Sjogren's syndrome is a disorder of a person's immune system. It is often defined by its two most common symptoms, which are dry eyes and dry mouth. If a person has dry eyes, then it feels like they are burning or itching. Also if the person has dry mouth, then it will feel like they have a cotton mouth. It makes it hard to swallow and speak when a person has dry mouth. Other symptoms that may go along with Sjogren's syndrome is: joint pain, swelling, stiffness, prolonged fatigue, consistent dry cough, vaginal dryness, skin rashes or dry skin, and swollen salivary glands. Sjogren's syndrome is a autoimmune disorder. This basically means that an autoimmune disorder is where your own immune system attacks their body's own tissues and cells. Sjogren's system is where your immune system will first attack the moisture, the secreting glands around the eyes and mouth. This disorder can also damage other body parts like: joints, thyroid, kidneys, liver, lung, skin, and nerves. Sjogren's syndrome, with this disorder anyone is able to develop it. People over the age of 40 are more likely to develop this disorder. Sjogren's syndrome actually occurs more in women than in men. It is very common for people with this disorder to rheumatic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. This disorder can also run in the family. Sjogren's syndrome can be very difficult to diagnose because the signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. There are a number of tests that can be done to pinpoint the disorder to Sjogren's Syndrome. Those tests may include: blood tests, eye tests, chest x-ray, a spit test, and a urine sample. Most people may think that they can get rid of their dry eyes and dry mouth by some over-the-counter drugs or just drinking more water, but most might have to have prescribed medications given or even surgery. Surgery would involve sealing off the tear ducts to drain the tears from your eyes.
MayoClinic. (June 2009). Sjogren's Syndrome. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sjogrens-syndrome/DS00147
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