What is Sjögren's Syndrome?

 

Henrik Samuel Conrad Sjogren  -  Swedish Ophthalmologist.
Died: September 17, 1986, Lund, Sweden
Education: Karolinska Institute &  Stockholm University (Medical Degree 1927)
1933  Published a doctoral thesis "Knowledge of Keratoconjunctivitis" which was the basis on which Sjogrens Syndrome was based.
 
 

 

Introduction 

 

Sjögren's  syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. 

The body’s immune system attacks glands that secrete fluid, such as the tear and saliva glands.

The effects of Sjögren's syndrome can be widespread. Certain glands become inflamed, which reduces the production of tears and saliva, causing the main symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome, which are dry eyes and dry mouth.

In women (who are most commonly affected), the glands that keep the vagina moist can also be affected, leading to vaginal dryness.

What causes Sjögren's syndrome?

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune condition, which means that instead of protecting the body from infection or illness, the immune system reacts abnormally and starts attacking healthy cells and tissue.

In Sjögren's syndrome, the immune system attacks the tear and saliva glands, and other secretory glands throughout the body.

The reasons for this remains unknown, but research suggests that it's triggered by a combination of genetic, environmental and, possibly, hormonal factors.

Some people are thought to be more vulnerable to the syndrome when they're born and that certain events, such an infection, can trigger the problems with the immune system.

Read more about the causes of Sjögren’s syndrome.

Healthcare professionals classify Sjögren's syndrome as being either:

  • primary      when the syndrome develops by itself and not as the result of another condition
  • secondary  when the syndrome develops in combination with another autoimmune disorder, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Diagnosing Sjögren's syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome can be difficult to diagnose, because it has similar symptoms to other conditions and there is no single test for it.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and carry out a test to see how dry your mouth and eyes are.

Source  -    NHS Choices Website

Please refer to other pages within our website for more comprehensive notes concerning the complexities of  the condition/