What is Sjörgen’s Syndrome? What are the Symptoms of Sjörgen’s Syndrome?
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY DISEASE OR INJURY.
Sjörgen’s syndrome, which may also be referred to as Sjörgen’s disease or sicca syndrome, is a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect various organs in the body, often causing symptoms in more than one organ or system for many people. However, though this autoimmune disease can affect multiple organs or systems, one of the characteristic features of Sjörgen’s relates to its effects on the eyes and mouth, and the tear ducts and salivary glands are particularly affected in patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome. Some of the most common symptoms of Sjörgen’s include:
- Dry eyes, nose, lips, throat, and/or mouth
- Changes in taste and smell
- Corneal ulcers and infections
- Recurrent sinusitis
- Mouth sores
- Dental decay
- Swollen, painful salivary glands and parotid glands
- Esophagitis (swelling of the esophagus)
- Trouble swallowing
- Recurrent respiratory problems, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, interstitial lung disease, or persistent cough
- Kidney problems (which may include interstitial nephritis, renal tubular acidosis, glomerulonephritis, etc.)
- Shortness of breath
- Progressive hearing loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Arthritis symptoms (specifically, joint and muscle pain)
- Increased sensitivity to UV light (including a rash that may develop on the back, face, arms, or chest in response to sunlight exposure)
- Vaginal dryness and/or vaginal pain (vulvodynia)
- Interstitial cystitis (bladder irritation)
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Vasculitis / rash
- Raynaud’s phenomenon (this is where the fingers and sometimes toes may turn white, blue, or red in response to different environmental stimulus, such as the cold; the fingers and/or toes may also sometimes have a prickling pins-and-needles sensation)
- Digestive system problems
- Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Autoimmune gastrointestinal dysmotility
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Gastroparesis / Delayed stomach emptying
- Liver and gallbladder problems
- Chronic, active autoimmune hepatitis
- Primary biliary cholangitis
- Abnormalities in liver function tests
- Mental and emotional issues
- Trouble concentrating / “brain fog”
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Sleep abnormalities (insomnia, nightmares, etc.)
The vast majority of Sjörgen’s patients are women, with only about 1/10 of patients with this autoimmune disease being male. This autoimmune disease can occur at any age, but it’s worth noting that it’s most commonly diagnosed in patients around 40-50 years old, and is more frequent in post-menopausal women. Approximately half of all Sjörgen’s patients are also diagnosed with another autoimmune disease at the same time, with some of the most common autoimmune comorbidities being systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroid disease, celiac disease, sarcoidosis, and antiphospholipid syndrome. Besides comorbid autoimmune disease, Sjörgen’s syndrome is said to increase patients’ risk of developing blood cancers, such as non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma.
Conventional Western Medicine Treatment for Sjörgen’s Syndrome
At the time of this writing, the United States FDA has not approved an immunomodulatory pharmaceutical program for Sjörgen’s patients. The current pharmaceutical drugs that are frequently prescribed for Sjörgen’s syndrome include:
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Corticosteroids (such as prednisone and methylprednisolone)
- Immunosuppressive drugs (methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, and others)
- Monoclonal antibody medication Rituxan (rituximab)
- Artificial tears (for dry eyes)
- Medicated eye drops with cyclosporine or lifitegrast
- Saliva-stimulating drugs (pilocarpine, cevimeline, etc.)
- Prescription toothpastes, varnishes, mouthwashes, etc.
Pathogenic Triggers Associated with Sjörgen’s Syndrome
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial infection that affects a significant portion of the population. In fact, approximately 50% of the population in developed countries harbors an H. pylori infection. While not technically symptomatic, because of the spirochete shape of this bacteria and the way that it burrows into the lining of the stomach, it’s common for an H. pylori infection to be misdiagnosed as a wide range of other health problems, including Sjörgen’s syndrome.
