Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms the symptoms can be divided into two groups: The so-called Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms include disorders of glandular functions – especially the salivary and lacrimal glands (” sicca syndrome “). Other impairments of Sjogren’s syndrome are described by physicians as extraglandular or non-Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms (ie, symptoms occurring outside the glands). These include excessive fatigue or pain and inflammation in the joints.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

The Sjogren’s syndrome is characterized by two main symptoms:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth

The dry eyes give the patient a foreign body sensation in the eye . Many sufferers report the impression constantly grains of sand in the eye to have.

Sjogren's Syndrome Symptoms

Due to the lack of memory production, many patients have to drink during the meal in order to swallow the food better. In addition, the dry mouth causes a constant feeling of thirst.

Therefore, the Sjogren’s syndrome is also referred to as sicca syndrome, because “siccus” in Latin means “dry”. In addition to the salivary and lacrimal glands, other glands of the body can be affected by the disease. Some women also suffer from vaginal dryness in Sjogren’s syndrome .

The Sjogren’s syndrome is not only noticeable in body glands. Many sufferers also suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue , fatigue
  • Depression , lack of concentration
  • indigestion
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Circulatory disorders of the fingers (Raynaud’s phenomenon)

Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms can be very diverse and vary greatly in severity from patient to patient.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Typical symptoms

Typical Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms are dry eyes (xerophthalmia) and a dry mouth (xerostomia). The common occurrence of these Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms call medical professionals as Sicca syndrome . The constant dryness of the eyes leads without treatment to a continuous inflammation of the cornea and the conjunctiva (keratoconjunctivitis sicca).

Other mucosal and epidermal areas sometimes dry up, including the mucous membranes of the nose, trachea, lungs , bronchial system, and genitalia. Hoarseness , coughing and pain during intercourse can be the result.

Extraglandular Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

Sjogren’s syndrome sometimes manifests itself as non-Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms (extraglandular symptoms), such as:

  • excessive tiredness
  • Pain and inflammation in the joints, which, however, occur without joint destruction
  • Caries
  • Raynaud’s syndrome ( circulatory problems in fingers and toes)
  • Esophagitis (oesophagitis)

In addition, people with the Sjogren’s syndrome tend to allergies and other autoimmune diseases, such as the gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease, native sprue).

Rarely, Sjogren’s syndrome also causes symptoms such as inflammation in various organs and tissues, for example:

  • lung
  • kidney
  • the muscles
  • Blood vessels ( vasculites )

Sometimes emotional disorders and paralysis appear , so-called polyneuropathies .

In about 20 out of 100 people with Sjogren’s syndrome, the lymph nodes enlarge and it comes to the so-called lymphadenopathy, a disease of the lymphatic system . In rare cases, lymph node cancer ( non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma ) may develop. The risk of this is about 40-fold increased in those with Sjogren’s syndrome.

What Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms and signs speak ?

Typical Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms are the inflammation of the lacrimal and salivary glands as well as the gastrointestinal tract. With up to 98%, the symptoms of sicca are among the most common manifestations of Sjogren’s syndrome: eye dryness ( keratoconjunctivitis sicca ) describes patients as burning or rubbing – it would feel as if a foreign object is in the eye.

In addition, in the dry eye, increased photosensitivity occurs. The dry mouth ( xerostomia ), which is caused by a salivary gland dizziness ( stomatitis sicca ), the patients get speech problems, as the tongue often sticks to the palate, as well as difficulties in chewing and salivating dry food.

According to studies, about 5 – 35% of the population suffer from dry eyes and about 20% from dry mouth (source: Not only these aspects of Sjogren’s syndrome worsen the overall quality of life, also the high prevalence of caries (tooth decay) and the associated early tooth loss drastically reduce the well-being.

Diseases often associated with Sjogren’s syndrome :

  • Sicca symptoms (eyes, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, genitals)
  • dry skin & rare skin diseases (eg Raynaud’s phenomenon , purplish skin changes , anular erythemaurticarial vasculitis / hives, etc.)
  • Rheumatism, arthritis, muscle and joint pain
  • Numbness & tingling of the limbs
  • increased caries risk & early tooth loss
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Burning while urinating & kidney pain
  • increased tendency to allergies
  • anorexia
  • too high or too low blood pressure
  • Diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system
  • cognitive disorders, general performance decline & headaches / migraines
  • Fatigue / fatigue, fatigue & mood swings
  • Shortness of breath, dry cough
  • increased mortality during pregnancy (20%), prematurity, fetal heart rhythm disorders

Types of Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

Sjogren’s syndrome is more than a glandular disease, despite eye and mouth dryness. It affects the entire body and leads to general Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms such as fatigue, loss of performance, fatigue and fever. It can also spread to joints, muscles and internal organs.

