Your doctor may suggest the following strategies and treatments:
Try to limit or avoid coffee, alcohol, and nicotine because they can irritate and dry out your mouth, and use a lip balm to prevent dry or chapped lips.
Related: 9 ways to deal with dry eyes
If you’re experiencing digestive symptoms, talk to a rheumatologist and dietitian to determine which foods to avoid and what to include in your diet to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need. Sometimes this requires keeping what’s called a food diary, where you record what you eat and try to relate that to your symptoms.
- Mild pain relievers for muscles and joints These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Choline agonists Your doctor may prescribe these medications, which help stimulate secretions in the body, to help produce more tears and saliva.
- Vaginal dryness treatments Doctors may recommend over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers or prescription estrogens (in cream, ring, or tablet form) to those who may be experiencing vaginal dryness.
- steroids, such as predzone, To treat bouts of symptoms such as joint pain or rashes While prednisone (Deltasone) and other steroids are effective in reducing inflammation, they have side effects—such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis—that are associated with higher doses and long-term use.
- Immunosuppressive drugs for joint pain. These drugs, as their name suggests, suppress an overactive immune system. Your doctor may initially prescribe hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil); Methotrexate may then be considered. In more severe cases of Sjögren’s disease, in which organs are affected, doctors may prescribe stronger immunosuppressants, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) and rituximab.
Alternative and complementary therapies
- Acupuncture for dry eyes A review of studies found that acupuncture was more effective than artificial tears in treating dry eye syndrome.
- Paraffin bath Applying moist heat to your hands and wrists in the morning by immersing them in warm wax may help relieve stiffness.
- Light exercises Tai chi, yoga and dance can help strengthen muscles and maintain range of motion.
- Nutritional supplements Some research has suggested that omega-3 supplements may help improve symptoms associated with dry eyes.
Sjogren’s prevention“s syndrome
There is no known way to prevent Sjogren’s syndrome, but there are treatments and measures you can take to relieve symptoms such as dry eyes and mouth, and joint pain.