Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that affects the moisture-producing glands of the body, such as the salivary glands and the tear glands. It causes the body’s immune system to attack these glands, resulting in dryness of the mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes. In this article, we will discuss the risk factors, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Sjogren’s syndrome.
Risk Factors of Sjogren’s syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome can affect anyone, but it is more common in women than in men. The risk factors for developing Sjogren’s syndrome include being over the age of 40, having a family history of the condition, and having another autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Causes of Sjogren’s Syndrome
The exact cause of Sjogren’s syndrome is not yet known. However, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. In the case of Sjogren’s syndrome, the immune system attacks the moisture-producing glands of the body, causing them to malfunction.
The diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome is typically made based on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and a physical examination. Your doctor may also order blood tests to check for certain antibodies that are commonly associated with the condition. Additionally, your doctor may perform a Schirmer’s test, which measures the amount of tears that your eyes produce, and a salivary gland biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of Sjogren’s Syndrome
There is currently no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. The treatment plan will depend on the severity of the symptoms and may include: