Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder (much like arthritis or lupus) that characteristically attacks the mucous membranes and results in symptoms of dry mouth and sore, dry eyes. Typically, Sjogren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) affects more women than men and emerges after the age of 40.
Natural remedies for Sjorgren’s syndrome involve phytotherapy (aka medical herbalism), which is a medical practice supported by scientific research but applies a more traditional approach using medicinal herbs. Since Sjogren’s causes dryness of the eyes and mouth, certain common foods and herbs like ginger, apples, chamomile, and cucumber contain elements that help produce fluids the body needs.
5 Natural Remedies for Sjorgen’s
Apples are one of the most effective home remedies to alleviate Sjogren’s symptoms. The vitamin C and anti-oxidant properties of apples boost the body’s immunity, important to Sjogren’s patients.
This fruit’s best-known benefit is aiding dental care, which explains why it is a recommended natural remedy for the disease. Consuming an apple stimulates the secretion of saliva, an alkaline compound, triggering its antibacterial properties. The apple pulp, which contains fiber, cleanses the teeth and gums.
Sjogren’s syndrome also affects the eyes and an apple’s antioxidant phytonutrients and flavonoid compounds lowers the impact of free radicals in the eyes, which leads to the prevention of eye diseases and macular degeneration.
Chamomile, a medicinal herb, has components that boost immunity, which makes it on the list of Sjogren’s syndrome’s natural remedies. The tea’s phenolic compounds can prevent infections and strengthen the immune system.
Cucumber has always been associated with helping with weight loss. But it also has qualities that can qualify it as one of the natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome. The topical use of cucumber slices to help relieve puffy eyes is not just for aesthetic purposes. This regular habit can also help prevent dryness associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome as a cucumber is not only hydrating but also extremely cooling to the eyes.
Ginger is among the plants with the most medicinal benefits. It’s been used as a hot drink to cure gingivitis, periodontitis, and even sore throats. Ginger’s bioactive compound called gingerol has potent anti-inflammatory effects that can help ease the dryness of the mouth. Additionally, ginger can impede the development of many types of bacteria and bacteria is one of the causes of Sjogren’s syndrome.
5. Green Tea
Green tea often comes out on top of the natural remedies for Sjorgren’s syndrome. There have been known benefits of green tea such as aiding in losing weight and helps in the prevention of eye disease and protects the vision. From the research conducted by the medical researchers of the Medical College of Georgia, the EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) component of the plant helps prevent inflammation. They also found out that the group treated with green tea extract experienced less damage in the salivary glands than the group given with water treatment.
What Causes Sjogren’s Syndrome?
The cause or causes of Sjogren’s syndrome remains unknown in spite of the medical breakthroughs.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder which means that the immune system mistakenly attacks your body’s own cells and tissues. Some health professionals point to genetics as a risk factor for the disease. The disease is known to specifically target the glands that produce body fluids, such as tears and saliva.
Age is included as one of the significant risk factors for Sjogren’s together with age. The incidence of the disease usually happens to women over the age of 40. However, professionals don’t discount the possibility of suffering from it at any age.
Common Symptoms and signs of Sjogren’s
Because Sjogren’s affects multiple organ systems, signs and symptoms besides dry mouth and dry eyes include:
Chronic Oral Yeast Infections
Chronic Dry Cough
Extreme Sensitivity to Cold
Numbness, tingling and burning pain in the feet and hands
Loss of Taste or Changes to Taste
Enlarged Parotid Glands
The disease was named after Dr. Henrik Sjögren, a Swedish ophthalmologist who identified it in 1933 after determining that a number of his female patients had dry mouth and eyes, two common symptoms of the disorder.
One of the most common complications of Sjogren’s Syndrome is dental cavities because the salivary glands are unable to secrete saliva. Saliva helps protect against periodontal disease and decay. Teeth are continuously covered with a layer of saliva. Saliva has antimicrobial agents which help kill bacteria in the mouth.
Two more common symptoms of Sjogren’s are corneal damage since the eyes can’t produce tears, and yeast infections, either on the vagina or the mouth.
Even though Sjogren’s is one of the three most common autoimmune disorders, it is often missed by doctors. According to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, it may take up to three years to get a correct diagnosis of this condition. Only through blood tests can the disease can be diagnosed appropriately. 1
Physicians diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome through sialogram, an X-ray that will help show the amount of saliva is produced. The salivary scintigraphy is a nuclear medicine test that tracks how fast the injected radioactive stope can reach the salivary glands.
Even if it usually affects two organs of the body — mouth and eyes — Sjogren’s affects the entire body. Initially, patients will experience mild discomfort but as it progresses, it can be debilitating and may change day-to-day life.
While genes are a risk factor, prevention and early detection could help in avoiding the some of the most severe effects of the disease. It can damage other parts of the body such as joints, kidneys, liver, lungs, nerves, skin, and thyroid.
Because the leading cause of Sjogren’s remains unknown, holistic treatment is usually about relieving the symptoms.
Continue reading below to learn which natural remedies have helped Earth Clinic readers over the years!