Some patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome demonstrate antibodies against H. pylori, suggesting that their bodies have made an effort to combat this infection. Sjörgen’s patients also have a generally higher prevalence of H. pylori infection than in healthy populations. H. pylori infection can cause health problems like those listed below:
- Gastrointestinal pain and discomfort
- Peptic ulcers
- Digestive system cancers
- And more…
Infection with H. pylori has also been associated with the development of the following other autoimmune diseases:
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Chronic idiopathic urticaria
Hepatitis C is a viral liver infection spread through blood-to-blood contact (such as through using contaminated needles, for example). Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) only causes noticeable symptoms in about 20% of people, with about 80% of individuals experiencing little to no symptoms. Some people may even harbor a hepatitis C infection for years, or even decades, without knowing that they’ve been infected. Symptoms of hepatitis C infection can include those listed below:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Weight loss
- Dark-colored urine and/or clay-colored stools
- Mild cognitive problems
In cases where a hepatitis C infection persists over the long term, the untreated infection can lead to the development of chronic diseases, such as Sjörgen’s syndrome, as well as:
- Liver cirrhosis
- Liver cancer
- Lichen planus
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Necrolytic acral erythema
- Diabetes mellitus
- Insulin resistance
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Presence of rheumatoid factor
- Pancreatic cancer
- Diabetic neuropathy
- B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders
- Low platelet counts
- Hyde’s prurigo nodularis
- Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
- Central nervous system disorders
An “occult” infection with hepatitis C, or one that is not able to be perceived through normal testing, but is still present in the liver, may also cause Sjörgen’s syndrome and other autoimmune diseases, including some of those listed above. Notably, however, patients with hepatitis C-caused Sjörgen’s syndrome have somewhat different immunology characteristics than other Sjörgen’s syndrome patients. In patients with HCV-caused Sjörgen’s, the Th2 cytokine is present in higher amounts that the Th1 cytokine, in contrast with other Sjörgen’s patients, who generally have higher levels of Th1 and lower levels of Th2. HCV-caused Sjörgen’s patients also don’t react to anti-RO/SSA antigens and/or anti-La/SSB antigens; non-HCV-caused Sjörgen’s syndrome patients do react to these antigens, however.
Human cytomegalovirus (also known as human betaherpesvirus 5, HHV-5, or HCMV) is a member of the Herpesviridae family of viruses, along with other herpesviruses like the herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, the varicella zoster virus (which causes chickenpox and shingles), and the Epstein-Barr virus. It is usually considered to be transmitted through the exchange of human bodily fluids, and therefore may be transmitted via sexual intercourse, kissing, blood transfusions, breastmilk, or in other similar ways. Infection with human cytomegalovirus in the United States is extremely common, with the infection rate in the population being between 60-90% depending on age group.
Symptoms of a human cytomegalovirus infection include:
- Fever (which is at its highest in the late afternoon or early evening)
- Muscle aches
- Skin rash
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands
Some sources acknowledge that after an initial infection with cytomegalovirus, the virus may reactivate due to impaired immunity or other factors. This may cause an apparent autoimmune reaction like that seen in Sjörgen’s syndrome or other autoimmune diseases. Some studies also indicate that infection with HCMV may damage the salivary glands in some individuals and reduce saliva production overall.
Besides being a potential cause for Sjörgen’s syndrome, human cytomegalovirus has also been associated with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. It has specifically been associated with the development of mucoepidermoid carcinoma, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
Patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome often have a higher number of antibodies against Epstein-Barr Virus, and may also have a higher rate of viral reactivation than the average, healthy person. In other words, a previous infection with the Epstein-Barr virus that was never fully eliminated may “reactivate”, meaning that latent viruses in the person’s body can come alive again and continue replicating, thus causing the symptoms of the viral infection yet again.
Interestingly, like with some of the other infectious pathogens in this article, Epstein-Barr virus is closely associated with various lymphomas, including Burkitt lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and central nervous system lymphomas, among other lymphatic system conditions. It is also associated with the development of systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The Epstein-Barr virus causes infectious mononucleosis. Symptoms of an EBV infection may include the following:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Post-infection chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflamed throat
- Enlarged spleen
- Swollen liver
Reactivation of the EBV may cause symptoms such as those seen in Sjörgen’s syndrome. Some of the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis listed above, like rash, swollen lymph nodes, and inflamed throat in particular, resemble Sjörgen’s syndrome symptoms.
Human T-Lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1)
HTLV-1 is a retrovirus that has also been previously referred to as adult T-cell lymphoma virus type-1. Besides being associated with the development of Sjörgen’s syndrome, HTLV-1 has also been observed in the development of uveitis, Strongyloides stercoralis hyper-infection, adult T-cell lymphoma, HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis, erectile dysfunction, and arthropathy. Approximately 1-5% of HTLV-1 infected patients will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
Some studies have observed that patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome have higher levels of antibodies against HTLV-1 than other healthy individuals. In addition, Sjörgen’s patients may have an increased risk of contracting HTLV-1 than other people. Notably, Sjörgen’s patients carry a significantly higher risk of developing lymphoma or another blood cancer during their lifetime, and similarly, this particular virus is also closely related to the development of lymphoma. HTLV-1 affects the body’s T cells (white blood cells).
