In the 21st century, there are 7.5 billions of people living all around the world. According to WHO, every year millions of people die for various reasons. In 2015, the number of deaths was about 56.4 million worldwide. The shocking news is that health problems are responsible for half of this statistics. Diseases, disorders, and syndromes are hiding in every corner, waiting for careless victims. Some of them are so common that they receive a lot of attention from public, scientists, and global citizens. However, there are many health problems that are less well-known among people. Sadly, their poor recognition does not go together with their level of risk. In fact, the fewer awareness people have, the riskier they are. One of these annoying syndromes that cause a lot of troubles for people is Sjogren’s syndrome . Not many people about Sjogren’s syndrome causes, its symptoms, or treatment. Even its name sounds weird. However, Sjogren’s syndrome happens more frequently than what we think, and it is a bad idea to neglect this health problem. Thus, AllRemedies.com will help you to know more about Sjogren’s syndrome by giving information about its causes, its symptoms, treatments, and also some complications.
All About Sjogren’s Syndrome Causes, Definition, Symptoms, And Cure
First of all, what is Sjogren’s syndrome? Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome is a troublesome chronic disorder happening inside our immune system . Under the influence of this syndrome, our saliva and tear glands will be attacked by white blood cells inside the bodies. Due to the reduction of tear glands and saliva, patients will experience dry mouth and dry eyes, the two most common symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. Also, for this reason, Sjogren’s syndrome is considered as a long-term autoimmune, a disease when our cells are tackled incorrectly by our immune system. Sometimes, pain and stiffness can appear in joints and aching muscles as the following effects. One question can be raised about the important of tear and saliva. Many people don’t get why we have to be serious about a syndrome affecting these two substances that seem to be not very essential. If you have that question too, you should know interesting facts.
The importance of tears
There is a misconception that tears only appear when we cry. Actually, our eyes are always covered by a layer of water. Tears include water, fats, proteins, and infection-fighting cells, and they perform many functions. They lubricate the eyes; act as shields keeping the eye clean, free of dust and against infection. Without them, you cannot stabilize your vision effectively.
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The importance of saliva
Saliva  is also essential due to its various functions. It keeps our mouth and throat lubricated naturally, supporting digestion by moistening food as well as providing enzymes to break down certain starches. Saliva also acts as a natural antiseptic because it contains antibodies, proteins, and enzymes that protect against many kinds of bacterial and fungal infections)
Therefore, when tears and saliva are not produced enough for the body to use, the performance of many parts will be badly damaged, making them the result of Sjogren’s syndrome causes.
Who Is At Risk?
Despite the fact that Sjogren’s syndrome is proved to develop in anytime during your life, the most common age that patients with Sjogren’s syndrome get their first symptom is around 40s. Moreover, women are also predicted to be more vulnerable to the syndrome than men are with the number is up to 90 %. Up to now, Sjogren’s syndrome causes have not fully been revealed, and its treatment has still focused on relieving the syndrome.
As an effort to explore the syndrome more comprehensively, doctors and scientists categorize Sjogren’s syndrome into 2 groups: the primary and secondary Sjogren’s syndrome:
- Primary Sjogren’s syndrome  happens without any influence of other conditions. In another way, it is not the following result of any related condition.
- Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome is, basically, the opposite. It is originated from the alongside another condition and then develops as the unavoidable outcome. These conditions that are responsible for Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome may be lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on .
It can be said that Sjogren’s syndrome hasn’t received enough attention it deserves due to its risk and widely spread. Researchers have shown that up to 4 million people living in the USA suffered Sjogren’s syndrome and that number in the UK was half a million. The number tends to increase if the scientist cannot get the exactly Sjogren’s syndrome causes.
2. Symptoms Of Sjogren’s Syndrome
Besides seeing a doctor for diagnosis, noticing the symptoms will be easier and more available for anyone before spending a bunch of money in the hospital. Luckily, unlike Sjogren’s syndrome causes, its symptoms are so typical and classic that you can quickly tell whether you are in troubles with this syndrome or not. Normally, Sjogren’s syndrome is expressed by two main symptoms: dry eyes and dry mouth.
- Dry Eyes
There are some problems with your eyes you may get if you have Sjogren’s syndrome. They may feel gritty and get burn or itch. You may have a feeling that something is stuck in your eyes, for example, sand or gravel, and disturb you all the days without getting out of it. Sometimes, dry eyes will be followed by one or some of the signs. The most common sign is that your eyes will become and look more tired than they are normally. Another symptom is getting mucus discharge from one or both eyes as an influence of Sjogren’s syndrome. Some people may experience Photophobia  – a condition that their eyes get sensitive to light, requiring extra Sjogren’s syndrome treatment. Swollen or irritated eyelids can also happen sometimes based on the type of Sjogren’s syndrome and the patients’ condition.
