Three salivary glands produce saliva, which drains
through tubes (salivary ducts) to irrigate the mouth.
When the body’s white cells attack these glands, they
fail to make enough saliva, the mouth becomes dry.
Image courtesy of Food & Drug Administration.
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder whose main symptoms are dryness of the mouth and eyes. It most commonly affects people over the age of 40, 90% of whom are women. Other symptoms include joint pain, swollen salivary glands, dry skin, vaginal dryness, persistent dry cough and prolonged fatigue.

These symptoms overlap with those associated with a number of other medical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, individuals who suffer with Sjögren’s syndrome often are diagnosed with another immune-system disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Consequently, Sjogren’s often can be overlooked or misdiagnosed. In fact, the average time between the onset of symptoms and receiving a diagnosis is nearly seven years.

Unfortunately, if left untreated, Sjögren’s can undermine the proper functioning of your lungs, liver, kidneys and nerves.

At the Kaplan Center our physicians have years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with chronic conditions like Sjögren’s.

The body produces tears constantly to bathe,
nourish and protect the eye surface. When
the lacrimal glands fail to produce sufficient
tears, “dry eye” can result. Courtesy of National
Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.
At your first visit, your Kaplan physician will take time exploring the onset of your condition, the specific nature of your symptoms and the overall status of your health. You’ll also be asked about the medications and therapies you’ve tried in the past, and what has and hasn’t worked for you. To gather additional information about your condition, specialized diagnostic laboratory testing may be necessary.

After reviewing all of the factors contributing to your condition, your physician will spend time talking with you about your diagnosis and working with you to create a customized and multi-dimensional treatment plan that addresses not only your immediate pain, but also any possible underlying or co-existing conditions that may be causing or aggravating your symptoms.

Currently, there is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome, but the Kaplan Center offers the treatments that can alleviate its symptoms so you can maintain a good quality of life:

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Our goal is to return you to optimal health as soon as possible.

Please call (703) 532-4892 to schedule an appointment, or for more information please click here.


 

Website: Sjögren’s World A Sjögren’s Syndrome Support Community
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