diseases

SJOGREN'S SYNDROME


Introduction
It is defined by its two most common symptoms - dry eyes and a dry mouth. It is a chronic slowly progressive autoimmune disease characterized by progressive mononuclear cell infiltration of exocrine glands, notably the lachrymal and salivary glands.

Sjogren's syndrome often accompanies other autoimmune disorders such as:
. Rheumatoid arthritis
. Systemic lupus erythematosus
. Scleroderma
. Mixed connective tissue disease
. Primary Biliary cirrhosis
. Vasculitis and
. Chronic active hepatitis.

Cause:
. It is an auto immune disorder. This means that your body attacks its own cells and tissues. The exact cause is not known. A combination of factors such as heredity, hormones, bacterial or viral infection may be responsible.
. In the case of Sjogren's syndrome, white blood cells called lymphocytes mistakenly target, attack and damage your moisture-producing glands. They can also damage other organs, including your lungs, kidneys and liver.
. Sjogren's syndrome that results from a rheumatic condition is classified as secondary Sjogren's syndrome.Primary Sjögren's syndrome is the disease by itself and not associated with any other illness.

Signs and Symptoms:
. Dry gritty eyes with burning sensation or sensation of a foreign body in the eye
. Dry mouth. Patient may be unable to eat a cracker without drinking fluids. (Dry cracker sign). Difficulty in swallowing, speech, taste and wearing dentures. . Dryness of other areas such as nose, throat, vagina, rectum and skin
. Swelling of major salivary glands particularly parotid gland is common
. Systemic manifestations include vasculitis of small and medium sized vessels causing purpuric rash, skin ulceration, Urticaria, and neuropathy.
. Pulmonary: Chronic bronchitis, pleural effusions, pulmonary hypertension and lymphoma
. Irritation of the nerves in the arms, hands, legs or feet (neuropathy)
. Thyroid gland abnormalities
. Skin rashes
. Memory loss or confusion.
. Numbness or tingling.

Diagnosis:
Diagnosis is made on presence of at least four of the following
. Ocular symptoms
. Oral symptoms
. Evidence of keratoconjunctivities sicca, Schimer test or Rose Bengal staining.
. Instrumental evidence of salivary gland involvement( parotid sialography or scintigraphy)
. Blood test to check your blood count and sedimentation rate and to check for autoantibodies, proteins formed when your immune system attacks your body's own cells.
   Checking your blood count lets your doctor know the proportion of the various types of blood cells in a given volume of blood.
. Urine analysis is done to determine whether Sjogren's syndrome has affected your kidneys.

Homeopathic treatment:
It includes giving the Constitutional homeopathic remedy which will help in improving the resistance of the person. There are also acute Homeopathic remedies which are prescribed depending upon the symptom totality which helps in relieving the acute symptoms.

Management:
. Wear glasses to shield the eye from wind currents and conserve tears. Use artificial tears and eye drops.
. Dry mouth: Maintain good oral hygiene. Drink small sips of water. Increase your fluid intake. Drinking lots of fluids, particularly water, helps to reduce dry mouth.
. Treat oral candidiasis.
. Use moisturizers for dry skin and avoid using very hot water to wash and avoid soaking your hands in water or cleaning solutions.

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