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Sjögren's Syndrome Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

The syndrome occurs by itself or can, and often does, occur with other autoimmune diseases such as lupus, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and other lesser known rheumatic autoimmune diseases. Sjögren's syndrome can affect both men and women at any age; however, the majority of patients are women, and the onset is most common in middle age or older.

In Sjögren's syndrome the immune system produces lymphocytes (white blood cells) which produce self-reactive proteins (autoantibodies) which attack the tear, salivary, vagina, and rarely other moisture-producing glands thus destroying the gland's ability to produce moisture. Many parts of the body can be affected by Sjogren's syndrome, such as the lungs, brain, nerves, joints, kidneys, thyroid, and liver. In the majority of cases however, the autoimmune response is confined to the tear ducts, salivary glands, and vagina.

Most commonly symptoms include dryness of the eyes, mouth, and vagina although pain in other affected organs may also be present: lungs, joints, kidneys, and liver.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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