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HomeAnswersRheumatologysjogren's syndromeAre dry eyes a sign of Sjogren's syndrome?

I have been experiencing the symptoms of dryness for the past six years. What is the reason?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 17, 2021
Reviewed AtJuly 20, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have been told by someone in the medical profession that I may have Sjogren's syndrome due to the symptoms that I have been having. I would like to know if this could be possible. My symptoms are itching mostly everywhere on my body, very dry skin, dry mouth (a dental professional noticed this as well), dry eyes that are watery at times and feel like sand is in my eyes and itch, muscle weakness, joint pain, my balance is not stable, short term memory is bad, brain fog. I have a hard time swallowing, trouble speaking correctly, stomach pain, acid reflux, and muscle cramps (which subside when I am not doing rigorous activities). I lost weight from this condition. I have problems with frequent urination also. For my gastrointestinal problems, I take tablet Pantoprazole and tablet Docusate for constipation.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Well, as per your symptoms, it does look like Sjogren's syndrome. I want to ask you for a few more details to be sure if it is the diagnosis we are dealing with. How long have you been experiencing the symptoms of dryness? Did the dental surgeon point to any cavities which are recurrent? Was the dryness test done for the eyes? Are you at any time experiencing swelling in the parotid glands (below the ears)? How is the sleep pattern? Do you get good hours of sleep? Do you experience morning fatigue? Have you felt swellings in the joints apart from pain? For confirming Sjogren's, we will have to run through your blood test. The other probable differential diagnosis is sarcoidosis and fibromyalgia. A few of the tests I will advise, and if it is possible, please get done, are ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), rheumatoid factor, complete blood count, liver function test, and antinuclear antibody. So if we diagnose with these tests, we have a direct answer to narrowing down the diagnosis.

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I have had these symptoms for about six years. The worst came when it started itching, and no doctor can give me a concrete answer. My glands that you talked about are a tad sore. How do I get the tests done? I have joint problems all day, along with morning stiffness, and I do not sleep well. I did not do any eye tests, but a primary care doctor was concerned about my eyes, and I always feel tired.

Hello,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Well, itching can be a part of autoimmune disease as well as urticaria usually accompanies these symptoms. Well, the tests advised can be performed in independent labs, or you can ask your general practitioner to prescribe it for you. Six years is a long time for suffering. We should sort it out soon and give you the correct diagnosis so the treatment plan can be chalked out. If it is Sjogren's, we should not wait on starting the proper treatment as it can continue to involve multiple organs. If the test is negative for it, we will consider starting treatment for fibromyalgia to give you a better quality of life.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Naval Mendiratta
Dr. Naval Mendiratta

Rheumatology

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