Researchers Discover a Link Between Sjogren’s Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are four million people in the United States walking around with Sjogren’s disease, and nine out of 10 of them are women.

This autoimmune disease affects the entire body and leaves patients with:

  • extensive dryness
  • exhaustion
  • lymphomas
  • neuropathies
  • chronic pain

Some people experience damage to various organs in their bodies including the kidneys, pancreas, lungs, and liver. If that’s not enough, blood vessels and the central nervous system can be impacted.

For many with Sjogren’s, dry eyes, dry mouth, joint pain, and fatigue are the most common symptoms.

While Sjogren’s can go into remission, it’s very rare. Most of the time, however, symptoms either get worse or remain constant. Since they mimic a boatload of other illnesses, it’s often hard to pinpoint Sjogren’s. Early diagnosis and treatment are important steps to prevent debilitating symptoms while increasing the patient’s overall quality of life.

If you are living with Sjogren’s, here are a few tips to help alleviate some symptoms. Bonus: Most of these tips are fast and easy!

  • First, stay hydrated by drinking water.
  • Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which is specifically designed for people who have dry mouth.
  • Put a humidifier in your bedroom, plug it in, and turn it on!
  • Use lubricating eye drops, and nasal sprays.

Work with your doctor to find other ways to improve how you feel on a day-to-day basis. There are treatments available, and more and more is being discovered about this disease. One recent finding links rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with Sjogren’s. It makes sense because both are autoimmune disorders, and both cause painful inflammation.

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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