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Sjögren’s Syndrome (pronounced “show-grins”) isn’t normally something to smile about, but with the work of the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation in Maryland and your vehicle donation though Donate A Car there are plenty of things to make anyone grin.
What is Sjögren’s Syndrome?
Sjögren’s Syndrome is a systemic autoimmune disease. That means that it affects the entire body. Some symptom’s that those with Sjögren’s Syndrome include: dry, gritty eyes; dry mouth; difficulty chewing, swallowing, or even talking; a painful, cracked tongue; a dry or burning throat; dry and peeling lips; increased dental decay; joint pain; vaginal dryness; skin dryness; digestive problems; dry nose; and debilitating fatigue.
The extensive dryness of the disease is compounded by lymphomas, neuropathies, major organ involvement and chronic pain. There are over 4 million people in the United States currently suffering with Sjögren’s.
90% of Sjögren’s Syndrome patients are women over 40, but the disease can show up in children, younger women, and men.
There is currently no cure for Sjögren’s Syndrome and it is often misdiagnosed because it affects so many different parts of the body. However, there are treatments available that can improve the quality of life of Sjögren’s patients and it is not fatal.
Treatments often include over-the-counter medications to minimize the dryness that is common to the disease. Eye drops, mouth preparations, nasal sprays and lubrication for vaginal dryness are used, as well as immunosuppressant medicines which help to treat symptoms which manifest themselves in the internal organs.
Often, the symptom of Sjögren’s can be minimized through prevention. Avoid using strong chemicals that can dry the skin. Wear sunscreen to avoid losing moisture through your skin. Utilize moisture barrier lotions and ointment to keep skin hydrated. Take showers in warm water, rather than hot, and avoid using too much soap.
How Your Donation Helps
Your donation helps the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation to meet their goal of shortening the time it takes to diagnose the disease in patients. It currently takes approximately 5 years to combine the observations of a dentist, physician, optometrist, and other health care providers into one complete diagnosis of Sjögren’s. By reducing the diagnosis time, through the work of volunteers, medical professionals, and patient advocates, the amount of suffering on the part of the patient can be greatly reduced. Your donation can make a big difference in the lives of those who live with an often painfully debilitating disease.