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In Sjogren's syndrome, your body doesn't produce enough moisture. It is caused by a malfunction of the body's immune (disease-fighting) system. The immune system incorrectly begins fighting the body's own cells.
Your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to understand your current condition and medical history. This will help him or her determine whether your symptoms are caused by Sjogren's or some other disorder, such as lupus or multiple sclerosis. He may also order blood, eye and dental tests.
Symptoms typically include:
- Dry eyes, mouth, nose, throat and lips
- Joint pain
- Skin dryness
- Problems digesting food
There is no known cure for Sjogren's syndrome. However, your doctor can help you feel better and live a more normal life. Prescription medications can suppress your immune system and/or help with mouth and eye dryness. Eye drops and oral treatments may also make you more comfortable. In extreme cases, certain types of chemotherapy have proven helpful.