Sicca Syndrome

Sicca Syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which 90 percent of its sufferers are women. Originally discovered by Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Samuel Conrad Sjogren in 1933 after observing nineteen cases of women showing signs of the illness, Sicca Syndrome is a conglomerate of issues including dry eyes, dry mouth, and connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, sclerodema, and polymyositis. Most of the women effected by Sicca Syndrome are middle age or older.

Sicca Syndrome is inflammatory in nature. It effects lacrimal glands (the ones that make tears), as well as the salivary and parotid glands that produce saliva in the mouth. Sicca Syndrome causes less saliva and tears to be formed which results in the dry eye and most symptoms stated before. The dryness of these glands can lead to infections which cause further complications for the sufferer. Things such as vision, as well as breathing, can be affected by Sicca Syndrome.

Ironically, Sicca Syndrome is caused by antibodies that your body makes. These antibodies, which are known as autoantibodies, actually make the mistake of attacking your body tissue instead of protecting them. They, in essence, shut down the glands that they attack causing the irritation and inflammation most commonly associated with Sicca Syndrome.

Diagnosis of Sicca Syndrome is done by an extensive biopsy of an affected gland in the body. Sicca Syndrome is treated like playing darts on a dart board. Anti-inflammatories are given in the form of direct injection to the irritated area affected at the time.

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