Other Pathogenic Triggers for Sjörgen’s Syndrome
Some other pathogens that may trigger the onset of Sjörgen’s syndrome include:
- Staphylococcus saccharolyticus
- Clamydophila psittaci
Alternative Sjörgen’s Syndrome Treatment Methods
Below is a list of medicines that may work to treat Sjörgen’s syndrome:
CDS is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) medicine that works to treat a wide range of health problems caused by pathogens, lack of oxygenation, heavy metal toxicity, and other factors. This medicine may be administered in a variety of different ways to suit each patient’s individual needs for healing. It is able to travel throughout the whole body. When administered in combination with DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide), CDS/MMS can also effectively reach the liver and gallbladder, both of which are organs where infectious pathogens that cause autoimmune disease frequently hide.
Other Reactive Oxygen Species Medicines
If you live in a place where you don’t have access to CDS/MMS, or if you’re unable to get it for some other reason, other medicines that work using similar mechanisms and that may be able to work to cure Sjörgen’s disease safely at home include these:
Vitamin B17 is an essential nutrient for any person suffering from autoimmune disease. Many experts in cancer treatment all (independently of each other) came to the same conclusion that this nutrient is vital for the treatment of cancer. In fact, some of these experts said that cancer is actually a manifestation of vitamin B17 deficiency; therefore, administration of vitamin B17 was able to reverse the cancer within a relatively short period of time. Autoimmune disease and cancer are closely related, and many autoimmune diseases increase the risk of certain cancers. Sjörgen’s syndrome, for example, increases a person’s risk of developing blood cancers. Administration of vitamin B17 can be helpful for the treatment of Sjörgen’s syndrome itself, but can also help dramatically decrease the risk of developing cancer later on.
Unfortunately, vitamin B17 and laetrile are illegal in the United States. After all, if American doctors knew about this medicine are were allowed to administer them to their patients, this one nutrient would completely destroy the cancer industry along with most of the rest of the pharmaceutical industry. Just across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, there are clinics that offer intravenous vitamin B17/laetrile therapy at alternative cancer treatment facilities, and it’s also possible to order vitamin B17 capsules to take back home (rip off the labels and pack them in your checked bag). In the United States and most other places, though, it’s possible to access bitter apricot kernels, which are a high quality source of this nutrient. Eat 5 apricot kernels, 4-5 times per day.
There are a few specific nutrient deficiencies that may predispose a person to developing Sjörgen’s syndrome. Deficiencies in the following nutrients may either cause or aggravate the symptoms of Sjörgen’s syndrome:
Sjörgen’s patients should also note that the vast majority of autoimmune diseases have their root cause in the liver and/or gallbladder, and that problems in either of these organs can severely inhibit a person’s ability to absorb fat soluble nutrients. Deficiencies in fat soluble nutrients may ultimately lead to the development of autoimmune diseases in the first place, or it may aggravate symptoms of an existing condition. In either case, it’s essential to work on improving the health of the liver and gallbladder, and to supplement appropriately with fat soluble nutrients. A supplement with omega-3s, omega-6’s, and omega-9’s, as well as a vitamin K2+D3 supplement, a beta-carotene supplement, and a vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) supplement are recommended.
Detoxification is an essential part of healing from any autoimmune disease, including Sjörgen’s syndrome. Here are some basic steps to start with in order to begin detoxifying your environment and body:
- Remove your mercury fillings
- Replace your personal hygiene and beauty products with natural alternatives
- Receive chelation therapy to remove heavy metals (do this AFTER removing your mercury fillings, if you have them)
- Replace household cleaning products with natural alternatives
- Invest in a quality water filter that removes bromine and fluorine from your water (ideally, get one for both your drinking water and bathing water)
- Eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet (i.e. refined sugar, refined grains, packaged and processed foods, etc.) and increase your consumption of high quality, whole foods
Pancreatic enzymes play an important role in the health of the entire body. While they of course are essential for digestion, after they digest proteins and fats in the intestines, they re enter the bloodstream via intestinal capillaries where they then circulate throughout the body. In the bloodstream, pancreatic enzymes can reach areas of the body that need support by targeting pathogens and cancer cells.
Since many patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome have problems with pancreatic function, supplementing with pancreatic enzymes can make a significant difference. These can also help ensure that digestion runs smoothly, thus ensuring more thorough nutrient absorption. Take an ox bile supplement with your enzymes at every meal to increase the efficacy of both supplements and support gallbladder function.
