Friday, July 25, 2014

Happy World Sjogren's Day!

Courtesy of the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation

Happy World Sjogren's Day! Well, technically I'm a couple days late on this one.  But spreading awareness about Sjogren's should be more than something assigned to a particular day or month of the year.  Like many of you, I want to do my small part to try and make Sjogren's a KNOWN autoimmune disease.

Here are some important tidbits about Sjogren's that are easy to pass along to family and friends:

-Sjogren's is the 2nd most prevalent autoimmune disease impacting an estimated 4 million Americans

-The disease takes an average of 5 years to diagnose.  That's way too long and many patients develop unnecessary serious complications due to disease progression and lack of early treatment.

-Many think Sjogren's is just a disease that impacts the moisture producing glands, tears, and saliva, BUT that is just the tip of the iceberg.

-Sjogren's can impact any organ or body system including joints, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, digestive and nervous systems. (I've had to include a favorite Sjogren's diagram above and it's not even comprehensive).

-Many with Sjogren's experience debilitating fatigue and joint pain.

-Compared to other autoimmune diseases Sjogren's has been under researched, under treated, and often minimized.  We need to change that!  (Read an excellent article by Dr. Sarah Schafer a physician with the disease to understand how much needs to be done here)

My mantra has become Sjogren's is Serious. I hope others in the autoimmune disease community can help us speed this message as we fight for better diagnosis, recognition, treatment, and care. 

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and really like what you wrote. It is serious!! Why do all the doctors where I live think it's only dry mouth and dry eyes? It's really depressing. I cannot find a rheumatologist. I have primary Sjogrens and pericarditis and many other problems. Even the Mayo rheumatologist told me Sjogrens is only dry mouth and dry eyes. Crazy??
    I'm very sick right now without good medical care.