Sjogren’s Syndrome

It is in the group of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main symptom of the disease is dryness. Dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, vaginal dryness… etc. It is named after the Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren, who first described it. Although it primarily affects the lacrimal glands, it can also involve systems such as the lung, kidney, musculoskeletal system. It can be seen together with other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma (secondary Sjögren’s syndrome) or alone (primary Sjögren’s syndrome).

How does Sjogren’s syndrome develop?

As with all autoimmune diseases, there is a genetic basis. However, there is no isolated gene identified. The main mechanism is the development of organ tissue damage by the immune system cells, which are the defense system of our body, first of all detecting the glandular cells as foreign and waging both cellular and humoral (secretory) warfare against these cells, formation of autoantibodies, antigen-antibody complexes and initiation of inflammatory response.

In the clinic, it is manifested primarily by a decrease in tears, a feeling of discomfort as if there is sand in the eye, a dry mouth, a frequent desire to drink water while talking or eating something, and prodromal findings such as weakness, fatigue, anorexia, and weight loss accompany the picture. Joint pain and morning stiffness begin to appear. After a while, the skin dries, cracks, and sexual intercourse becomes painful due to vaginal dryness. It is progressive if left untreated. Lungs, kidneys, nerves, thyroid gland, especially the endocrine system, liver, gall bladder and brain are affected, loss of function is observed.

It is generally more common in women than men. Although it is a disease of the middle age group, it can be seen at any age.

How is the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome made?

Detection of dryness is very important in diagnosis. Often, ophthalmologists can also detect dry eye and guide patients. Dry eye is detected by tear break-up time or the Schirmer test. Presence of sublingual saliva during saliva test, sialogram, or physical examination is significant in diagnosis. Parotid ultrasonography and MRI may also be requested if necessary to differentiate it from other pathologies of the parotid gland.

Among serological tests, ANA, anti Ro and anti La positivity are also among the diagnostic evaluations. Again, blood count for the screening of organ system involvement, acute phase response, sedimentation rate and CRP may be requested to evaluate biochemistry and inflammation. One of the most important evaluation methods is to show the severity of inflammation pathologically by performing excisional biopsy from the minor salivary glands.

Sjogren’s Syndrome treatment

Treatment is aimed at both relieving the symptoms and increasing the patient’s quality of life, and preventing the progression of the disease and organ damage by stopping the inflammation.

Since saliva is important for our oral and dental health, oral aphthae, fungal infections and dental caries are common when the quality of saliva deteriorates. Good oral care and dentist control are important. It is also recommended to drink plenty of water, gargle, and chew sugar-free gum. Tablets containing salivary secreting pilocarpine can be used. Artificial tears should be used regularly for dry eyes.

Regular use of moisturizers for skin dryness prevents skin infections. It is beneficial to change the laundry and bath towels frequently, to take a bath frequently, and to apply moisturizer to the whole body when the skin is slightly damp. There are also suitable preparations for vaginal dryness. In addition, as with all autoimmune diseases, it is useful to use sunscreen. It is recommended to use room humidifiers and a censer to moisten the bronchial mucosa. Regular exercise is also important.

Apart from these, steroids and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents-DMARDs, which are used in the treatment of all rheumatic diseases, are also used in the treatment of this disease.

It is in the group of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main symptom of the disease is dryness. Dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, vaginal dryness… etc. It is named after the Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren, who first described it. Although it primarily affects the lacrimal glands, it can also involve systems such as the lung, kidney, musculoskeletal system. It can be seen together with other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma (secondary Sjögren’s syndrome) or alone (primary Sjögren’s syndrome).

How does Sjogren’s syndrome develop?

As with all autoimmune diseases, there is a genetic basis. However, there is no isolated gene identified. The main mechanism is the development of organ tissue damage by the immune system cells, which are the defense system of our body, first of all detecting the glandular cells as foreign and waging both cellular and humoral (secretory) warfare against these cells, formation of autoantibodies, antigen-antibody complexes and initiation of inflammatory response.

In the clinic, it is manifested primarily by a decrease in tears, a feeling of discomfort as if there is sand in the eye, a dry mouth, a frequent desire to drink water while talking or eating something, and prodromal findings such as weakness, fatigue, anorexia, and weight loss accompany the picture. Joint pain and morning stiffness begin to appear. After a while, the skin dries, cracks, and sexual intercourse becomes painful due to vaginal dryness. It is progressive if left untreated. Lungs, kidneys, nerves, thyroid gland, especially the endocrine system, liver, gall bladder and brain are affected, loss of function is observed.

It is generally more common in women than men. Although it is a disease of the middle age group, it can be seen at any age.

How is the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome made?

Detection of dryness is very important in diagnosis. Often, ophthalmologists can also detect dry eye and guide patients. Dry eye is detected by tear break-up time or the Schirmer test. Presence of sublingual saliva during saliva test, sialogram, or physical examination is significant in diagnosis. Parotid ultrasonography and MRI may also be requested if necessary to differentiate it from other pathologies of the parotid gland.

