Sjogren Syndrome: A Chronic Autoimmune Disease

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Jamilieh Knight

Sjogren Syndrome

Sjogren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease where the white blood cells attack the moisture producing glands. The disorder may cause dry eye, mouth, skin, nose, and vaginal dryness. Sjogren can also affect the kidney, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Sjogren’s can occur alongside other autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or scleroderma. The consequences of Sjögren's syndrome range from difficulty in speaking and eating, oral candidosis, and rampant caries to chronic sialadenitis, blindness and B‐cell lymphoma. Currently, there is no cure for this disease. Treatments can improve symptoms and prevent complication. Some medications include eye drops and mouth preparations. Some patients are prescribed immunosuppressive medication to treat their internal organ manifestation. Also there are over the counter medications. Each individual is affected differently so a personalized plan should be developed with his or her personal doctor.

About 4 million Americans suffer from Sjogren’s Syndrome and nine out of 10 patients are women. Women with Sjogrens are often mistaken for menopause and does not get diagnose with Sjogren’s until a later time. Women are more likely to develop Sjogren’s after menopause around age 40. This has impact me because I feel that I can educate the women in my family the symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Having knowledge about Sjogren’s will always make me more aware when I become of age. This has impacted me to research more about this disease or maybe attend a health seminar. Also I found an article about professional tennis player Venus Williams has this disease and to know that she suffers from dry eyes and mouth reassure me that life does not end because of an disease.
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