Never heard of Sjogrens Syndrome? You’re not alone. Know someone with it? You very well might.
Sjogren’s Syndrome is a chronic, inflammatory, rheumatic, autoimmune disease. What this means is your immune system mistakes the body’s exocrine glands for a foreign invader and attacks them, preventing them from doing their job and damaging them.
The hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth. But, not all people with Sjogren’s take much notice if the dryness isn’t significantly impacting life.
Here’s a graphic showing all the areas that can be affected by Sjogren’s. Since Sjogren’s Syndrome symptoms are so varied, everyone with it has a combination of any number of these, and no two people are going to be exactly alike.
That’s why it’s so difficult to diagnose. There’s no one medical discipline that addresses all of these. Each specialty looks at just one system at a time. That’s how patients end up seeing multiple doctors who can’t figure out that one underlying process is the cause.
Sjogren’s Syndrome is diagnosed in anywhere from 0.1% to 14% of the population. Why such a huge range? Because there are three distinct classification systems, each with its own set of criteria that needs to be met for a definitive diagnosis.
Because of the difficulty in diagnosing it, many more people are likely to be living with this without knowing it.
Why isn’t there one universally accepted system? Too many symptoms can overlap with other diseases (especially other rheumatic ones). With more research into markers that point to Sjogrens, disagreement can be a thing of the past and more people will receive treatment sooner.
BUT, once diagnosed, there are still very limited options for treatment. Research is desperately needed and the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation (SSF) awards research grants to major Universities like Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Stanford, and many more institutions that can make a difference.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some faster diagnoses and effective treatments!
I’d be so appreciative if you’d join me in my fundraising efforts. Color Street nails are a fantastic product to make yourself look a little nicer, without the expensive manicure prices. In this fundraiser, 25% of the proceeds will be donated to the SSF, and let’s hope better treatments are soon to be found! If you’re not on Facebook, click here and you can still shop and help!
The fundraiser has ended, but I still encourage you to support the Sjogren’s Foundation right here. No amount is too small.
Please join me and share this with your friends!