WORLD SJOGREN’S DAY
Every year on July 23rd, World Sjogren’s Day spreads awareness for this immune system disorder. It’s also a day to better understand the symptoms so that Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome is properly diagnosed.
Millions of people throughout the world live with Sjogren’s Syndrome. Dry eyes and dry mouth are the two primary symptoms of this immune system disorder. With Sjogren’s, the immune system attacks the cells that produce saliva and tears. Besides affecting the mouth and eyes, Sjogren’s can also cause issues in other parts of the body. This includes the thyroid, kidneys, liver, lungs, and nerves. The chronic illness is often accompanied by other immune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Other symptoms of Sjogren’s include:
- Joint pain
- Skin rashes
- Vaginal dryness
- Persistent dry cough
- Swollen salivary glands
- Poor dental health
- Excessive thirst
Many people with Sjogren’s also suffer from prolonged fatigue. The Sjogren’s Foundation has identified at least 13 types of fatigue. Some of these kinds of fatigue include basic, rebound, sudden, weather-related, tired-but-wired, and fatigue brought on by stress and anxiety. It’s common for those with Sjogren’s to experience some or all of these kinds of fatigue at some point in their life. Those who suffer with Sjogren’s say that fatigue is the third most prevalent symptom of the illness.
Because the symptoms of Sjogren’s vary widely from person to person, it can make the disease hard to diagnose. Many of the symptoms are common with other kinds of autoimmune diseases, which also makes it difficult to diagnose.
There is no cure for Sjogren’s. However, there are some treatment options that help to alleviate symptoms. Medications can help relieve symptoms associated with dry eyes and dry mouth. Hydroxychloroquine has proven to be effective in combatting symptoms. Some doctors may also prescribe drugs that suppress the immune system. Natural remedies that help alleviate symptoms include ear acupuncture, probiotics, black currant seed oil, and fish oil.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldSjogrensDay
Every year healthcare organizations and Sjogren’s foundations hold events to spread awareness for this day. These events include workshops, webinars, and educational seminars. Healthcare professionals also encourage those with Sjogren’s Syndrome to become involved in research.
- Learn more about Sjogren’s Syndrome by reading “The Sjogren’s Book”.
- If you have been diagnosed with Sjogren’s, share your story with others.
- Read about famous people with Sjogren’s such as tennis superstar, Venus Williams and Olympic gold medalist, Shannon Boxx.
- Make a donation to help further Sjorgen’s research and awareness.
- Look up information online about Dr. Henrik Sjogren.
Share this day on social media with #WorldSjogrensDay
WORLD SJOGREN’S DAY HISTORY
In 1998, the late Congresswoman, Louise Slaughter helped establish April as Sjogren’s Awareness Month. The Sjogren’s Foundation helped promote this awareness month. In later years, the Sjogren’s Foundation founded World Sjogren’s Day. They chose the date July 23rd to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Henrik Sjogren. Dr. Sjogren was the Swedish ophthalmologist who discovered the immune disorder in 1933.