Among serological tests, ANA, anti Ro and anti La positivity are also among the diagnostic evaluations. Again, blood count for the screening of organ system involvement, acute phase response, sedimentation rate and CRP may be requested to evaluate biochemistry and inflammation. One of the most important evaluation methods is to show the severity of inflammation pathologically by performing excisional biopsy from the minor salivary glands.

Sjogren’s Syndrome treatment

Treatment is aimed at both relieving the symptoms and increasing the patient’s quality of life, and preventing the progression of the disease and organ damage by stopping the inflammation.

Since saliva is important for our oral and dental health, oral aphthae, fungal infections and dental caries are common when the quality of saliva deteriorates. Good oral care and dentist control are important. It is also recommended to drink plenty of water, gargle, and chew sugar-free gum. Tablets containing salivary secreting pilocarpine can be used. Artificial tears should be used regularly for dry eyes.

Regular use of moisturizers for skin dryness prevents skin infections. It is beneficial to change the laundry and bath towels frequently, to take a bath frequently, and to apply moisturizer to the whole body when the skin is slightly damp. There are also suitable preparations for vaginal dryness. In addition, as with all autoimmune diseases, it is useful to use sunscreen. It is recommended to use room humidifiers and a censer to moisten the bronchial mucosa. Regular exercise is also important.

Apart from these, steroids and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents-DMARDs, which are used in the treatment of all rheumatic diseases, are also used in the treatment of this disease.

It is in the group of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The main symptom of the disease is dryness. Dry mouth, dry eyes, dry skin, vaginal dryness… etc. It is named after the Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren, who first described it. Although it primarily affects the lacrimal glands, it can also involve systems such as the lung, kidney, musculoskeletal system. It can be seen together with other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma (secondary Sjögren’s syndrome) or alone (primary Sjögren’s syndrome).

How does Sjogren’s syndrome develop?

As with all autoimmune diseases, there is a genetic basis. However, there is no isolated gene identified. The main mechanism is the development of organ tissue damage by the immune system cells, which are the defense system of our body, first of all detecting the glandular cells as foreign and waging both cellular and humoral (secretory) warfare against these cells, formation of autoantibodies, antigen-antibody complexes and initiation of inflammatory response.

In the clinic, it is manifested primarily by a decrease in tears, a feeling of discomfort as if there is sand in the eye, a dry mouth, a frequent desire to drink water while talking or eating something, and prodromal findings such as weakness, fatigue, anorexia, and weight loss accompany the picture. Joint pain and morning stiffness begin to appear. After a while, the skin dries, cracks, and sexual intercourse becomes painful due to vaginal dryness. It is progressive if left untreated. Lungs, kidneys, nerves, thyroid gland, especially the endocrine system, liver, gall bladder and brain are affected, loss of function is observed.

It is generally more common in women than men. Although it is a disease of the middle age group, it can be seen at any age.

How is the diagnosis of Sjögren’s syndrome made?

Detection of dryness is very important in diagnosis. Often, ophthalmologists can also detect dry eye and guide patients. Dry eye is detected by tear break-up time or the Schirmer test. Presence of sublingual saliva during saliva test, sialogram, or physical examination is significant in diagnosis. Parotid ultrasonography and MRI may also be requested if necessary to differentiate it from other pathologies of the parotid gland.

Among serological tests, ANA, anti Ro and anti La positivity are also among the diagnostic evaluations. Again, blood count for the screening of organ system involvement, acute phase response, sedimentation rate and CRP may be requested to evaluate biochemistry and inflammation. One of the most important evaluation methods is to show the severity of inflammation pathologically by performing excisional biopsy from the minor salivary glands.

Sjogren’s Syndrome treatment

Treatment is aimed at both relieving the symptoms and increasing the patient’s quality of life, and preventing the progression of the disease and organ damage by stopping the inflammation.

Since saliva is important for our oral and dental health, oral aphthae, fungal infections and dental caries are common when the quality of saliva deteriorates. Good oral care and dentist control are important. It is also recommended to drink plenty of water, gargle, and chew sugar-free gum. Tablets containing salivary secreting pilocarpine can be used. Artificial tears should be used regularly for dry eyes.

Regular use of moisturizers for skin dryness prevents skin infections. It is beneficial to change the laundry and bath towels frequently, to take a bath frequently, and to apply moisturizer to the whole body when the skin is slightly damp. There are also suitable preparations for vaginal dryness. In addition, as with all autoimmune diseases, it is useful to use sunscreen. It is recommended to use room humidifiers and a censer to moisten the bronchial mucosa. Regular exercise is also important.

Apart from these, steroids and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents-DMARDs, which are used in the treatment of all rheumatic diseases, are also used in the treatment of this disease.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.