Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and dysfunction of the moisture-secreting glands of the eyes and mouth. People with the condition have decreased tears and saliva, resulting in dry eyes and a dry mouth. The syndrome often occurs alongside other immune system disorders, such as arthritis and lupus. There are various causes and women over 40 are the most likely to develop the condition.
An autoimmune disorder is when your immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s cells and tissues— in this case, it attacks the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands in the eyes and mouth.
There is no known cause of Sjogren’s syndrome, although this condition does seem to have a genetic factor. If a person in your family has another type of autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, you may have a higher risk of developing Sjogren’s syndrome. Experts believe that this condition may be triggered by a combination of genetic, hormonal, environmental, and other factors. Also, most patients diagnosed with this condition are female.
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