4 Million People Affected By This Disease, What You Should Know

Why is it that a disease discovered 127 years ago still falls so low under the radar? Not just that, but a disease affecting 4 million people in the United States today?The thing with an invisible disease is that if people can’t see your symptoms, they don’t believe you’re having them.

Such is the case for Sjogren’s Syndrome (SS).

Patients may experience anything from joint pain, to upset stomach, to mouth sores, but without the visible rashes, disfigurements, or jaundice, people won’t suspect a thing.

How many times have you heard “Oh, you’re just getting old! You’re probably just tired.” How many times did you want to believe that? Given the choice between believing you have a chronic disease or attributing your creaky joints to not getting enough sleep last night, wouldn’t you want to go with the latter? And yet, we wonder why there’s a lack of awareness…

Like psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Granulomatous Disease, SS is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system “ain’t working so good.” Symptoms of autoimmune disease often overlap, making it difficult for doctors to pinpoint the real issue. Incorrect diagnoses are common.

SS is idiopathic, which means there is no known cause. For that reason, getting the correct diagnosis can take months, years, and sometimes even decades. During that time, patients complaining of varying symptoms bounce back and forth between specialists, costing them time, energy, and money. By the time they see a rheumatologist, the disease has exponentially progressed and everybody involved is just about ready to give up.

SS and its symptoms can be treated, and researchers are now in the process of working on developing a standard fail-safe diagnosis process. Fingers crossed for that! After all, an early diagnosis means early treatment.

Signs to Look Out For (provided by Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation)

  1. A family history of autoimmune diseases (Click here for a full list)
  2. Dry eye, skin, mouth, or nose
  3. Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or talking
  4. Changes in taste or smell
  5. Joint Pain
  6. Digestive issues
  7. Fatigue
  8. Vaginal dryness

Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation stresses the importance of education and awareness on SS. If you’re interested in educating yourself and the public, or finding support, visit their website at www.sjogrens.org.

Read the full article here.

Lady Kehveen Abernathy

Lady Kehveen Abernathy

Lady Kehveen Abernathy, of noble birth (or so she’d like to believe), is what many would call a youthful “old soul.” As a self-proclaimed “caregiver to the world,” impassioned about life, triumph, and all things beauty, Lady Kehveen strives to love others, seek understanding, and most importantly, spread awareness. But don’t let her sweet demeanor deceive you. Dressed to the nines over corset and petticoat, she’s made it her mission to defend the innocent and fight all things evil on this Earth. And being no stranger to chronic disease, she knows exactly where to start.

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