Pronounced: show-GRENSEn Español (Spanish Version)
Sjogren's syndrome is an inflammatory condition in which the immune system destroys cells in exocrine glands, most commonly the tear and salivary glands. It is a lifelong condition. There are two types:
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The causes of Sjogren's syndrome are unknown. Contributing factors may include:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for Sjogren's syndrome include:
Symptoms may include:
In some cases, other parts of the body are affected as well. These include:
Due to the systemic nature of this disease, you may have to see several specialist doctors before a final diagnosis is made. Additionally, the prevalence of dry eyes and dry mouth increases with age and is most often due to medication side effects. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.
Tests may include:
There is no cure for Sjogren's syndrome and no treatment that can restore the ability of the glands to produce moisture. Patients with Sjogren’s syndrome have an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and should be screened aggressively. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.
While Sjogren's syndrome is generally a benign condition, people with severe cases are at increased risk for developing lymphoma , a cancer of the white blood cells. Your doctor will need to monitor you closely for this possibility.
Last reviewed December 2007 by Jill Landis, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.