Sjogren’s Makes Life More Complicated

After 20 years with Rheumatoid Arthritis I developed Sjogrens Syndrome.  It is another autoimmune disease most recognizably showing itself as very dry eyes and mouth. It would have been called Secondary Sjogren’s in the past because it developed with another autoimmune disease, but the classification criteria has changed recently.

Dryness is a problem The dryness affects all areas of the body but is far more noticeable and annoying in the eyes and mouth. I use pilocarpine (salagen) in pill form for my dry mouth. It is a prescription drug. Without it my voice starts to diminish and I cough and choke a lot. It is possible to have a compounding pharmacy make up a mouthwash using pilocarpine but it has a very bitter taste.  I also use Biotene Oral Balance at night.

Since the lack of saliva makes your teeth more susceptible to decay it is very important to take care of your teeth well.  I read that using a night guard when you sleep helps with the saliva production because it is a “foreign body” in your mouth, so I got one. I also clench my teeth and get headaches and this helps with dryness and clenching.  You can put a re-mineralizing agent like [...] continue the story

Venus Williams Explains Leaving US Open Tennis Tournament due to Sjogren’s Syndrome

“GMA” Exclusive interview focuses on Venus William’s diagnosis of the rare disease that affects 1.3 million people.