Dryness symptoms (sicca syndrome)

When Sjogren’s syndrome own immune cells attack especially the salivary and lacrimal glands. The resulting inflammation inhibits their secretion and can destroy the glandular tissue . The chronic disorder of glandular function mainly causes a dry mouth and dry eyes.

Dry eyes

To work, the eyes must be permanently wet. Without tears, the eyelid would not glide smoothly over the eye and we could barely let our eyes wander. In addition, the tear film kills off pathogens and flushes foreign substances out of the eye. Too little eyes cause foreign body sensation. The conjunctiva is reddened, sensitive and prone to inflammation. The cornea of ​​the eye can dry, crack and limit vision.

Dry mouth

The saliva has many tasks. It moisturizes the oral mucosa, inhibits bacterial growth and accelerates wound healing. It serves as a buffer against acids and helps to harden the enamel with mineral salts. Too little salivation has many detrimental consequences.

The oral mucosa becomes irritated, can crack and become inflamed. The teeth and gums become more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease. The taste sensation subsides, and swallowing can be difficult. In addition, infections in the ear, nose and throat are more common.

vaginal dryness

In addition to the tear and salivary glands, other glands and mucous membranes may be affected by the inflammation-induced dehydration, namely the glands of the skin and the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. However, female Sjogren’s sufferers are particularly prone to severe vaginal dryness.

The lack of vaginal mucus causes viruses, bacteria and fungi to easily get into the vagina and uterus.

Joint pain and muscle aches

In many Sjogren’s sufferers, the disease on the musculoskeletal system. The result is inflamed joints, joint pain and muscle aches.

Also, inflammation of the parotid gland and the blood vessels or non-inflammatory diseases of the nervous system occur. Rarely also organs like the lungs or the kidneys are affected.

Chronic tiredness (“fatigue”)

Often the greatest suffering from the Sjogren’s symptom is the severe chronic fatigue. The physical resources of those affected exhaust quickly, and they need longer periods of recovery to regenerate. The constant state of tiredness and exhaustion can severely restrict the ability to work and the quality of life.

distribution of Sjogren’s syndrome

Sjogren’s syndrome may be a separate disease (primary) or associated with other autoimmune diseases (secondary) such as rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The main symptom in persons with primary Sjogren’s syndrome is persistent dry mouth and eye sores (sicca symptoms), which usually occurs at the age of 40-50 years and in approximately 90% of the cases in women.

Patients often complain of severe fatigue that can significantly affect their quality of life. It may be accompanied by other Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms such as joint and muscle complaints, temporarily swollen salivary glands and cervical lymph nodes, skin changes and circulatory disturbances in the fingers (Raynaud’s syndrome). In rare cases, moreover, lungs, kidneys, Damaged blood vessels and / or the nervous system.

The majority of patients affected by Sjogren’s syndrome are women. However, it is not known how many people suffer from the disease as a whole. The reason for missing statistics is the extremely difficult diagnosis. The most common Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms, such as dry eyes, dry mouth and dry mucous membranes, lead the patients first to specialists such as eye, ENT or dentists.

However, since the symptoms can also occur in other diseases, they are often not associated with Sjogren’s syndrome. Patients often have many years to go to diagnosis. The reason for missing statistics is the extremely difficult diagnosis. The most common Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms, such as dry eyes, dry mouth and dry mucous membranes, lead the patients first to specialists such as eye, ENT or dentists.

However, since the symptoms can also occur in other diseases, they are often not associated with Sjogren’s syndrome. Patients often have many years to go to diagnosis. The reason for missing statistics is the extremely difficult diagnosis. The most common symptoms, such as dry eyes, dry mouth and dry mucous membranes, lead the patients first to specialists such as eye, ENT or dentists.

However, since the symptoms can also occur in other diseases, they are often not associated with Sjogren’s syndrome. Patients often have many years to go to diagnosis.

