Today is World Sjogren’s Day! Because I continue to find that no one I talk to even knows anything about Sjogren’s, it is necessary to keep having awareness days. The third Sjogren’s fact *in the list below, points out that Sjogren’s is 3 times more common than Lupus and MS, but so unknown. Doctor’s don’t know about it and that is depressing to me, because I need them to understand it and care about treating it.
HERE are the Sjogren’s Facts from the Sjogren’s Foundation:
Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) is a chronic autoimmune disease in which white blood cells
attack and damage the moisture-producing glands in a person’s body.
• Sjögren’s is serious, systemic, and prevalent!
• Sjögren’s is the 2nd most common rheumatic autoimmune disease in the United States.
Affecting as many as four million Americans, Sjögren’s is three times more common than
better known related diseases such as Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis.
• Sjögren’s strikes nearly 1 in every 70 people.
• 90% of Sjögren’s patients are women. Most patients are diagnosed in their late 40s
however the disease has been recognized in nearly all racial and ethnic groups and all age
groups, including children.
• Patients most commonly experience dry mouth, dry eye, fatigue, and/or joint pain.
Patients may also experience symptoms such as gritty or burning sensation in the eyes;
difficulty talking, chewing or swallowing; sore or cracked tongue; dry or burning throat;
dry, peeling lips; vaginal and skin dryness; Increased dental decay and digestive problems
• Along with symptoms of extensive dryness, other serious complications include profound
fatigue, chronic pain, major organ involvement, neuropathies, and lymphomas.
• Sjögren’s can occur on its own or with another autoimmune disease such as lupus,
rheumatoid arthritis, or scleroderma and 50% of all Sjögren’s patients have another
• Someone with Sjögren’s has a greater risk of developing lymphoma (44 times greater
than a healthy individual). I have early signs of lymphoma.
• Sjögren’s remains relatively unknown and is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The
average time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis is 2.8 years. It look me 8 years!
• A diagnosis can be difficult because symptoms can vary from person to person and may
mimic other medical conditions. Additionally, patients may not share all of their
symptoms with a specific healthcare professional (i.e. telling a dentist about dry eyes,
etc.) and symptoms are not always present at the same time so they are treated
individually rather than systemically.
• There is currently no known cure for Sjögren’s.
• The Sjögren’s Foundation is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to
increasing research, awareness, and education for Sjögren’s.
Learn more about Sjogren’s at the Sjogren’s Foundation.
How can you help to spread Sjogren’s Awareness? You can help with fundraisers, Shop with the Foundation, Volunteer, Attend an event, or become a member of the Sjogren’s Foundation. As we continue to talk about it with our doctors, nurses, and friends, awareness of this terrible condition will spread.