Sjögren’s Syndrome is a chronic disease that can affect many parts of the body, but it primarily affects the glands that produce tears and saliva. It is estimated that 1 to 4 million Americans have the condition, but many are unaware of their diagnosis. If you have already been diagnosed, there are opportunities to participate in Sjögren’s Syndrome research studies.
So what causes Sjögren’s Syndrome? And what are the symptoms? Keep reading to learn more.
Researchers Are Unsure of the Cause
The cause of Sjögren’s Syndrome is unknown, but it is thought to be influenced by genetics or environment. While women over 40 are the most affected, the condition can show up at any age.
Symptoms include dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, joint pain, vasculitis, and digestive problems. People with the conditions may also have difficulty swallowing.
Diagnosing Sjögren’s Syndrome
Diagnosing the condition can be challenging, as the symptoms are similar to those of other conditions. A diagnosis is typically made based on a comprehensive medical history and physical examination, as well as doing blood work to check for specific antibodies. In some cases, further testing may be necessary to rule out other conditions.
Treatments for Sjögren’s Syndrome
There is no cure for Sjögren’s Syndrome, but treatments are available to help manage symptoms. Artificial tears and saliva substitutes can help to relieve dryness, and medications such as anti-inflammatories can help to reduce pain and inflammation. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged glands.
Current research focuses on identifying the disorder’s cause to develop more effective treatments.
Living With Sjögren’s Syndrome
There are ways to manage Sjögren’s Syndrome. The most important thing is to stay hydrated and avoid overly dry environments. This can be accomplished by drinking plenty of fluids, using a humidifier, and avoiding things like smoking and extended exposure to sunlight.
In addition, regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to reduce fatigue and improve overall well-being. While living with Sjögren’s Syndrome can be challenging, managing the condition and living a full life is possible.
Sjögren’s Syndrome Research Studies
Advanced Rheumatology of Houston participates in several studies to better understand autoimmune diseases and find a cure. When patients lose hope in treatment options, Dr. Brionez strives to find a solution. If traditional treatment options result in limited success, moving to clinical trials can be a valuable option. Dr. Brionez recognized the importance of these treatments and became an investigator of sponsor-supported clinical trials to improve symptoms.
To learn more about our Sjögren’s Syndrome research study, click here. While not everyone qualifies to participate in a research study, we continue to offer as many opportunities to our clients as possible to support the future of treatment discoveries.
If you think you may have Sjögren’s Syndrome, it’s imperative to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing the disease from progressing and causing more severe problems. While there is no cure for Sjögren’s Syndrome, treatments are available to help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Our staff at Advanced Rheumatology of Houston specializes in providing relief to people suffering from autoimmune conditions such as Sjögren’s Syndrome. We will diagnose your condition and work with you on a treatment plan that allows you to live a full life while managing your condition.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or learn about research study opportunities.