Hello and welcome to another edition of Feel This Pain. I’m Ken McKim and tonight we’re going to be talking a little bit about something known as Sjgren’s disease. Now, if you were to do a cursory Google search on Sjgren’s, you might come away thinking, Oh, it’s no big deal. It’s just dry mouth and dry eyes, right It’s much more than that. Sjgren’s is an autoimmune disease that causes your lymphocytes to attack your exocrine glands, which are responsible for producing moisture in the eyes, mouth and other tissues.
It is much more than just a syndrome that makes your mouth dry and your eyes gritty. Now, many patients experience dry eyes and dry mouth, but also fatigue and joint pain, because of the inflammation that Sjgren’s can cause. A dry mouth is not a benign thing to have. Think about it. Without saliva you don’t digest food as well, because saliva is the first step in the digestion process. Also without saliva production, your teeth are almost guaranteed to decay, and you are much more prone to oral infections.
What is Sjgren’s There are basically two types of Sjogren’s. Primary, where it occurs on its own and Secondary, where it appears with another autoimmune condition like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Sjgren’s can affect the nervous system, resulting in Peripheral Neuropathy, which is damage to the nerves in the arms and the legs, which causes pain, numbness and weakness or Cranial Neuropathy, which is the same thing in your face, with a loss of taste and smell, on top of it. It can also affect the kidneys with Glomerulonephritis, which is the inflammation of the kidney’s filter,.
Feel This Pain S3E7 Sjgrens
Resulting in Edema, blood in urine, and reduction in the amount of urine produced. Sounds fun, right No. Sjgren’s can also affect the lungs, inflaming the air sacs causing them to thicken and scar, which can make breathing very difficult. Are there treatments Well, of course there are. It’s an incurable condition, but you can treat the symptoms. Now, as far as medications that increase production of saliva, there are a couple you may have heard of. One is called Salagen and the other is Evoxac. You should be able to get those from.
Your doctor without too much trouble. If you develop the arthritic symptoms that can sometimes accompany Sjogren’s, you might want to talk to your doctor about what are known as nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications or NSAIDS. Some people have good results with them. Again, want to talk to your doctor. If over the counter eye drops aren’t effective for the dry eye, you might need prescription eye drops. There’s even a surgical option, where they seal off your tear ducts. So you retain more moisture in your eyes. It’s called a Punctal Occlusion.
Again, it’s surgery, albeit minor surgery. You’ll want to think about it before you commit to that kind of an option. Above all, if you meet someone who has Sjgren’s, I would encourage you to treat them with all the respect and compassion they deserve, because this is not a cake walk. This is a very serious condition, which often occurs alongside other serious autoimmune conditions. Give them a break. They deserve it and you’ll be a better person for doing so, right That’s all the time we have this week.