From ME Support.
What is Sjögren’s Syndrome
Sjögren’s Syndrome is the UK’s second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease, yet the condition remains under-recognised and frequently under-treated. It does not command a high profile within the medical profession, and the general public is largely unaware of the problems faced by sufferers. In reality, Sjögren’s Syndrome is a debilitating, distressing and miserable condition.
- It affects approximately 3-4% of adults in the UK, with a mean age of 50 years.
- 90% of patients are women.
In Sjögren’s Syndrome the secretary glands that produce saliva, tears, vaginal and other secretions develop a form of inflammation, similar to that seen in the joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. As a result of this, these glands stop working, leading to dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin and also dryness of the gastrointestinal tract. These features, as well as being very uncomfortable and unpleasant, mean those sufferers may have difficulty swallowing dry foods, and also dryness of the large bowel can cause symptoms similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
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