Fatigue in Sjogren's Syndrome

Fatigue is one of the most difficult symptoms in SS to manage

Treatment suggestions: The number 1 treatment option for fatigue in Sjogren's is EXERCISE. I know this sounds the opposite to what we would think (and feel). 

The importance of any exercise program is to start slowly and to gradually increase physical activity.

People who can help you with exercise include:

  • a doctor specialized in rehabilitation
  • an exercise physiologist or exercise therapist
  • a physiotherapist with interest in rehabilitation
  • community based exercise program tailored to individuals
  • a hydrotherapy program
  • tai chi instructor
  • pilates instructor
Fatigue in primary Sjögren's syndrome is associated with lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines.
"Our study demonstrates that patients with pSS with higher levels of fatigue had lower levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IP-10, TNF-α, LT-α and IFN-γ than patients with pSS with low levels of fatigue. It should be noted, however, that the serum levels of many cytokines among even the fatigued participants with pSS were still higher than non-fatigued healthy individuals." Read Original article


There is central fatigue associated with weariness - a worn out feeling. 

This is difficult to treat and can only be 'coped with' - strategies include a period of rest in the afternoon, no late nights, regular sleep time. 

Fatigue affects approximately 50% of patients with Sjögren's syndrome but is often brought on by hypothyroidismfibromyalgia, lymphoma, or underlying depression.

There is peripheral fatigue which can be due to inflammation of the muscles.

Genetic Determinants of Fatigue in Primary Sjögren`s Syndrome – a Genome Wide Association Study


Fatigue is common in primary Sjögren`s syndrome (pSS), but what leads to that fatigue is not fully understood. They hypothesized that there is a genetic basis for fatigue, and that specific gene-variants influence the severity of fatigue.

To investigate this further they performed a genome wide association study of 367 Scandinavian pSS patients. 

They identified genetic variants in RTP4 exceeding the GWS level for association with fatigue. This gene encodes a protein involved in pain processing. Pain is known to influence fatigue, and this finding could point to a possible molecular explanation. ​​​​​​​

The present study is the largest GWAS of fatigue in autoimmune disease, and adds further evidence to a genetic regulation of fatigue.

Read Full Article here.