|Wiki Commons: Sun Rising at Dawn|
It was a good week for Sjogren's! Three important articles that I saw in just one week. I'm always pleased when I see more scientific research and attention being brought to the disease for us Sjoggies and I do hope this is a trend. "A New Dawn for Sjogren's": I couldn't resist the headline from The Rheumatologist.
This article was particularly relevant to me since it linked Sjogren's and inflammation to local neurological pain. As most of you know, I have significant neurological symptoms with my disease. For a long time that was a real problem. Neurologists couldn't figure out what was wrong me and I ended up being prescribed pain drugs and basically told to go away. There was not a perceived link between the pain and Sjogren's. This article goes in to how the symptoms that are often talked about as "benign" such as dryness, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and brain fog to name a few can be the most pernicious. As the authors Robert Fox, MD, PhD and Carla M. Fox, RN write:
In order to make a significant difference in the quality of life for patients with SS, new therapies must not only improve extra glandular manifestations of SS, also alleviate the symptoms (fatigue, dryness, and pain) that lead to patient disability….This will require better cooperation between rheumatologists and experts in the field of neural pain circuits. With a more focused effort, the complex interplay among immune, neural, and hypothalamic pathways in SS may finally be unraveled.
I've always known there was a link between my pain and the Sjogren's, but seeing a researcher detail it and call for new therapies is really welcome and I think may be helpful for others. I would encourage anyone if you find an article with new research relevant to your symptoms, print a copy and take it to your next doctor's appointment. In my experience, bringing articles like these to the attention of my doctors helps them treat me.