Sjӧgren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder affecting about four million Americans. Autoimmune disorders are often difficult to diagnose, and Sjӧgren’s syndrome can be difficult to recognize. However, there are symptoms that may prompt you to see a rheumatologist if you recognize them.
The experts at Rheumatology Solutions are aware of how Sjӧgren's syndrome may progress, as well as what the most common symptoms are. Early detection and treatment are important in preserving your quality of life and lessening the impact of your symptoms.
Nine out of 10 people diagnosed with Sjӧgren's syndrome are female, but men and women, at any age or of any race can develop the disease. Roughly half the people who have Sjӧgren's syndrome have another autoimmune condition, but people without other health conditions can develop it. Usually, people with Sjӧgren's syndrome develop symptoms between the ages of 45 and 55, but the disease can present at any age.
Along with all of that, Sjӧgren's syndrome affects people differently. It can affect various parts of the body, and it can cause complications that may mask it.
The most common symptoms in Sjӧgren's syndrome are dry mouth and dry eyes. Your mouth may be so dry it feels like you ate a piece of chalk or as if your mouth is packed with cotton. If this sensation lasts for three months or more, it could well be a sign of Sjӧgren's syndrome.
Along with a dry mouth, your eyes might feel dry, gritty, itchy, or burn. Your skin and your nose may both feel incredibly dry. Your sense of taste or smell may also be affected.
Another common symptom of Sjӧgren's syndrome is a feeling of overwhelming fatigue. You may have headaches, difficulty concentrating, swelling and pain in your joints, heartburn, swollen glands, numbness or tingling in different parts of your body, and those are just some of the symptoms.
The reason that the symptoms people have with Sjӧgren's vary so widely is that the disease can affect different bodily systems and organs. For example, if it attacks your nervous system, you’re likely to have numbness and tingling, but if it attacks your lungs, you’re more likely to have a cough.
Most commonly, Sjӧgren's affects the glands that produce moisture in your mouth and eyes, which is why dry mouth and dry eyes are often the main symptoms.
Since Sjӧgren's syndrome can be difficult to recognize, it’s important for you to seek advice and care from an expert who has the knowledge and experience to help you. Our staff at Rheumatology Solutions understand how scary it can be to have odd symptoms like dry mouth or a persistent cough.
Although there is no cure for Sjӧgren's syndrome, early detection and treatment of your symptoms can help you live more comfortably and can help prevent complications. If you’re experiencing the symptoms we’ve described, schedule an appointment at Rheumatology Solutions. We can provide an evaluation, discuss your symptoms, and perform pertinent tests to begin determining what’s causing your problems.