• Herb-Vitamin-Mineral Combination,
Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys moisture-producing glands, such as tear glands and salivary glands. When Sjogren's syndrome occurs by itself, it is called primary Sjogren’s syndrome. When it occurs in the context of other autoimmune conditions, such as
Sjogren’s is most common in women aged 40 to 60. Symptoms include dry eyes (sicca), dry mouth (xerostomia), difficulty swallowing, loss of taste and smell, swollen salivary glands, severe dental cavities caused by dry mouth, oral yeast infections (thrush), and vaginal dryness. Fatigue and joint pain may occur as well, ranging in intensity from mild to disabling. Sjogren's can also affect the kidneys, digestive tract, lungs, liver, pancreas, or other internal organs.
As with other autoimmune diseases, symptoms of Sjogren’s tend to wax and wane. The disease is diagnosed by blood tests as well as examination of the eyes and mouth. Treatment primarily involves use of artificial tears, artificial saliva, and vaginal lubricants to relieve dryness. In some cases, anti-inflammatory or immune suppressant drugs may be used.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a specially modified form of the dietary amino acid cysteine. When taken orally, NAC helps the body make the important antioxidant enzyme glutathione. It is also thought to help loosen secretions, and for this reason it has been tried as a treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome.
For more information, see the full
A product containing vitamins and minerals as well as the herbs paprika, rosemary,
Other Proposed Natural Treatments
Colostrum is the fluid that a woman's breasts produce during the first day or two after she has given birth. Very preliminary evidence suggests that oral hygiene products containing bovine colostrum
A 12-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study failed to find benefit with the hormone
Numerous other natural products are widely recommended for Sjogren’s syndrome, but they lack supporting scientific evidence. These include
Herbs and Supplements to Use Only With Caution
One case report weakly hints that the herb echinacea
Numerous herbs and supplements may interact adversely with drugs used to treat Sjogren’s syndrome. For more information, see the individual drug articles in the
2. Pedersen AM, Andersen TL, Reibel J, et al. Oral findings in patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome and oral lichen planus—a preliminary study on the effects of bovine colostrum-containing oral hygiene products. Clin Oral Investig. 2002;6:11-20.
5. Rantanen I, Tenovuo J, Pienihakkinen K, Soderling E. Effects of a betaine-containing toothpaste on subjective symptoms of dry mouth: a randomized clinical trial. J Contemp Dent Pract . 2003;4:11-23.
9. Hartkamp A, Geenen R, Godaert GL, et al. Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone administration on fatigue, well-being, and functioning in women with primary Sjogren's Syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Ann Rheum Dis. 2007 June 1. [Epub ahead of print]
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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