Classic Complaints of Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

The classic complaints of Sjogren’s syndrome are permanently dry eyes and a dry mouth (sicca syndrome). Frequently, additional joint pain occurs. The guiding Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms of the disease are permanently dry mucous membranes. The medical term for this is “Sicca Symptomatik” from the Latin word “siccus” for “dry”.

What do you feel with sicca symptoms?

Dry mouth : If the salivary glands produce too little saliva, the oral mucosa dries out . Those affected have difficulty swallowing dry food. Often it is only possible by the Nachtrinken of much liquid. Even talking is difficult because the tongue seems to stick to the palate. The mouth is burning.

The wearing of dentures prepares complaints or is not possible. Often caries occurs in the course of the disease because the protective function of the saliva for the teeth is missing. The oral mucosa looks dry, red and sticky. Especially in the primary Sjogren’s syndrome, a swelling of the parotid gland can be noticeable.

Dry eyes: The eyes are burning . Those affected feel as if they have sand or granules under their eyelids. Granules or threads may form in the inner corner of the eye. The eyes feel dry, tire quickly, and are very sensitive to light. Drying damages the cornea and the conjunctiva, it is reddened and itches (so-called Keratokonjunctivitis sicca). In severe cases, corneal ulcers can arise.

Dry mucous membranes on other parts of the body

Less often, symptoms of dehydration on other mucous membranes are noticeable. The dryness of the nasal mucous membranes can cause annoying discomfort. If the upper and lower respiratory tract are affected, hoarseness and coughing irritation occur .

Also on the gastrointestinal tract changes can occur – the mucous membrane of the esophagus or the stomach can become inflamed. Dry mucous membranes in the genital area also sometimes cause discomfort. They express themselves, for example, as sexual dysfunction in vaginal dryness.

Other complaints with Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

  • A large part of those affected at least temporarily suffer from joint pain . This also applies to the primary form of Sjogren’s syndrome. In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, joint destruction does not occur in Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Other side effects include fever and muscle aches.
  • There may also be episodes of convulsive vasoconstriction with painful reduced perfusion of individual fingers ( Raynaud’s syndrome ).
  • More than half of people with Sjogren’s syndrome report having severe fatigue, often described by those affected as lead .

Rather rare: severe disease

In a severe form of Sjogren’s syndrome, the vessels may become infected with an inflammatory reaction (vasculitis). A vasculitis manifests relatively often in the form of a rash , as hives or minor lesions of the skin. However, it can also lead to disorders of the peripheral and central nervous system of varying degrees. The symptoms range from mild emotional disorders to paralysis.

A clear involvement of internal organs is comparatively rare. In the lungs, Sjogren’s syndrome may have some form of pneumonia (interstitial pneumonia). It may cause a mild inflammation of the pancreas with abdominal pain. The kidneys can also be involved. This is most often the case if there is an additional autoimmune disease – especially systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

About five percent of people with Sjogren’s syndrome suffer from a malignant disease of the lymph glands (a lymphoma). This leads to a swelling of lymph nodes and possibly also an enlargement of the spleen. Enlarged salivary glands may also contain degenerated lymphoid cells.

Organ contribution in Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

The following are examples of complaints that may be related to Sjogren’s syndrome. Please note: These complaints never occur at one person at the same time, but always only a small selection of them. The list is not complete, that is, Sjogren’s syndrome can also cause Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms that are not mentioned here. The list is arranged alphabetically.