The Dreamlight: Reprogram Stagnant Thought Patterns to Encourage Faster Self-Healing
Falling into a pattern of self-defeating thoughts when you’re trying to cure Sjörgen’s syndrome can make it more difficult to celebrate victories in your healing process. So much of healing is about one’s state-of-mind, and being able to maintain a balanced and positive perspective of your individual process and health situation at any given time acn make a significant difference in your ability to heal. Some individuals even develop health problems in response to major emotional reactions; medicine models like German New Medicine acknowledge this fact and aim to work not only with the physical aspects of disease, but also with the emotional aspacts.
We developed The Dreamlight in an effort to give people an affordable, accessible, and adaptable way to work with the emotional and mental components of their disease from the comfort of their own home. Visit this link to learn more about how The Dreamlight can help you in your healing journey!
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbal remedies, and other TCM treatments may be able to help individuals suffering from Sjörgen’s syndrome. TCM practitioners are likely to recommend different things to different people (and indeed, even two people with the same conventional western medicine diagnosis may receive different diagnoses according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine), though regular acupuncture sessions in combination with a specially chosen set of herbs or herbal remedies are likely to be involved in the treatment protocol for a person with Sjörgen’s syndrome.
TCM views Sjörgen’s syndrome as being a yin deficiency disease that is intimately connected to the liver and gallbladder. Treatments for Sjörgen’s syndrome using traditional Chinese medicine may involve those that strengthen yin and support, cleanse, and heal the liver and gallbladder. One of the most common herbal remedies for Sjörgen’s syndrome is known as Du Tong Luo Shen Jin Tang, which includes 6 different herbs:
- Oldenlandia diffusa (Bai Hua She She Cao)
- Curcuma zedoaria (E Zhu / Zedoary)
- Astragalus (Sheng Huang Qi)
- Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai / Female Ginseng)
- Paeonia lactiflora (Bai Shao / White Peony)
- Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Shang Gan Cao / Chinese Licorice)
Visit a qualified practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine to get a thorough diagnosis and treatment recommendation.
Alkalinization Protocols for Sjörgen’s Disease
Patients with Sjörgen’s syndrome are more likely to have a lower-than-normal average pH level than other people, meaning that their bodies are more acidic. In times of optimal health, the body is supposed to remain in a somewhat alkaline state; returning the body to this alkaline state can make it inhospitable to viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens, and can also halt and even reverse the progression of cancer and autoimmune disease. Some other medicines on this list, such as CDS/MMS, are made more effective when taken in combination with an alkalinization protocol.
Using high pH therapy to heal disease can be done in a variety of ways. Some of the ways in which a person may increase their pH include:
- Lithium orotate – At least 20mg per day in divided doses
- Cesium therapy
- Rubidium therapy
- Baking soda administration
- Alkaline diet
- Molecular hydrogen therapy
Vibrational therapies work to target pathogens and unhealthy cells living in the body by matching their frequency and making them “explode”. This is an effective yet deceptively simple treatment for Sjörgen’s syndrome as well as other autoimmune diseases. Some especially effective forms of vibrational therapy include Rife therapy and biomagnetism.
Hydroxychloroquine is a pharmaceutical medication that is commonly used as a treatment for Sjörgen’s syndrome. This medication is a derivative of quinine, a natural medicine made from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine has been used for hundreds of years as a malaria prophylactic and treatment, and continues to be an effective treatment for not only malaria, but also for parasitic infections, viral infections, bacterial infections, and more. Since many cases of Sjörgen’s syndrome are likely to be caused by a pathogenic infection, treatment with quinine may ultimately help rid the body of this infection, and over time, cure Sjörgen’s syndrome.
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Bee Venom Therapy / Apitherapy for Sjörgen’s Syndrome
Bee venom therapy, which is otherwise known as apitherapy, is an alternative therapy that has been used to cure a wide range of health problems, including not only Sjörgen’s syndrome, but also chronic, so-called “incurable” diseases like chronic Lyme disease, HIV/AIDS, dementia, and more. Bee venom contains various healing peptides that can help support immune function and also actively target infectious pathogens that may be at the root cause of Sjörgen’s syndrome.
Kambo, a frog venom from the Phyllomedusa bicolor frog, carries similar benefits and may also be able to treat Sjörgen’s syndrome.
Sea Water Supplements
Sea water contains numerous trace minerals that are deficient in the modern diet. Supplementing with sea water not only replenishes a person’s stores of these vital trace minerals, it also can improve hydration and relieve Sjörgen’s symptoms like dry eyes and dry mouth. Read more about the benefits of sea water supplementation at this link.
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