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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjogren's Syndrome is a disease of immune system in which white blood cells destroy and attack the exocrine glands that make saliva and tears. it is firstly described by ophthalmologist named as Henrik Sjogren. It can be developed with rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. It may affect nose, skin, or vaginal dryness and other organs of the body such as blood vessels, liver, brain, kidneys, lungs and pancreas. This disease is commonly found in women.

Causes: There is no main cause found by the researchers, but it can associate by combination of factors such as hormones, bacterial infection, heredity, viral and the nervous system. In this disease, white blood cells damage and attack the glands which produce moisture. These glands are also damaged by other organs such as kidneys, lungs or liver.

Risk Factors : Being women: women are highly risk to get sjogren's syndrome. It is mainly found in women than men. family History: People, who have a family history of sjogren's syndrome, are high risk of getting this disorder. Rheumatic disease: People who have Rheumatic diseases such as lupus, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma, have more chances to get this disease.

Signs and Symptoms: dry mouth excessive fatigue dry eyes parotid glands become in large size changes in sense of taste yeast infectionds like candidiasis dry skin or skin rashes dental cavities high fever problem in chewing or swallowing hoarseness mild bleeding and irritation in nose swelling, stiffness and severe pain in joint

Diagnosis: it is very difficult to diagnose it, because it has same signs and symptoms of other diseases. although, physical examination and family history of the disease may help to diagnose it. Blood test: Blood tests may be recommended by the doctor to check sedimentation rate and blood count or autoantibodies.Blood test is very effective to determine the disease.

Imaging: Imaging such as specific X-ray which is known as sialogram may help to check sjogren's syndrome. It finds dye which is located infront of ears and behind the jaw. the dye is injected into the parotid glands. This procedure may help to find the flow of saliva into the mouth. Salivary Scintigraphy may be performed by the doctor to measure the function of salivary gland.

Urine sample: a sample of Urine can be taken by the doctor and send it to laboratory to find the symptoms of sjogren's syndrome. Tear test, biopsy and slit-lamp exam: In some cases, the health care provider will be recommended the biopsy, tear test and slit-lamp test to detect the disease.

Treatment: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Medications such as aspirin may help to relieve inflammation and pain. Patients can take these medications in case of swollen or painful joints, according to the doctor. Hydroxychloroquine: Antimalarial drug such as Plaquenil may be prescribed by the doctor in case of inflammed and swollen joints with rheumatoid arthritis.

Cevimeline: Medication such as cevimeline may be used to reduce the symptoms of sjogren's syndrome such as dry mouth. It has some side effects such as nausea, stuffy nose or excessive sweating. surgery: In sever cases, surgery may be preferred by the doctor to control the disease. in this procedure silicone plugs or collagen are transmitted into the ducts for a temporary closure. In some cases, laser treatments are also used by the doctor.

Prevention: Patients should avoid smoking. patients should avoid hot water and use moisturizers on the dry skin. Patients should protect from windy environments and increase the humidity. patients must be used eyedrops and artificial tears.

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