Over the last few years I have been diagnosed with a series of annoying diseases and Sjögren’s (“SHOW-grins”) is one of them. Well, today is World Sjögren’s Day! Hooray?
In an effort to spread the word about this peach of a condition, here are some fast facts about this sneaky disease. These points have been condensed by yours truly to highlight the ones that I am the most familiar with, but the facts below are directly taken from the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation so there is no confusion in regards to plagiarism…
- Sjögren’s is the 2nd most common rheumatic autoimmune disease in the United States
- 90% of Sjögren’s patients are women
- This disease does not discriminate, anyone can have it
- The most common symptoms include: dry mouth, dry eye, fatigue and joint pain
- You can also have dry, gritty and burning eyes, a hard time chewing or swallowing; sore or cracked tongue; dry or burning throat; dry, peeling lips; skin dryness; and increased dental decay and digestive problems
- To make it even more annoying, you have extreme fatigue, chronic pain, major organ involvement, neuropathies and lymphomas
- People with Sjögren’s usually have another autoimmune disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or scleroderma
- Sjögren’s remains relatively unknown and is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The average time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis is 3.5 years
- A diagnosis can be difficult because symptoms can vary from person to person and may mimic other medical conditions
- There is currently no known cure for Sjögren’s
WEEEE! Isn’t that a fun disease? I know some people will scoff at my humor, but I’ve got a lot to do in my life and I just don’t have time for an auto-immune condition. If you see any similarities in these symptoms, I would encourage you to share this information with all of your doctors (dentist, eye doctor, general practitioner, rheumatologist, etc.).
In regards to treatment, my doctors were very encouraging of the use of steroids, which made me feel worse, so I opted to take a hold of everything that was going into my body by way of Isagenix. That nutritional system, combined with attentive care to myself and adequate sleep has helped significantly lighten the symptoms and I usually have energy out the ying yang!
But truth be told, I don’t always put myself first. After all, I am a mother and a wife and I work full-time – hence the reason why this disease is annoyingly inconvenient. I’m a mover and a shaker, baby! PS – did you know Venus Williams has Sjogren’s? Yes! And we all know what an active gal she is, so I know she can relate to my irritation with Sjogren’s robbing me of my productivity. Although I sense that Miss Venus and I both have a sassy boldness that no disease will hold us down! High fives, Venus!
Thank you for reading a little bit about Sjögren’s today! The bottom line is, you never know what someone is struggling with, so BE KIND.
If you would like more information about Sjögren’s, read more in this snappy fact sheet.