Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Possible Causes Of Sjögren's Syndrome. + Health Complications

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Sjögren's is a chronic autoimmune disorder of the immune system. It is an autoimmune condition, meaning that healthy tissues and cells are mistakenly attacked by the immune system. Sjogren's can develop at any age. However, the majority of patients are diagnosed after the age of 40 years. Females constitute 90 percent of patients, but men and children are also affected.


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Until recently, the condition was known as Sjogren's syndrome. It is now more commonly referred to as Sjogren's.

Causes Of Sjogren's Disease

The menopause is the most common time for a diagnosis of Sjögren's to be made. Some studies theorize that estrogen protects against Sjögren's, and falling levels of the hormone may alter immune function and trigger the condition. The causes of Sjögren's remain largely unknown.
Studies have indicated that a viral or bacterial infection may trigger the disease, but that the underlying cause is primarily genetic and environmental. The nervous system and the endocrine, or hormone-producing, system have also been implicated in the onset of Sjögren syndrome. An environmental factor may change the immune system and cause immune problems later on, such as infection with hepatitis C or the Epstein-Barr virus.

There is a growing scientific support for genetic (inherited) factors. The genetic background of Sjögren's syndrome patients is an active area of research. The illness is sometimes found in other family members. It is also found more commonly in families that have members with other autoimmune illnesses, such as systemic lupus erythematosus  , autoimmune thyroid disease , type I diabetes , etc. Most patients with Sjögren's syndrome are female.

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Health Complications Of Sjögren's Syndrome

It is not uncommon for people with Sjögren's syndrome to have complications of infections. Infections that are common in these patients include dental infections, eye infections,. sinusitis , bronchitis , and vaginitis . Close monitoring and early treatment of these infections are keys to optimal outcomes.
Some people with Sjögren's syndrome can develop inflammation of the parotid gland in the cheeks. This can lead to dryness of the ducts that drain the gland and stones can form that block these drainage tubes. This can be serious and require aggressive antibiotics and surgery.
A small percentage of patients with Sjögren's syndrome develop cancer  of the lymph glands (lymphoma). This usually develops only after many years with the illness. Unusual lymph node swelling should be reported to the physician.
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A rare and serious disease that is uncommonly associated with Sjögren's syndrome is primary biliary cirrhosis , an autoimmune disease of the liver that leads to scarring of the liver tissue.
Another rare serious complication of Sjögren's syndrome is inflammation of the blood vessels (vasculitis), which can damage the tissues of the body that are supplied by these vessels.



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Author: Richard Smith