Sjögren syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the exocrine glands. The exocrine glands are responsible for producing tears and saliva. Sjögren syndrome typically affects middle-aged women, although men and women of all ages can be affected. There is no cure for Sjögren syndrome, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms. The exocrine glands are not the only organs that can be affected by Sjögren syndrome. The nervous system, joints, lungs, and kidneys may also be involved. Sometimes symptoms of Sjogren’s can spring up suddenly and are often referred to as a Sjogrens flare, read on to learn more about managing them below.
- How rare is Sjögren’s?
- Symptoms of Sjogrens Syndrome
- What is a Sjogrens flare?
- What causes Sjögren’s flare to trigger?
- What does a Sjögrens flare feel like?
- How long does a Sjögren’s flare last?
- How to manage Sjögren’s symptoms
- What are the long-term complications of Sjögren’s syndrome?
- How does the CareClinic app help manage Sjögren syndrome?
- Are there any specific foods that can trigger a flare?
- Prednisone brain fog
- What should I do during a Sjogrens flare?
- Sjögren flare up awareness comes with experience
How rare is Sjögren’s?
It is difficult to estimate the number of people in the USA and the world who have Sjögren syndrome because the disease can be misdiagnosed or go undiagnosed. The autoimmune nature of the disease means that it can be difficult to diagnose. Some people may only have a few symptoms and may not realize that they have Sjögren syndrome. It is estimated that between 1 and 4 million people in the USA have Sjögren syndrome, but the number of people who actually have the disease is likely higher because not all cases are diagnosed. It is not known how many people worldwide have Sjögren syndrome, but it is believed to be a relatively rare disease.
Symptoms of Sjogrens Syndrome
The most common symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome are dryness in the eyes, mouth, and vagina. Other symptoms may include:
- Dry, burning eyes
- Eye pain or blurred vision
- A feeling of something in the eye (foreign body sensation)
- Red, swollen, or cracked lips
- Dry mouth or trouble swallowing
- Tooth decay
- Vaginal dryness or difficulty urinating
- Muscle and joint pain
- Skin rashes or dry skin
Sjögren’s syndrome can also cause problems in other parts of the body. These may include:
- Digestive problems, such as acid reflux, nausea, and diarrhea
- Lung problems, such as interstitial lung disease or pulmonary fibrosis
- Nervous system problems, such as anxiety, depression, or difficulty concentrating
- Kidney problems
- Blood vessel problems
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Sjögren’s syndrome can also affect other organs, such as the liver, pancreas, and brain.
What is a Sjogrens flare?
A Sjögren’s flare-up is a temporary worsening of symptoms. Flare-ups can be caused by stress, infections, medications, or other factors. During a flare-up, the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome may become more severe.
What causes Sjögren’s flare to trigger?
There is no one specific cause of Sjögren’s flares. However, there are a few known triggers that can worsen the symptoms of the disease. These triggers include:
- Infections: Bacterial and viral infections can trigger a flare-up of Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and antimalarial drugs, can trigger a flare-up.
- Stress: Emotional stress can worsen the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Other factors: Other triggers that have been associated with Sjögren’s flares include weather changes, pregnancy, and menopause.
What does a Sjögrens flare feel like?
The symptoms of a Sjögren’s flare-up can vary from person to person. Some people may only have a few symptoms, while others may have many. You may feel more tired than usual. You may also have dryness in her eyes, mouth, and vagina. You may also experience other symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or difficulty concentrating. If the flare-up is severe, you may also have lung or kidney problems.
How long does a Sjögren’s flare last?
The length of a Sjögren’s flare-up can vary from person to person. Some people may only have a few symptoms for a short period, while others may have many symptoms for a longer period. Flare-ups can last for days, weeks, or even months.
How to manage Sjögren’s symptoms
- Rest: Get plenty of rest to help your body heal.
- Drink fluids: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid triggers: If you know what triggers your flares, try to avoid them.
- Use artificial tears: Artificial tears can help relieve dryness in the eyes.
- Use mouthwash: Mouthwashes can help relieve dryness in the mouth.
- Use lubricants: Lubricants can help relieve vaginal dryness.
- Take over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve pain and inflammation.
How to manage Sjögren constipation
There are a few things that you can do to help relieve constipation. These include eating a high-fiber diet: A high fiber diet can help add bulk to your stool and make it easier to pass. Drink plenty of fluids — Drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your stool soft. Exercise can help increase the muscle contractions in your intestine and help move the stool along. Try over-the-counter medications such as laxatives, can help relieve constipation.
How do Sjögren flares affect pregnancy?
Pregnancy can be a trigger for Sjögren’s flares. The symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome can get worse during pregnancy. This is because the hormones produced during pregnancy can cause the glands to produce less saliva and tears. This can lead to dryness in the eyes, mouth, and vagina. If you are pregnant and have Sjögren’s syndrome, it is important to see your doctor regularly to manage your symptoms.
What are the long-term complications of Sjögren’s syndrome?
