Fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with primary Sjögren’s syndrome, linked to severe depression

By: Devon Andre | Fibromyalgia | Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 11:30 AM

Fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with primary Sjögren’s syndromeFibromyalgia symptoms overlapping with primary Sjögren’s syndrome is linked to severe depression. Sjögren’s syndrome begins with symptoms such as dry eyes and dry mouth, as it affects the salivary glands. Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease, whereas the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. The analysis conducted on Sjögren’s syndrome patients uncovered a high prevalence of fibromyalgia – at least in 30 percent of patients – and found much overlap between the two conditions.

The researchers looked at 100 patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome to identify the fibromyalgia comorbidity.

Sjögren’s syndrome patients may not only experience dry eyes and mouth, but also joint inflammation, muscle inflammation, nerve inflammation, thyroid issues, kidney inflammation, and inflammation in other parts of the body as well. Fibromyalgia contributes to chronic pain, which can impact a person mentally, physically, and socially.

Symptomatically speaking, fibromyalgia can mimic many other arthritic conditions and is also known as a rheumatic condition, affecting joints and soft tissues. Patients living with fibromyalgia may experience headache, fatigue, sleep disturbances, tender points, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual periods, numbness or tingling of extremities, restless leg syndrome, and sensitivity to temperature changes, noises, and bright light.

The likelihood of experiencing a coexisting condition with fibromyalgia is quite high.

It’s important to distinguish between fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s syndrome as both conditions require unique forms of treatment and, in fact, some treatments for fibromyalgia can actually worsen Sjögren’s syndrome, and vice versa. Both conditions can be difficult to diagnose, because pain and fatigue are staple symptoms for numerous health conditions, so ruling out other conditions can help narrow in on a diagnosis.

The Korean study found fibromyalgia in 31 percent of Sjögren’s syndrome cases, which leads to a conclusion that the fibromyalgia prevalence is quite high in Sjögren’s syndrome.

Fibromyalgia and its association with Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes extreme dryness all over the body. The moisture-producing glands are attacked by the immune system, thus contributing to dryness. This dryness can make everyday living quite uncomfortable.

Sjögren’s syndrome may accompany a connective tissue disease, and this is how it could be related to fibromyalgia. Between 35 and 50 percent of fibromyalgia patients also have Sjögren’s syndrome, and the discomfort of Sjögren’s syndrome can make further exacerbate living with fibromyalgia.

Speak to your doctor about treating both fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s syndrome because, as mentioned, some treatments for one condition may negatively affect the other.

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