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Sjogren's Syndrome Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Red, burning, itching, and/or dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Dry skin, nose, throat, and/or lungs
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Severe dental cavities caused by dry mouth
  • Oral yeast infections
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Skin rashes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue

In some cases, other parts of the body are affected as well. These include:

  • Blood vessels
  • The nervous system
  • Organs such as the lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and thyroid

Anti Ro antibodies are often present with Sjogren's. These may cross to the baby during pregnancy. In some cases, they can cause neonatal lupus or infant heartblock.

Diagnosis

This disease can affect many areas on your body. You may have to see several specialist before a final diagnosis is made. Dry eyes and mouth also increase with age. They can also be caused by medicine. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests—including rheumatoid factor and other tests used to detect and monitor autoimmune diseases
  • Chest x-ray —a test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the body, in this case the lungs
  • Lip biopsy —removal of a sample of lip tissue to look for inflammation in the accessory salivary glands located there
  • Schirmer test—placement of small pieces of paper between the lower eyelid and eyeball to see how much moisture is being produced
  • Slit-lamp examination—a detailed exam of the eye with an adjustable light
  • Urine test—to check kidney function

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. Copyright © 2020 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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