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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Sjögren's syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome (pronounced show grins) is a long-term condition that mainly affects the glands that make tears and spit (saliva), though it can affect the joints, muscles, nerves and other organs.

Sjögren’s is an autoimmune condition which means it is caused by cells that usually fight infection attacking your own cells, creating inflammation and damage to tissues.

It is much more common in women and usually occurs after the age of 40. Sjögren’s can occur with another autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome

The main symptoms are dry eyes and a dry mouth but it can cause a wide range of symptoms when other parts of the body are affected.

Diagnosing Sjögren's syndrome

Your doctor will diagnose Sjögren's based on ongoing symptoms. It can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms change over time. You may need to have blood tests and special eye and saliva tests.

Treating Sjögren's syndrome

There is no cure for Sjögren's syndrome but there are self-care measures and medications that can help to relieve your symptoms.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2021.

Page reference: 266022

Review key: HISJO-266022