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Sjogren's syndrome is an inflammatory disease. The immune system destroys cells in exocrine glands. It occurs most often in the tear and salivary glands. It is a lifelong condition. There are two types:
The causes of Sjogren's are unknown. Contributing factors may include:
Women and people between the ages of 40-60 years old are at increased risk. Factors that increase your risk for Sjogren's include:
Symptoms may include:
In some cases, other parts of the body are affected as well. These include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
You may be referred to a specialist. You may also be referred to a dentist for an exam.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Your eyes may be tested. This can be done with:
Images may also be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with a
There is no cure for Sjogren's. No treatment can restore the ability of the glands to produce moisture.
The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms.
You may be given medications to relieve:
Lifestyle changes may help to relieve symptoms. These include:
People with severe cases of this syndrome are at increased risk for developing cancers such as
thyroid cancer. This is a cancer of the white blood cells. Your doctor will need to monitor you for this.
There are no guidelines for preventing Sjogren's syndrome. The cause is unknown.
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Last reviewed December 2015 by Kari Kassir, MD
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