The most commonly reported symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome are a dry mouth and dry eyes, both of which can lead to other associated symptoms.
However, these symptoms can be common in old age and most people with dry eyes or mouth do not have Sjogren’s syndrome.
Many women also experience dryness of the vagina, which can make sexual intercourse painful.
Associated symptoms of dry mouth include:
- tooth decay, leading to an increased risk of tooth loss
- dry cough
- difficulty swallowing and chewing
- hoarse voice
- difficulty speaking
- swollen salivary glands (located between your jaw and your ears)
- repeated fungal infections of your mouth (oral thrush), symptoms of which can include coated or white tongue
Associated symptoms of dry eyes include:
- a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
- itchy eyes
- a feeling that there is a piece of sand or gravel in your eyes
- irritated and swollen eyelids
- sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- tired eyes
- a discharge of mucus from your eyes
Symptoms can become worse when you are in a windy or smoky environment. Air-conditioned buildings and travelling on aeroplanes can also make symptoms worse.
In more serious cases of Sjogren’s syndrome, the immune system can attack other parts of the body as well as the tear, saliva and vaginal glands, causing a wide range of symptoms and conditions such as:
- dry skin
- tiredness and fatigue, which are common features and can amount to total exhaustion in some cases
- muscle pain
- joint pain, stiffness and swelling
- vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
- difficulty concentrating, remembering and reasoning
It is not known exactly what causes Sjogren’s syndrome, but it is thought to be linked to a problem with the immune system. The immune system is designed to recognise any foreign object that presents a threat to the body, such as a virus or bacterium, and to attack it with special chemicals known as antibodies (produced by white blood cells).
In Sjogren’s syndrome, the immune system mistakes healthy tissue for a foreign body and attacks it with antibodies. The parts of the body usually affected are the tear, saliva and vaginal glands, which are collectively known as the exocrine glands.
The antibodies damage the exocrine glands so that they can no longer function normally. There is also some evidence that the immune system damages the nerves that control these glands, further reducing their effectiveness.
The immune system can go on to damage other parts of the body such as muscles, joints, blood vessels, nerves and (less commonly) organs.
Primary Sjogren’s syndrome: Most researchers believe that primary Sjogren’s syndrome is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Certain people are born with specific genes that make them more vulnerable to a faulty immune system. Then many years later, an environmental factor, possibly a common virus, triggers the immune system to stop working properly.
The female hormone oestrogen seems to play an important role as well. Sjogren’s syndrome mostly occurs in women, and symptoms usually start around the time of the menopause, when levels of oestrogen begin to fall. Falling oestrogen levels can contribute to dryness and it may be that this worsening of dryness makes the condition more noticeable.
Secondary Sjogren’s Syndrome:
Sjogren’s syndrome can occur later in the course of other auto-immune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. This is known as secondary Sjogren’s syndrome.
If you have one of these other conditions, you will already be under the care of a licensed health practitioner, who will diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome if you start experiencing eye and mouth dryness.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.
There are several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommended constitutional hydrotherapy (apply two to five times weekly) or a heating compress (apply once daily to affected areas). Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Waterwww.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide. shoppingcart.purehealthsystems.com/?Click=4464
If you suffer from Sjogren’s, you should avoid spicy foods or foods that are particularly acidic. It is also advisable to avoid alcohol. A vegan, raw diet is often recommended.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef. www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400 The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
The raw food diet is a food plan that can have great benefits. After a few months of following our recommended whole foods diet, one can then transition into a high level raw or 100% raw food diet, as desired. This diet is composed of raw and live foods only, and includes a wide selection of raw fruits, vegetables, soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds and sea vegetables, in a wide variety of creative combinations. If choosing a raw food plan, we highly recommend daily consumption of fresh green juices, made from an array of green vegetables, such as celery, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrot, kale, parsley, with an ever rotating seasonal selection of other organic veggies. Daily salad meals, dehydrated flax crackers, seed and nut pates, blended soups, smoothies and marinated vegetable salads, often mixed with soaked sea vegetables are the base for the raw diet. Since little to no cooked food is consumed, a raw diet has the advantage of instant elimination of many common allergens. No cooked wheat, wheat byproducts or grains (generally) are consumed, and very little, if any, dairy products. Raw foodists may include small quantities of dairy, typically as cultured raw goat or sheep’s milk yogurt or kefir, usually homemade (these products can occasionally be found online or from local sources).
Raw food generates rapid results because of its ability to thoroughly detoxify and liberate your body’s previously untapped energy. Dr. Gabriel Cousins, at the Tree of Life Center in Patagonia Arizona, endorses the raw food plan as the ultimate healing diet, and offers delicious 100% raw food meals at both the café and all of the healing retreats he offers.
We recommend the raw food diet for long term cleansing and detoxification. Eating primarily raw food for three to twelve months can be an incredible experience to help increase energy, detoxify your body, support you in letting go of long time food addictions, and throughout your diet you will naturally be a major sponsor for organic produce. Most of us eat a variety of addictive foods, from sugar to pasta. The addictive nature of these foods is often overlooked, even in the healthiest of food plans. When eating raw, these items are automatically eliminated, hence freeing up energy the body can use to heal.