- Dry Mouth
If one day, you find it hard to swallow or speak because there is something wrong with your mouth, be careful. When your body is in the effect of Sjogren’s syndrome, your mouth can not work properly. It may feel like it is full of cotton. This symptom prevents you from eating and talking in a normal way, and you have to seek Sjogren’s syndrome treatment as soon as possible. Similar to dry eyes, dry mouth also can lead to many irritating problems. Your teeth will be affected, resulting in tooth decay or sometimes even loss of teeth. Persistent dry cough can appear due to the poor performance of the mouth. Most of Sjogren’s syndrome patients will have to experience difficulty in speaking, and their voice becomes hoarse. In general, every function relating to the mouth will be negatively involved, and you should prepare yourself for that if you are suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome.
Another symptom that is also quite common for female patients is vaginal dryness. It is reported to be the most frustrating and maddening symptoms for females ‘daily life as well as their Sjogren’s syndrome treatment.
There are actually more sign and symptoms observed from Sjogren’s syndrome patients. They may not appear with a high frequency, but it will not waste your time to look over them. They include joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, skin rashes, going together with dry skin or prolonged fatigue. Even when you get Sjogren’s syndrome treatment, remember that the symptoms can be exacerbated due to the external environment such as polluted and smoky air or windy environment.
One thing making Sjogren’s syndrome more dangerous is that it not only happens in one part of the body but it affects many other parts, causing serial problems for patients. They may get general tiredness, aching muscles, Peripheral neuropathy – a condition that they feel pain and numb in their arms and legs, Raynaud's phenomenon  – the situation when their hands feel painful and frozen or Vasculitis, which means the blood vessels become tender and irritated.
Read more: 23 Home Remedies for Vaginal Odor in Women
3. Sjogren’s Syndrome Causes
As mentioned before, Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder happening when the immune system somehow attacks the body’s cells or tissues incorrectly. Scientists, up till now have not found the answer to the question of why someone gets troubles with Sjogren’s syndrome and the others don’t. The must be a reason for Sjogren’s syndrome’s appearance, but it is still an unveiled secret. Some theories emphasize that certain genes in the human body can attract Sjogren’s syndrome more easily while other researchers focus more on triggering mechanism, for instance, infection with the strain of bacteria or a particular virus, to tackle the Sjogren’s syndrome causes.
For the first type of this syndrome, we have mentioned before, the Primary Sjogren’s syndrome causes remain unknown . Most of the scientists claim that the combination of genes and the external environment will be responsible for this syndrome. Some people are believed to have certain genes that make their body susceptible to having an unusual immune system, the origin of Sjogren’s syndrome. Even if people don’t have these abnormal genes, they are still under the risk of Sjogren’s syndrome. External factors in the environment, such as hepatitis C viral infection or even infection rooting from the Epstein-Barr virus  can prevent the immune system from working properly and become one of the Sjogren’s syndromes causes. Another theory about Sjogren’s syndrome causes is based on the patients’ characteristics. The majority of patients developing Sjogren’s syndrome are women, and the menopause is the most frequent time that they get the first diagnosis. Therefore, doctors and scientists assume that estrogen, a female hormone, is the key answer for Sjogren’s syndrome causes. They believe that a sudden fall in the level of estrogen will affect the immune systems and damage its functions.
The theories explaining the Sjogren’s syndrome causes, especially the Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome is somehow less diverse. Mainly, doctors theorize that the syndrome can result from autoimmune condition progresses, for instance, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
As the Sjogren’s syndrome causes have not been revealed yet, making it difficult for comprehensive treatment, scientists are still trying the best to figure out the vital factor of Sjogren’s syndrome development.
Besides uncertain Sjogren’s syndrome causes, the reason why this syndrome is a trouble-maker is because of not only its influence on eyes and mouth but also its following bothersome complications in other parts of human body. The list of complications can surprise anyone who has underestimated the risk of Sjogren’s syndrome.
The most familiar complications of Sjogren’s syndrome include the mouth and eyes. Besides dry eyes and dry mouth mentioned as common symptoms, Sjogren’s syndrome can cause:
- Dental Cavities. Without the help as a shield of saliva, the teeth are more vulnerable to the bacteria causing cavities. The drier your mouth is, the more chance that you get teeth cavities. Hence, you should care more about the dental health.
- Yeast Infections. Researchers have shown that a person is more prone to oral thrush, a kind of yeast infections developing in the mouth if that person is diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Vision Problems. There will be numerous problems relating to the eyes when they lack tears for protection as a result of Sjogren’s syndrome. Some of the common issues are light sensitivity, corneal ulcers, and blurred vision.
