Sjögren’s Syndrome — Treatment
There is no cure yet for Sjögren’s syndrome. As is typical with other autoimmune diseases, the severity of Sjögren’s can vary from person to person. Many patients experience a mild disease that affects not only the eyes but also the mouth. Over time, though, other individuals may develop additional symptoms of variable severity. Alternatively, for other people, the condition may improve and sometimes even go into remission. Unfortunately a few Sjögren’s sufferers eventually exhibit severe and chronic (long-term) symptoms.
Current treatments focus on managing the symptoms. Moisture replacement therapies, for example, help to relieve dryness. Similarly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can sometimes control inflammation. People with severe Sjögren’s syndrome may receive corticosteroids, which mimic hormones that fight inflammation in the body, or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which suppress the body’s overextended immune response.
An experienced healthcare team can determine the best combination of over-the-counter treatments, prescription medications and medical procedures for any individual situation. Some Sjögren’s patients have found additional relief using environmental modifications together with holistic/herbal approaches such as diet management, exercise, progressive relaxation, Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and other mind-body techniques.
While it is true that Sjögren’s syndrome can affect the entire body, a Sjögren’s sufferer should not automatically assume that Sjögren’s is the cause every time a different symptom pops up. The best course of action with a new or significant physical change is to consult with the medical caregiver. Usually a physician or other qualified professional can help determine the actual cause of any troublesome symptoms. Then the healthcare team can go to work and find the best treatment for each of them.
Sjögren’s Syndrome — Research and Clinical Trials
Research is currently underway searching in various directions for new medications, therapies and diagnostic tools to improve treatment of Sjögren’s syndrome. Recommendation: in summary, use this information in conjunction with advice from your health care professionals.
Additional Sources for Clinical Trial Information
Below are links that may help you find appropriate clinical trials in your local area:
ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry of federally and privately supported clinical trials conducted in the United States and around the world. Here you will find information about the objective of each trial, requirements for participation, locations and contact information for more details. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov
CenterWatch.com includes a Clinical Trial Listing Service, which provides unbiased information on clinical trials with a database that contains thousands of currently-enrolling studies. Information on drugs and new medical therapies is also available to review here along with health and educational resources. http://www.centerwatch.com
Ora is the largest independent eye research and development firm in the world. It is currently working with multiple global pharmaceutical companies to find better dry eye treatments. http://www.eyedrop.com/study_participants/upcoming_studies/template.aspx?ekfrm=134
More Information Sources
For additional up-to-date Sjögren’s syndrome information, the following sites may be helpful:
The official U. S. government information website about Sjögren’s syndrome and its treatment can be accessed from the National Institutes of Health. http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info
Founded in 1983, the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation provides patients with practical information and coping strategies. In addition the Foundation also serves as a clearinghouse for medical information and advocates on the national level for Sjögren’s sufferers. https://www.sjogrens.org/