Sjogren’s Syndrome and Arthritis
Sjogren’s Syndrome is the term referred to autoimmune disorder that harms moisture-producing glands, hamper the process of salivation and tears production. There are two types of Sjogren’s Syndrome: primary Sjogren’s Syndrome, in which the disorder occurs itself; and secondary Sjogren’s Syndrome, in which the disease arises in the occurence of other autoimmune diseases, espcially arthritis. So what is Sjogren’s Syndrome exactly and why it has that connection with arthritis?
What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Sjogren’s Syndrome is the term referred to autoimmune disorder that harms moisture-producing glands, hamper the process of salivation and tears production. This is a chronic autoimmune disease, happening when white blood cells of the body mistakenly attack the moisture producing glands, so-called exocrine glands. This process results in making it difficult to create tears and salivation. The disease can be categorized into:
- Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome: the disease arises itself
- Secondary Sjogren’s Syndrome: the disease develops in the existence of other autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, lupus, etc.
Sjogren’s Syndrome leads to damages to other organs and joint pain, so it is sometimes mistaken with arthritis.
People at any age have the risk of getting Sjogren’s Syndrome. However, women after the age 40 face higher chance of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Moreover, the risk is also higher if there is a relative infected with Sjogren’s Syndrome in your family.
What causes Sjogren’s Syndrome?
The exact cause of Sjogren’s Syndrome has not been identified yet as it is an “autoimmune disease”. Still, it is believe to be related to genetic factors, hormonal factors, microchimerism, as well as environmental factors.
While there are certain number of genes that are responsible for causing Sjögren’s disorder, the genes don’t act by themselves. Scientists believe that all together for a man to create Sjögren’s, the immune system must be actuated by some kind of triggers, for example, a viral or bacterial contamination – that sends the immune system into overdrive.
Evidences have shown that if a relative has Sjögren’s disorder, a persom has a greater chances of it. Actually, around 12 percent of individuals with it have one or more relatives with the illness.
It’s additionally regular for relatives of individuals with Sjögren’s disorder to create different sorts of immune system sickness, for example, lupus or hypothyroidism.
Though there isn’t yet a strong answer concerning why Sjögren’s issue impacts women more routinely than men, masters believe the hormone estrogen might be somewhat mindful . An imperative threat segment for working up Sjögren’s issue is being a post-menopausal woman. Estrogen levels in the body drop after menopause.
Microchimerism of foetal cells, which are offspring lymphoid cells in maternal circulation), might create autoimmunity in females who has been pregnant in the past. The era of an immune system potential by means of microchimerism may prompt a change from a quiet type of autoimmunity with age-subordinate decline in self-resistance.
Researhers think that environment is possibly held responsible for this disease, as it can be triggered by a viral or bacterial infection.
Sjogren’s Syndrome signs and symptoms
Sjögren’s syndrome can lead to various symptoms which can be related to other parts of the body not only the chronic dryness of eyes and mouth.
And these are the most common symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome :
- Eyes: Patients’s eyes with Sjögren’s syndrome may dry, burn or itch. They will always feel like there is something in their eyes. The sufferers may even have difficulty seeing things with blurry vision, or be sensitive to bright light, especially fluorescent lighting.
- Mouth: The patients may feel their mouth dry, chalky or like full of cotton. In severe cases, the patients have to suffer from mouth sores or pain. This will make them difficult to swallow, speak, or taste. They may lose sense of taste. As they lack of the protective effects of saliva, more dental decay (cavities) and mouth infections will be easily developed.
- Nose, throat and airways: Patients will have dry cough, hoarness and feel their noses dry. These too lead to difficulty in speaking, swallowing and eating.
Those above are also known as sicca syndrome, but the disease may affect other parts of the body. Other symptoms of Sjögren’sinclude:
- joint and muscle pain
- prolonged dry skin
- skin redness on the limbs
- vaginal dryness
- numbness or tingling in the limbs
- lenghthy fatigue that meddles in daily life.
- brain fog
Arthritis Linked to Sjögren’s Syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis, a type of joint inflammation that is described by serious aggravation of the joints. This irritation can in the end harm the encompassing bones (fingers, hands, knees, and so forth.). Rheumatoid joint pain can likewise harm muscles, veins, and significant organs.
Sjogren’s Syndrome diagnosis
Your doctor will analyze Sjögren’s syndrome in light of your restorative history, a physical exam, and results from clinical or research facility tests. Amid the exam, your specialist will check for clinical indications of Sjögren’s disorder, for example, signs of mouth dryness or indications of other connective tissue sicknesses.
Contingent upon what your specialist finds amid the history and exam, he or she might need to perform a few tests or allude you to a master to set up the conclusion of Sjögren’s disorder and/or to perceive how serious the issue is and whether the malady is influencing different parts of the body too.
Since there are various explanations behind dry eyes and dry mouth (checking various general drugs, diverse sicknesses, or past treatment, for instance, radiation of the head or neck), the specialist needs an unmistakable history from the patient, and additional tests to see whether distinctive parts of the body are affected.
Blood tests can choose the closeness of antibodies ordinary in Sjogren’s issue, including antagonistic to SSA and against SSB antibodies or rheumatoid component. Distinctive tests can recognize reduces in tear and salivation era. Biopsy of the spit organs and other particular tests can in like manner insist the determination.
