How Do Doctors Diagnose Sjogren's Syndrome?


Quick Answer

Doctors diagnose Sjogren's syndrome through several tests including a test for tear production, imaging tests of the salivary glands, blood tests and biopsies of lip tissue, Mayo Clinic says. The imaging tests can include a sialogram, where doctors use an X-ray to detect the movement of dye they inject into the salivary glands in front of the ears, or salivary scintigraphy, which detects how quickly a radioactive isotope moves from the blood into the salivary glands.

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Full Answer

Sjogren's syndrome is a condition where the body's immune system attacks its own mucous membranes, salivary glands and tear ducts, Mayo Clinic explains. Its identifying symptoms include dry eyes and dry mouth. It can lead to complications such as oral thrush, vision problems and dental cavities. It often appears alongside autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Sjogren's syndrome appears much more commonly in women than in men and is most common after the age of 40, says Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms often associated with Sjogren's syndrome include vaginal dryness, prolonged fatigue, joint inflammation, swollen salivary glands and dry skin. As the disease progresses, it can also attack the thyroid gland, liver, skin, joints or kidneys. It can also affect the lungs and nerves.

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