased sense of smell and difficulty in swallowing.

Dental: Dental cavities are a symptom of Sjogren's. Saliva fights bacteria and helps in the prevention of cavities

Secondary Sjogren's Syndrome, can affect other parts of the body including muscles, lungs, nerves, kidneys, joints, liver, thyroid gland, pancreas, brain and stomach. This type of Sjogren's usually occurs with the diagnosis of rheumatic disease (rheumatoid arthritis, sclerodena, and systemic lupus erythematous). Some of the symptoms experienced include muscle weakness, confusion, memory problems, dry skin, feeling of numbness and tingling.


For More Information Please contact:

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
333 No. Broadway
Jericho, NY 11753
1-800-4-SJOGRENS


Informational Websites

Oral Clues That Point to Sjögren's Syndrome - Recognizing and Managing the Oral Clues That Point to Sjögren's Syndrome, Alfredo Aguirre, DDS, MS, State University of New York at Buffalo Medscape Women's Health

SJOGREN'S SYNDROME - National Institutes of Health National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, September 1997

Sjogren's syndrome: clinical spectrum and current diagnostic controversies. - Daniels TE, Department of Stomatology, School of Dentistry, Adv Dent Res, 10(1):3-8 1996 Apr

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

National Sjogren's Syndrome Association

Internet resources for Sjogren's Syndrome


Books worth Reading:

The New Sjogren's Syndrome Handbook
Authors: Steven Carsons (Editor), Elaine K. Harris (Editor)

This book provides the most comprehensive information about this little-known but potentially debilitating disorder--which affects mostly women--describing its symptoms and offering an extensive discussion of how its affects the various systems of the body.




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