DIAGNOSIS OF SJOGREN'S SYNDROME 

 

Sjogren's Syndrome is considered the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disorder.

Many people with auto immune diseases find diagnosis is often delayed for years as the symptoms are misinterpreted or overlooked.

The problem with diagnosis is that it is much easier when the syndrome is more advanced rather than in the early stage. Also if the main presenting symptoms include muscle pain or head aches the dryness, which is important in doctor's minds, can be overlooked.

 

The early stages of Sjogren's Syndrome are often picked up by an opthalmologist (dry eyes, blepharitis, adies tonic) or a dentist (dry mouth, many cavities).

Often, a rheumatologist (a doctor who specialises in diseases of the joints, muscles, and bones) may diagnose the syndrome.

 

Tests for Sjogren's Syndrome

No single test is specific in diagnosing SS.

Schirmer's Test - checks the dryness of the eyes with a simple test using thin paper.

Blood tests that may be required.

ANA test - Antinuclear Antibody test - 40% to 70% of patients with SS have a positive ANA test result. This result supports the diagnosis but is not required for diagnosis. The doctor may want to test for SSA and SSB subsets of ANA. "The frequency of autoantibodies to SSA in patients with Sjögren’s can be 90% or greater if the test is done by enzyme immunoassay. " Lab Tests Online

Autoantibodies are antibodies created by the immune system that attack the body rather than a foreign object.

 

More info on diagnosis:

How To Diagnose And Manage Sjogren's Syndrome (they read it out loud to you) By Lynn M. Petruzzi and Frederick B. Vivino

Classification and diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome-I by Robert Fox, MD, PhD and Paul Creamer, MD

CNN's Health Library

 

 

There are 2 kinds of Sjogren's Syndrome - Primary and Secondary