Managing Sjogren’s Syndrome
What is Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Sjogren’s Syndrome is classified as an autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells, believing them to be invaders like bacteria and viruses. The lymphocytes, specific types of immune cells, selectively target the moisture producing glands of the body including the salivary glands and the lachrymal (tear producing) glands with the result being dry eyes and dry mouth. Affecting more women than men, and generally women past the age of 40, Sjogren’s Syndrome is often accompanied by other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and/or lupus.
What are the symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Aside from dry eyes and dry mouth, some of the other symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome include:
- Vaginal dryness
- Joint swelling and pain
- Dry skin all over the body and face
- Prolonged fatigue and dryness within the respiratory tract
- Persistent coughs and bronchitis.
It is still unclear as to why some people develop Sjogren’s Syndrome whilst others do not. Genetics seem to play a role, but it is theorized that something triggers this such as a bacterial or viral attack, which then disturbs the function of the immune system causing inflammation within the body.
Although Sjogren’s Syndrome is not life threatening, this concern can have devastating effects on the whole body and it needs to be addressed. Dry eyes can lead to corneal ulcers, a dry mouth can lead to dental decay and difficulty speaking and chewing properly; the accompanying fatigue can often lead to anxiety and/or depression. Additionally many sufferers have liver enlargement, poor circulation with cold hands and feet, while some suffer from fibromyalgia.
How can you treat Sjogren’s Syndrome?
Conventional treatments concentrate on alleviating the symptoms accompanying Sjogren’s Syndrome, but these are not without side effects. There are other options that may be considered that follow the same multi-modal approach of treating the symptoms, but are less likely to cause side effects.
Omega 7 Essential Fats: Omega 7 fatty acids are a type of monounsaturated fat and numerous studies indicate that supplementing omega 7 helps to alleviate many dry skin concerns including dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, joint and muscle pain and vaginal dryness. Equally important is their ability to help reduce inflammation in the whole body, which is often found in those who suffer from this syndrome. The anti-inflammatory effect of omega 7 fats greatly improves the symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as rheumatic and joint pain. Sibu Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil capsules provide high strength omega 7 and Hycosan Extra Eye Drops helps relieve dry eye symptoms, which we have found to be more effective than artificial tears that are often prescribed.
Ubiquinol, which is the active form of CoEnzyme Q10 also has a role to play in Sjogren’s Syndrome. It works to oxygenate all the soft tissues in the body, which helps to alleviate muscle pain and the pain of fibromyalgia. Due to this same property, ubiquinol also works to help protect the gum tissues from which decay and finally it works at the cellular level to enhance the production of the energising compound called ATP, which is required to produce energy. We recommend Super Ubiquinol CoEnzyme Q10 Super Strength, which provides 100 mg of this vital nutrient in its most active state.