Sjogren’s Syndrome treatments
Cure for Sjögren’s syndrome has not been found yet. We can only treat and contain the symptoms of the disease. Sjögren’s syndrome will not shorten the patient’s life span. But no treatment is carried out, then severe complications will appear, causing the patient sufferings.
Treatments for Dry Eyes
- Artificial tears: Accessible by remedy or over the counter under numerous brand names, these items keep eyes wet by supplanting regular tears. Manufactured tears come in various thicknesses, so you may need to examination to locate the right one. A few drops contain additives that may chafe your eyes. Drops without additives normally don’t trouble the eyes. These drops ordinarily come in single-measurements bundles to avoid sullying with microbes.
- Ointments: Ointments are thicker than simulated tears. Since they saturate and ensure the eye for a few hours, and may obscure your vision, they are best amid rest.
- Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. This is a synthetic that greases up the surface of the eye and moderates the dissipation of normal tears. It arrives in a little pellet that you put in your lower eyelid. When you include fake tears, the pellet breaks down and shapes a film over your own particular tears that traps the dampness.
- Topical anti-inflammatory agents. Topical agents, such as steroids and cylcosporin A, are utilized if the eyes’ surface which is irriared. Topical steroids can help increase the pressure in the eye, so your eye pressure must be monitored frequently.
- Punctal occlusion. A surgery used to close the tear ducts that drain tears from the eye, to keep more natural tears on the eye’s surface. For a temporary closure, the doctor inserts collagen or silicone plugs into the ducts. Collagen plugs then dissolve, and silicone plugs are “permanent” until they fall out. For a longer lasting result, the doctor can use a laser or a heating device called a cautery to seal the ducts.
Treatments for Dry Mouth
There are many treatments for dry mouth. You can carry out some methods yourself. The doctor may prescribe some others. Here are some you can find useful:
- Chewing gum and hard candy. If your salivary glands still produce some saliva, you can stimulate them to make more by chewing gum or sucking on hard candy. However, gum and candy must be sugar-free, because dry mouth makes you extremely prone to progressive dental decay (cavities).
- Water: Always bring with you water or another without sugar, noncarbonated beverage for the duration of the day to wet your mouth, particularly when you are eating or talking. Keep in mind that drinking a lot of fluid throughout the day through will help you urinate more ofte, it won’t make your mouth any less dry. You ought to just take little tastes of fluid, however not very much of the time. On the off chance that you take a little taste at regular intervals, it might diminish or uproot the bodily fluid covering inside your mouth, expanding the sentiment dryness.
- Lip balm: You can alleviate dry, broke lips by utilizing oil-or petroleum-based lip analgesic or lipstick. On the off chance that your mouth harms, your specialist may give you prescription in a mouth wash, salve, or gel to apply to the sore territories to control agony and irritation.
- Salivation substitutes: On the off chance that you create almost no spit or none by any stretch of the imagination, your specialist may prescribe a salivation substitute. These items copy a portion of the properties of spit, which implies they make the mouth feel wet. Gel-based salivation substitutes tend to give the longest help, yet as with all spit items, their viability is restricted by the way that you in the end swallow them. It is best to utilize these items as opposed to water when arousing from rest: They diminish oral side effects all the more viably, and they don’t bring about exorbitant pee development.
- Doctor prescribed prescriptions: No less than two doctor prescribed medications animate the salivary organs to deliver spit. These are pilocarpine and cevimeline. The impacts keep going for a couple of hours, and you can take them three or four times each day. Be that as it may, they are not suitable for everybody, so converse with your specialist about whether they may help you. In trials of these medications, patients have likewise encountered some diminishment in their dry eye side effects.
Treatments for Symptoms in Other Parts of the Body
On the off chance that you have issues that amplifies past the dampness creating organs of your eyes and mouth, your specialist will treat those issues utilizing:
- Nonsteroidal calming medications, for example, ibuprofen to treat joint or muscle torment.
- Corticosteroid drugs, for example, prednisone, to smother aggravation that debilitates the lungs, kidneys, veins, or sensory system.
- Resistant adjusting medications to control the overactivity of the insusceptible framework that, in extreme cases, can prompt organ harm.
Sjogren’s Syndrome management
Some suggestions for patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome to reduce the symptoms:
- Stay away from dry and grubby surroundings.
- Stay away from air drafts and windy weather.
- Put on glasses to protect your eyes when going out on windy and/or sunny days.
- Make sure you have a healthy living lifestyle with regular exercises and healthy diet.
- Stop smoking.
- Try to stay upbeat, reduce stress to help promote your general health condition and well-being.
- Consume soft, moist foods if you have trouble in swallowing.
- Stimulate saliva flow by eating small, frequent meals
- Stay away from salty, spicy foods or carbonated drinks which may hurt your mouth when it’s dry.
- Drink water regularly.
- Execise great dental cleanliness and visit your dentist frequently.
We have just provided you some general information about Sjogren’s Syndrome its relation with arthritis. Hope after reading the article you can have better understanding of the disease and steps need to be taken when you see signs of it during arthritis management.