It will be a mistake if we forget these less common complications because while Sjogren’s syndrome causes are unknown, their influences on our body and our health are still concerning.
- Lungs, Kidneys or Liver. No one can deny the importance roles of these human body parts. Imagine what can happen if there is something wrong with one of them. Sjogren’s syndrome may cause a lot of problems to your lungs, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and so on. It may also lead to serial problems with kidney and affect its function. People with Sjogren’s syndrome can also develop hepatitis or cirrhosis in their liver. Scientists believe that once the Sjogren’s syndrome causes are figured out, the side effects of the syndromes on other parties in the human body will be controlled.
- Lymph Nodes. This complication can develop in a seriously negative way to your body. A small number of people suffering Sjogren’s syndrome get diagnosed with cancer of lymph nodes (or also known as lymphoma).
- Nerves. The most familiar complications you may get as the effect of Sjogren’s syndrome is numbness development or tingling and burning feeling in both your hands and feet.
One more surprising fact you should know is that, in comparison with normal people, patients with Sjogren’s syndrome normally stand a higher risk of having non-Hodgkin's lymphoma  with the statistics are 44 times higher than that number of others.
5. Sjogren’s Syndrome Treatments
Even when the Sjogren’s syndrome causes have to stay unknown, the Sjogren’s syndrome treatment has been developed as an effort to relieving the symptoms of SJS.
This method will be advised by your doctor based on your condition. The aim of using drugs is first to increase production of saliva by using pilocarpine (Salagen)  together with cevimeline (Evoxac) . These drugs are also effective in raising the number of tears. Some side effects such as sweating, flushing, abdominal pain, and increased urination should be put under concern before using. Secondly, drugs are able to address some specific complications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used arthritis symptoms. Yeast infections developing in the mouth should be dealt with antifungal medications. Treat symptoms is the last use of medications. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) , a medication that is applied to slow down the influence of the immune system on saliva as well as tear glands, can be a great choice for treating Sjogren’s syndrome.
To tackle the dry eyes problem, surgery may be a suitable choice no matter what Sjogren’s syndrome causes are. You will undergo a surgical procedure to closure the tear ducts that withdraw tears from your eyes. Then, collagen or sometimes silicone plugs will be added into the ducts for a short-term closure. This collagen plugs can eventually dissolve, however, silicone plugs will stay in until they are removed. Alternatively, your tear ducts can be sealed for a long term by using a laser. Your doctor will give you more instruction in this method so that you can know exactly what is going to happen to your own body.
5.3 Artificial Tears
Artificial tears can be considered as a useful contemporary method for the eye-relating issues when the Sjogren’s syndrome causes remain unknown to scientists. They are available for anyone to purchase at a pharmacy OTC (in an over the counter way, no prescription required). A short-term course of eye drops that contain corticosteroid will be suggested by your doctor if your eyes somehow become severely irritated . However, you should know that long-term usage of this course can raise the risk of unwanted and sober side-effects, for example, Cushing's syndrome .
Learn also: 27 at Home Remedies for Pink Eye in Adults
5.4 Mouth Treatment
There are some methods you can try on your own as an effort to keep your mouth lubricated. Consuming more liquids is the first choice. Or, you can just use ice cubes and suck them for the lubricated mouth. Mouth rinses can be applied for regular mouth washing, and it will help to fight against infection as well as soothes the mouth. Another way you can think about is oral hygiene. It is an effective method that prevents gum disease and protects the tooth from getting decay. If you are a smoker, there will be an option that benefits both your lung and your mouth. Of course, it is giving up on smoking. Not only speed up the saliva evaporation, but smoking also help you to meet the deaths sooner than Sjogren’s syndrome can do. Therefore, stop irritating your mouth by this toxic and hazardous tobacco. The last choice for you to protect your mouth is quite cheap and easy. It is using sugar-free chewing gum. This economy and available method can help to encourage the production of saliva and also helpful for you to stop smoking. Saliva substitutes can be a perfect replacement for Sugar-free chewing gum. These substitutes are accessible in many forms, such as a lozenge, gum, gel, or spray. They are effective in lubricating the mouth.
Sjogren’s syndrome may not be an emergent problem that can kill you in a short-term or make permanent effects on your health and your body; it is still a syndrome that people should be highly aware. Up to now, there are many things about it are still a secret to the scientists; especially the Sjogren’s syndrome causes. We do not know where it starts and we also have no idea where it will end up due to its complicated influences on many parts of the body. Therefore, be careful with any change in your body, particularly your mouth and your eyes, the two most common parts being attacked by Sjogren’s syndrome. Take care of yourself and share with us any idea this troublesome Sjogren’s syndrome causes, symptoms, cure, and its effects! For more information, please visit our main site Home Remedies.