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Sjögren's syndrome: a difficult to diagnose disorder
July 24, 2020
Syndrome Sjögren It is a disease autoimmune. This means that the defense system itself reacts against the organism attacking the exocrine glands, which are essential for the body to generate liquids such as saliva and tears.
That is why those who suffer from it lose the ability to lubricate, hydrate and soften essential parts of their organs. Therefore, one of the easiest symptoms to notice is the dryness, mainly in the mouth and eyes.
People who already have an autoimmune disease have a 20-30% chance of also having this syndrome. The most frequent risk factors are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, or systemic sclerosis.
(You may also be interested: There are more and more people with autoimmune diseases)
How to identify it
Sjögren's syndrome is slow developing, so it may take up to 10 years to show symptoms and detect it with a correct diagnosis. This happens because it can go unnoticed by being associated with other changes in the body, such as those of menopause.
To detect it, symptoms and physical and blood tests are taken into account. The prevention in time avoids complications. The most frequent have to do with the eyes and mouth, such as cavities, oral thrush (fungal infection in the mouth) and vision problems derived from dry eyes.
It can appear at any age, although the most common risk group is women from the age of 40. Know the characteristic symptoms to be alert:
Dry mouth: All glands that generate fluids and secretions, such as those that make saliva, are affected by Sjögren's syndrome. The boqueras and inflammation of the tongue can be a wake up call.
Vision problems: Due to the low production of tears, the sight can become blurred and it is possible to experience discomfort, dryness and pain in the eyes. It is advisable to wear dark glasses that reduce the tear loss.
Organ injury: it is not the most frequent but if the problem spreads throughout the body it can trigger complications in the kidneys, lungs and nervous system, among others.
Other symptoms: skin irritation (fragility and itching), nasal dryness accompanied by bleeding or pain, vaginal inflammation or dryness and growth of nodes in the neck area.
There is still no cure for Sjögren's syndrome, but simple habit changes accompanied with palliative treatments they are a great relief.
Try artificial substitutes: of saliva and tears. Helps calm eye and mouth discomfort whenever used with medical supervision adequate.
Pharmacotherapy: It is usually indicated for more serious cases. The eye drops or gels, anti-inflammatories for the joints, corticosteroids, among other options according to each patient's condition.
Physical exercise and balanced diet: the winning formula to stay healthy along with good hydration.
Improve your mental health: stress is never favorable, stay away from it. Complement your daily routine with meditation, yoga and therapeutic assistance techniques.
Rest is always a good remedy: sleep adequately, a minimum of 7 hours.
Lower your exposure to dry environments: Like places with wind, dust or tobacco smoke. Also avoid the fan or heating and air conditioning.
Regular medical consultation: follow-up with a professional is the most important part of any preventive plan. Don't forget your medical appointment!
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