If left untreated, Sjögren’s syndrome can lead to a number of long-term complications. These complications include:
- Dental problems: Dryness in the mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth sores.
- Vision problems: Dryness in the eyes can lead to corneal damage and vision problems.
- Vaginal dryness: Vaginal dryness can lead to vaginal infections and pain during intercourse.
- Kidney problems: Sjögren’s syndrome can cause inflammation in the kidneys, which can lead to kidney damage.
- Lung problems: Sjögren’s syndrome can cause inflammation in the lungs, which can lead to difficulty breathing.
- Autoimmune disorders: People with Sjögren’s syndrome are at an increased risk for developing other autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic condition that can be managed with treatment. However, there is no cure for Sjögren’s syndrome. If you have Sjögren’s syndrome, it is important to see your doctor regularly to manage your symptoms and prevent complications.
How does the CareClinic app help manage Sjögren syndrome?
The CareClinic app can be a helpful tool in managing a recent Sjogrens flare. The app can be used to track symptoms, medications, and appointments. The app can also be used to set reminders for taking medications and to track the side effects of medications.
You may use the CareClinic app to track your symptoms and discover your triggers. The app can be used to track the frequency, severity, and duration of symptoms. For example, if you are experiencing dryness in your eyes, you may track how often you experience dryness, how long the dryness lasts, and what, if any, relief you experience. To understand triggers, look at your symptom patterns over time about events such as changes in weather, stress, or hormone levels.
CareClinic also allows you to compare two different health modalities in one chart and automatically determines the correlations. As an example, you can compare your medications, and activity to your symptoms and determine if there is a correlation.
Discover correlations between symptoms and medications
This can help you understand your triggers quickly. Another example, is if you find that you frequently get UTIs when taking Prednisone, then it’s evident the medication leaves you more susceptible to these infections. As a result, while taking the drug it’s important to take extra safety measures. Keep in mind correlation does not mean causation.
Reporting back to your doctor
CareClinic makes it easy to answer questions during your check-up. The logs screen allows for quick filtering, so you can determine how many doses and how frequently you took your prescribed medication and on which days. Along with symptom severity after taking your medications along with length (of your flare) directly in logs and charts.
If you are interested in trying the CareClinic app, you can download it for free from the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.
Are there any specific foods that can trigger a flare?
There is no specific diet that has been shown to trigger a flare of Sjögren’s syndrome. However, some people with Sjögren’s syndrome find that certain foods can make their symptoms worse. These foods may include spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol. You may want to avoid foods that seem to make your symptoms worse. We have an entire article on tracking food and symptoms here.
Prednisone brain fog
Prednisone is a corticosteroid that is used to treat many different conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and arthritis. Prednisone can also be used to treat Sjögren’s syndrome. However, prednisone can cause side effects, such as weight gain, mood changes, and trouble sleeping. One of the most common side effects of prednisone is brain fog.
Prednisone brain fog is a condition that can cause forgetfulness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating. There are some things that you can do to help manage prednisone brain fog. These things include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet. You may also want to talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin B-12 supplement.
Other Immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate and azathioprine, and antibiotics, such as doxycycline can all be logged in CareClinic to determine if you are meeting your required amounts.
What should I do during a Sjogrens flare?
During a Sjögren’s flare up, it is important to rest and avoid strenuous activity. You may also want to use artificial tears or lubricating gels to help with dryness in your eyes. For dryness in your mouth, you may want to suck on sugar-free candy or chew sugar-free gum. You may also want to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol. If you are having difficulty sleeping, you may want to try a humidifier in your bedroom. If your symptoms are severe, you may need to see your doctor for treatment.
If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as joint pain or fatigue, you may want to try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You may also want to apply heat or cold to the affected area. You need to know you are not alone in managing Sjögren’s syndrome. Family and friends can help you by providing support and understanding. There are also many support groups available for people with Sjögren’s syndrome.
Why autoimmune symptom trackers are recommended by doctors
Autoimmune symptom trackers are recommended by doctors because they can help you identify patterns in your symptoms. This can help manage your condition. Second, they can help you communicate with your doctor about your symptoms. Third, they can help you track the side effects of your medications. Fourth, they can help you identify triggers for your symptoms. Fifth, they can help you discover correlations between different health modalities. Lastly, they can help you understand your condition and treatments better. Although there are many symptom trackers available, CareClinic remains the most downloaded one globally.
Sjögren flare up awareness comes with experience
You will eventually get to know your body and what works for you during a flare. The main thing is to not get discouraged, as management is possible with the help of modern medicine and a positive outlook. The CareClinic app can be a helpful tool in managing Sjögren syndrome by allowing users to track their symptoms, medications, and appointments.
There is no specific diet that has been shown to trigger a flare of Sjögren’s syndrome, but some people find that certain foods can make their symptoms worse. During a Sjögren’s flare up, it is important to rest and avoid strenuous activity. If your symptoms are severe, you may need to see your doctor for treatment. You can also try over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Remember, you are not alone in managing your sjögren’s flares. If possible, see if family and friends can help you by providing support and understanding.