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  • Marlo Rapp

Living with Sjögren’s Syndrome, and How Acupuncture Can Help

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

  • Dry cough and hoarseness

  • Dry lips

  • Dry eyes

  • Dry skin

  • Dry or chalky feeling in mouth

  • Burning mouth syndrome

  • Eyes that feel gritty, itch or burn

  • Mouth sores

  • Gum disease

  • Cavities and tooth decay

  • Loss of taste

  • Swollen salivary glands

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Heartburn

  • Joint pain, stiffness, or swelling

  • Muscle pain and/or weakness

  • Skin rashes

  • Chronic or prolonged fatigue

  • Lung inflammation

  • Symptoms associated with Raynaud’s

  • Symptoms associated with Hashimotos

These are the symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome, one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases in the U.S.

It is estimated that 7,000,000 people have it, although only 4,000,000 have actually been identified as it can be very difficult to diagnose.

90% of the cases are women, and symptoms and severity can vary greatly.

Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the immune system mistakenly attacking the body. In the case of Sjögren’s syndrome, white blood cells attack is the healthy tissues and cells, specifically in the moisture-producing glands. This leads to the symptoms of dry eyes, mouth, skin, and/or lips. If it worsens, the attack can spread to the joints, nerves, soft tissue, and some organs as well.

While this disorder goes into remission for some, and symptoms may come and go for others, some people may experience more serious complications such as cystic lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, lymphoma, interstitial lung disease, lymphoma, vision problems, and organ function. Sjogren’s may also co-occur with other autoimmune diseases; unfortunately this is the case with roughly 50% sufferers.

Some potential risk factors for Sjogren’s syndrome include:

  • Being over the age of 50

  • Being female

  • Family members with autoimmune disease

  • Lupus

  • Raynaud’s disease

  • Scleroderma

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Hashimoto’s disease

  • Certain genetic markers

Unfortunately, like most autoimmune disorders, there is currently no cure. That said, there are ways to manage symptoms, prevent further development, and even promote remission! Many people are able to live a very high quality, normal and health life.

One study examining the use of acupuncture for dry eye symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome found that participants who received acupuncture in conjunction with lubricating eye drops had a 23% higher rate of improvement than patients who only received drops. Stress management is also important for people suffering from autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s. This is an area where acupuncture excels. Additionally, acupuncture was associated with increased tear production, as well as slower evaporation of tears. Other research found that acupuncture was associated with decreased use of artificial tears in the longterm. Acupuncture has also been found to improve dry mouth by boosting blood flow, which in turn increases salivary flow. Sipping bone broth throughout the day may also improve dry mouth while also potentially helping symptoms of GERD, relieving inflammation, and supporting healthy joints and skin.

Contact us to schedule a consultation!

Four Seasons Acupuncture in Hot Springs Arkansas

Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, cupping, injection therapy, moxibustion, tuina, nutritional therapy, TCM, and more!

We are located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, just minutes from Red Oak, AR, Price, AR, Lake Hamilton, AR, Pleasant Hill, AR, and Malvern, AR.

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