  • Increased tendency to allergies
  • anorexia
  • Shortness of breath (also dependent on load)
  • Eyes:
    dry, itchy, aching, burning, red or watery eyes, foreign body sensation in the eyes, sensitivity to light, feeling or tiredness of the eyes, sticking of the eyelids on the eye when blinking, glued eyes in the morning when waking up, small mucous plugs on the eye, difficulty when seeing (all signs of keratoconjunctivitis sicca)
    twitching of the eyelids
    yellowish ocular fibrillation or redness failure (possible side effects of Quensyl® / Resochin®)
  • stomach pain
  • frequent mood changes
  • painful movement restrictions
  • bloating
  • bluish discoloration and death of parts of the body (possible number of thromboses)
  • striking tendency to bruises (possible signs of vasculitis or coagulation disorders)
  • high or low blood pressure
  • Burning on urination (possible signs of cystitis)
  • Bronchi / lungs:
    dry cough (possible signs of bronchitis sicca)
    chest pain, chest tightness
    dyspnoea, dry cough, rapid heartbeat, edema (possible signs of pulmonary fibrosis)
    shortness of breath in cold (possible signs of pulmonary Raynaud’s syndrome )
  • striking facial pallor and tiredness (possible number of anemia)
  • Duch case
  • Emotional-motivational disorders (eg drive weakness, frequent or inexplicable mood swings, depression, irritability, anxiety, aggressiveness)
  • Vomit
  • miscarriages
  • fever
  • prematurity
  • Feeling of being burned out inside
  • joint pain
  • joint swelling
  • loss in weight
  • Weight gain (eg as a possible side effect of cortisone)
  • Hair loss (also possible signs of iron deficiency or side effects of antimalarials, immunosuppressant or cytotoxic agents)
  • Bleeding on the skin or mucous membranes without obvious cause, prolonged and increased blood coagulation even with minor injuries (possible number of blood clotting disorders)
  • dry skin
  • Cardiac arrhythmias such as irregular, slow, fast or violent heartbeat
  • hip pain
  • bone pain
  • Cognitive disorders (eg difficulty concentrating, word finding disorders, poor memory, confusion)
  • Congenital heart block in the child
  • general malaise
  • Tingling or numbness of the limbs
  • Headache (also associated with nausea, vomiting and photosensitivity (migraine)
  • greater discomfort on one half of the body (laterality)
  • inefficiency
  • Medication – incompatibilities
  • fatigue
  • Mouth:
    dry mouth, dry cracked lips, mucosal changes such. As vesicles or small ulcers on the lips, in the mouth or nasopharynx, sticky salivation, dry tongue, burning or pain in the tongue, difficulty speaking, reduction in the sense of smell and taste (all due to the dryness of the mucous membranes),
    disappearance of the Tongue papillae (smooth red tongue) (possible sign of Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, sprue, niacin, vitamin B 12 or iron deficiency)
  • Muscle aches
  • muscle weakness
  • Food intolerance
  • Nose:
    Dryness of the nose and throat,
    crusting or barking in the nose, mucus flow in the nasopharynx,
    reduction of the sense of smell and taste
  • small reddish or bluish spots (vasculitic lesions) on fingers or toes, e.g. B. at the crests, z. T. associated with tissue death (necrosis)
  • kidney pain
  • personality disorders
  • Pharynx:
    hoarseness, frequent hawking (possible signs of dryness or increased pharyngeal mucus, both as a result of Sjogren’s syndrome),
    (painful) dysphagia (possible signs of esophageal dryness due to Sjogren’s syndrome or scleroderma)
  • Whitening or blushing and becoming cold from fingers or toes or hands and feet, also associated with pain (Raynaud’s syndrome)
  • to chicken egg-sized, tender-painful, coarse and displiable thickening under the skin, z. At the elbow (possible signs of rheumatoid nodules)
  • increased need for sleep
  • Chest pain, tightness of the chest (eg as a sign of lung or heart problems)
  • excessive sensitivity to pain and touch (possible signs of vasculitis)
  • sweats
  • Swelling and pain on the side of the cheeks or below the chin on the neck (possible number of [ear] salivary gland inflammation)
  • palpable thickening under the skin, z. Neck or armpits (possible number of swollen lymph nodes, in the face and neck area also salivary gland swelling)
  • Swelling of feet and / or lower legs and / or eyelids due to water retention (edema)
  • Heaviness in the limbs
  • greasy stool (possible signs of malabsorption)
  • nausea
  • Urine:
    foamy urine (possibly signs of protein in the urine), reddish discoloration of the urine (possible signs of blood in the urine), remarkably low excretion amount (amount of urine) at normal drinking volume (all as possible signs of kidney involvement)
  • Vagina:
    vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse (possible signs of vaginitis sicca)
  • behavioral disorders
  • increased urination (possible number of side effects of cortisone)
  • Reinforcement of discomfort after sun exposure
  • constipation
  • bloating
  • Alternating pains in various places throughout the body, also associated with tingling or other sensations in the limbs, as well as nausea, also in the form of seizure-like pains and nausea; burning, piercing or stinging, pointy or extensive pain under the skin along the blood vessels (all as possible number of vasculitis)
  • meteorosensitivity
  • delayed wound healing (possible signs of a side effect of cortisone or cytotoxic drugs).
Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms
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