Sjögren syndrome ... (Sjögren syndrome)
Sjögren's syndrome is a disease whose main characteristics are eye and dry mouth, which develops gradually from the middle adulthood, but can occur at any age.
Sjögren's syndrome is classified as an autoimmune process in which the immune system attacks mainly the lacrimal and salivary glands, impairing the ability of the glands to secrete fluids. Dry eyes can cause itching, burning, feeling of sand in the eyes, blurred vision and intolerance to bright or fluorescent light. A dry mouth can cause difficulty speaking, food tasting or swallowing. Because saliva helps protect teeth and tissues of the oral cavity, people with Sjögren's syndrome have an increased risk of tooth decay and oral infections.
In most people affected eye and dry mouth are the main characteristics of the disease and usually health and life expectancy are not affected. However, in some cases the immune system also attacks and damages other organs and tissues. This complication is known as extraglandular participation. Affected individuals may develop inflammation in the connective tissue or rheumatic diseases. Sjögren's syndrome, the extraglandular participation can cause a painful inflammation of joints and muscles; skin rash, dry and itchy skin; chronic cough; hoarsely; kidney and liver problems; numbness or tingling in the hands and feet; and, in women, vaginal dryness. In addition, affected individuals may suffer from severe enough to affect activities of daily life prolonged and extreme tiredness. A small number of people with Sjögren's syndrome develop lymphoma.
When Sjogren's syndrome occurs primarily in isolation, it is called primary Sjögren 's syndrome. Some people who are diagnosed in the first instance with another rheumatologic such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus, later develop dry eyes and mouth feature of Sjögren's syndrome. In such cases, it is said that the individual has a secondary Sjögren syndrome. Other autoimmune processes may also develop after the onset of primary Sjögren 's syndrome. Overall, approximately half of all people with Sjögren's syndrome also suffer from other autoimmune process.
It is believed that Sjögren's syndrome is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors; However, they have not confirmed the specific associations between genetic changes and development of Sjögren's syndrome. Viral or bacterial infections, which activate the immune system, may have the potential to encourage the development of Sjögren's syndrome in susceptible individuals. Genetic variations that increase susceptibility can reduce the body's ability to silence the immune response when it is no longer necessary.
A predisposition to develop autoimmune processes can be transmitted from generation to generation in families. Relatives of people with Sjögren's syndrome have an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases, although not necessarily more likely to develop Sjögren's syndrome in particular. The inheritance pattern of this predisposition is unknown.