Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome


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General information about symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome: The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome. This symptom information has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome. Furthermore, symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome.

List of symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome: The list of symptoms mentioned in various sources for Sjogren's Syndrome includes:

Symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome: The hallmark symptoms of the disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes. In addition, Sjogren's syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other organs of the body including the kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and brain. 1

In technical terms, dry eyes are called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, and dry mouth is called xerostomia. Your doctor may use these terms when talking to you about Sjögren's syndrome.

The disease can affect other glands too, such as those in the stomach, pancreas, and intestines, and can cause dryness in other places that need moisture, such as the nose, throat, airways, and skin. 2

The main symptoms are

  • Dry eyes--Your eyes may be red and burn and itch. People say it feels like they have sand in their eyes. Also, your vision may be blurry, and bright light, especially fluorescent lighting, might bother you.

  • Dry mouth--Dry mouth feels like a mouth full of cotton. It's difficult to swallow, speak, and taste. Your sense of smell can change, and you may develop a dry cough. Also, because you lack the protective effects of saliva, dry mouth increases your chances of developing cavities and mouth infections.

Both primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome can affect other parts of the body as well, including the skin, joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, and nervous system, and cause symptoms such as

  • Dry skin

  • Skin rashes

  • Thyroid problems

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Pneumonia

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities

When Sjögren's affects other parts of the body, the condition is called extraglandular involvement because the problems extend beyond the tear and salivary glands. These problems are described in more detail later.

Finally, Sjögren's can cause extreme fatigue that can seriously interfere with daily life. 2

In technical terms, dry eyes are called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, and dry mouth is called xerostomia. Your doctor may use these terms when talking to you about Sjögren's syndrome.

The disease can affect other glands too, such as those in the stomach, pancreas, and intestines, and can cause dryness in other places that need moisture, such as the nose, throat, airways, and skin. 3

The main symptoms are

  • Dry eyes--Your eyes may be red and burn and itch. People say it feels like they have sand in their eyes. Also, your vision may be blurry, and bright light, especially fluorescent lighting, might bother you.

  • Dry mouth--Dry mouth feels like a mouth full of cotton. It's difficult to swallow, speak, and taste. Your sense of smell can change, and you may develop a dry cough. Also, because you lack the protective effects of saliva, dry mouth increases your chances of developing cavities and mouth infections.

Both primary and secondary Sjögren's syndrome can affect other parts of the body as well, including the skin, joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, and nervous system, and cause symptoms such as

  • Dry skin

  • Skin rashes

  • Thyroid problems

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Pneumonia

  • Vaginal dryness

  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities

When Sjögren's affects other parts of the body, the condition is called extraglandular involvement because the problems extend beyond the tear and salivary glands. These problems are described in more detail later.

Finally, Sjögren's can cause extreme fatigue that can seriously interfere with daily life. 3

Dryness of the eyes and mouth, swollen neck glands, difficulty swallowing or talking, unusual tastes or smells, thirst, tongue ulcers, and severe dental caries. 4

More symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome: In addition to the above information, to get a full picture of the possible symptoms of this condition and its related conditions, it may be necessary to examine symptoms that may be caused by complications of Sjogren's Syndrome, underlying causes of Sjogren's Syndrome, associated conditions for Sjogren's Syndrome, risk factors for Sjogren's Syndrome, or other related conditions.

Medical articles on symptoms: These general reference articles may be of interest:



Footnotes:
1. excerpt from NINDS Sjogren's Syndrome Information Page: NINDS
2. excerpt from Questions and Answers About Sjögren's Syndrome: NIAMS
3. excerpt from Questions and Answers About Sj”gren's Syndrome: NIAMS
4. excerpt from Connective Tissue Diseases: NWHIC

Last revision: June 16, 2003

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