What is important to note when choosing a raw food diet is the issue of trade-offs. You might miss cooked foods, though you will not miss your disease, and more times than not the raw food diet is an incredible tool that can be used to help shift serious health challenges into greater health and well being.
The following supplements are particularly useful:
- Evening Primrose
- Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA)
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids
We also recommend:
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http:// for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here http://kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
The Ayurvedic treatment of Sjogren syndrome is aimed at reducing the symptoms and treating the main pathology of the disease. Dry eyes can be treated using medicated eye drops containing Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Chandan (Santalum album), Sphatik (Purified alum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Rose water and Karpur (Purified camphor). A dry mouth is treated using medicines like Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Parpat (Fumaria vaillantii), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis). If the lymph nodes and parotid glands are affected, medicines like Kachnaar-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) are used. Muscular aches and joint pain can be treated using medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras.
Polyneuropathy and inflammation of the arteries can be treated using medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Chandrakala-Ras, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani. Dry skin and vaginal dryness can be treated with the local application of medicated oils like Chandan- Bala-Laxadi oil, Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Mahasaindhavadi oil, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut and Shatadhout-Ghrut. Diseases of the kidneys can be treated using medicines like Chandraprabha-Vati, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Gomutra-Haritaki and Punarnavadi-Guggulu.
In order to address the absence of natural secretions and lubrication, ‘Snehan’ therapy is given to the patients on a long term basis. This involves the oral use of high doses of milk and medicated ghee like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut, Yashtimadhuk-Ghrut and Dashmool-Ghrut. Butter can also be used for this purpose. The addition of Saindhav or Yav-Kshar to the medicated ghee increases the therapeutic properties of the medicines. The same medicines can also be used to massage the entire body.
Boswellia, an herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, also helps to reduce symptoms of chronic inflammation which can be associated with Sjogren’s. Boswellic acid inhibits leukotrienes, which can increase inflammation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest: Hsin Kuang is often prescribed, as this formula address the balance of qi (vital energy.)
Chinese herbs which are often used are: cortex lycii radices, rhizome bletillae, radix notoginseng, pollen typhae, radix sanguisorbae, radix scitellariae, concha ostreae, herba ecliptae, os sepiellae seu sepiae.
Ginseng root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, helps combat symptoms of chronic fatigue. A study conducted by the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, published in 2009, reports that extracts of ginseng leaves and stems have anti-fatigue properties and are safe to use to recommended doses.
Acupuncture is particularly beneficial
Sea buckthorn and helichrysum oils are particularly useful. Up to 10 drops of each can be added to a carrier oil and used as a massage or alternatively, they can be added to a warm bath.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription.
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Some homeopathic medicines that have shown positive results in Sjogren’s syndrome or which cover the symptom picture well are:
Nux-m, Tub, Tub-m, Silica, Brass-n-o, Lapr, Pert-vc, Dulcamara, Antim-crud, Cuprum, Fl-acid, Puls
The following herbs can be useful: Rheum Rhabarbarum, Indian Olibanum Tree, Torchwood Tree, Ginger, Operculina Turpelthum, Scammony, Evening Primrose.
Home Remedies: Dry eyes and dry mouth respond well to some simple home remedies. MayoClinic.com recommends increasing the indoor humidity with a humidifier to help reduce dry and itchy eyes. Try and remove possible allergens and chemicals from the home if you can. Warm, moist compresses placed on the eyes can be helpful. Brush and floss after every meal to protect oral health, which can decline due to Sjogren’s syndrome. Increase saliva production by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. Drinking water with lemon will increase saliva production. To prevent dry skin, avoid extremely hot showers, and use gentle, sensitive-skin organic soaps and lotions.
Green Tea: Green tea contains various compounds such as minerals, volatile oils and vitamins. But it is the polyphenols in green tea, in particular a catechin called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which are believed to provide much of the beverage’s health-promoting effects. Research has revealed green tea is particularly beneficial for sufferers of Sjogren’s syndrome.
Yoga – The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Tennis star Venus Williams and Sjogren’s syndrome:alternativendhealth.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/venus-williams-quits-because-of-sjogrens-syndrome-more-than-dry-eyes/
The Sjogren’s Foundation: www.sjogrens.org/home/about-sjogrens-syndrome/living-with-sjogrens/diet-a-food-tips
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healingwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong(from August 2012 newsletter)
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT (June 2012 newsletter)
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effectivewww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Home remedies for Sjogren’s: www.ehow.com/video_4951285_chinese-remedies-sjogrens-syndrome.html
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
Green tea benefits Sjogren’s: www.naturalnews.com/024983_diabetes_tea_health.html
Evening Primrose Oil: the cure-all:www.naturalnews.com/036177_evening_primrose_oil_nutrition_healthy_oils.html
Chlorella and spirulina: www.naturalnews.com/SpecialReports/Superfoods.pdf
Further Information (links and books)
Positive Options for Sjogren’s Syndrome: Self-Help and Treatment (Positive Options for Health) by Sue Dyson; The Sjogren’s Book by Daniel J. Wallace MD; Body out of Balance: Understanding and Treating Sjogrens Syndrome: Understanding the Treating Sjogren’s Syndrome by Ruth Fremes and Nancy Carterton
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
by Bernie S Siegel
The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
1,000 Indian Recipes (1,000 Recipes) by Neelam Batra;
Food–Your Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper