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What causes sjogrens syndrome

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by heapsreal, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    My optometrist said i possibly had sjogrens especially after i told her about my viral history and high lymphocytes. This was after telling her about my red eyes and inflammation etc and how antibiotics have helped which she said sometimes bacteria get caught in tear ducts etc so abx would help there. I think its the horse or cart thing going on my self but a quick google i found this which was interesting about ebv and lymphocytes etc.

    III. WHAT CAUSES SJGREN'S SYNDROME

    Salivary glands that produce saliva exist in "grape-like" clusters. There are no or few lymphocytes in the normal salivary gland but are present in Sjogren's syndrome. Lymphocytes are part of the immune system that normally protect us from infection and tumors. When they appear to attack our own tissues (as in Sjgren's syndrome, systemic lupus, or in rheumatoid arthritis), the term "autoimmunity" is used. Lymphocytes originate in the bone marrow. Two types of lymphocytes, termed "T cells" and "B cells" are responsible for mediating immune reactions. The T cells migrate from the bone marrow to the thymus (thus the term T cell) where they mature and then exit into their peripheral circulation. B cells migrate to particular regions in the lymph nodes where they mature; in birds, where this process was first studied, the site of maturation is the Bursa of Fabricius (thus the term, B cell). B cells make antibodies, while T cells regulate this production. "T-helper" cells promote antibody formation and "T-suppressor" cells inhibit the B cells. Other T cells can directly kill viral-infected and cancer-transformed cells (the so-called T-cytotoxic cells). The entire lymphoid system is precisely regulated, largely by messenger molecules that instruct cells to "turn on" or "turn off." Autoimmunity, the excessive reaction against one's own tissues, then results from a failure of the normal regulation of T cells and B cells. This may be due either to an excessive production of helper signals or a failure to respond to suppressor signals. As a consequence, lymphocytes infiltrate the tissues and attack normal cellular structures.

    The initial trigger that sets off the autoimmune events remains unknown. Circumstantial evidence suggests that a virus is involved. One possible candidate is the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes infectious mononucleosis, a condition characterized by swollen salivary glands, joint aches and fatigue. Virtually all adults have been infected with EBV by age 20 years. After the initial infection, this virus normally resides in the salivary glands for life but causes no problems. We and others have speculated that this virus (or a closely-related virus) may trigger an autoimmune response in genetically susceptible individuals. It needs to be emphasized that there is no direct proof that EBV plays a significant role in Sjgren's syndrome. This is simply one hypothesis and experiments are currently in progress to determine its potential role. Also, Sjgren's syndrome is different from the "chronic fatigue syndrome" or the "chronic EBV syndrome." Patients with Sjgren's syndrome have characteristic abnormalities in the blood tests and salivary gland biopsies that are absent in other syndromes.

    It is thought that an as yet unknown infectious agent damages the salivary gland and attracts the "immune" lymphocytes into the salivary gland. These lymphocytes release specific autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor (RF) and antinuclear antibodies; antibodies are directed against proteins termed Sjgren's-associated antigens A and B (or SS-A and SS-B). These antibodies can enter the bloodstream and are measured in the blood tests that we obtain to confirm the diagnosis of Sjgren's syndrome. Additional T cells enter the gland and the damage is perpetuated. Under normal circumstances, a class of cells called "suppressor cells" turn off the inflammatory process. The continued destruction of the gland represents the abnormal balance of excessive action of T-helper cells and deficient action of T-suppressor cells.

    There has been a great deal of research to determine hereditary factors associated with Sjgren's syndrome. To summarize these complicated studies, hereditary factors are important. Particular genes (such as human leukocyte antigen or HLA genes) are inherited in the same manner from parents as are genes for hair color or eye color; that is, one gene from each parent. The HLA genes are important in controlling the immune response and many current research studies are trying to determine exactly how they perform this task. A specific gene named HLA-DR3 is found in high frequency in Caucasian patients with primary Sjgren's syndrome. In different ethnic backgrounds, different HLA genes are associated with Sjgren's. In addition to HLA, at least four other genes are involved. Although the relative frequency of Sjgren's or lupus is slightly increased in family members of Sjgren's syndrome patients, the specific risk that children or siblings will get these diseases remains very low (<10%). In addition to genetic factors, environmental factors also play a role. It has been proposed that viral infection represents the "other factor," and that Sjgren's syndrome disease results when a genetically susceptible individual (possessing HLA-DR3) is exposed to a certain virus or viruses.

    This is the link i got it from http://www.myalgia.com/sjogrens.htm

    cheers!!!
  2. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    I had Sjogren's antibodies at one time, but not enough to be conclusive. I started reading a little bit about it. One of the theories was that having a long term STD such as undiagnosed chlamydia or getting the same STD more than once triggered Sjogren's. If that is true, perhaps viruses like XMRV could trigger Sjogren's also.

    Try Restasis. It works good for the eye redness and inflammation and you only have to use it twice a day. When I use the store bought drops, I have to constantly use them all day long and they don't do much for imflammation.
  3. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    very interesting, heaps, thanks

    Calabrese LH, Davis ME, Wilke WS. "Chronic fatigue syndrome and a disorder resembling Sjgren's syndrome: preliminary report." Clin Infect Dis. 1994 Jan;18 Suppl 1:S28-31. PMID: 8148449

    This paper says many PWME have abnormal salivary gland biopsies, even though not having the same antibodies as in Sjogrens.
  4. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Mya thanks for the tip but can u tell me what restasis is, maybe a different name in australia. is it a long life eye lubricant? like u say the other eye drops just dont last long.

    cheers!!!
  5. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    Tucson
    Restasis is cyclosporine in an eye drop. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant drug that I've always primarily associated with use after organ transplant. The idea of using it for chronic dry eye kind of threw me for a loop when I first heard of it... seemed a bit extreme. But it has become quite commonly prescribed apparently, without a huge outbreak of increased eye infections or cancers, apparently. In fact, perhaps I should try it; my dry eyes have gotten quite annoying and painful living in Tucson.
  6. valentinelynx

    valentinelynx Senior Member

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    "Mya thanks for the tip but can u tell me what restasis is, maybe a different name in australia..."

    Heapsreal, I tried to find out if Restasis is available in Australia. It looks like it is not directly available, but that people are obtaining it from the U.S. with the help of some ophthalmologists. Got this by Googling "Restasis availability Australia." Good luck.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    4rx.com sell them quite cheap and worth a try, http://www.4rx.com/online-pharmacy/categories/eye-care/generic-restasis.html
  8. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Heapsreal, I also have had severe problems with my eyes... suspected Sjogren's for years. i also get Thygeson's superficial punctate keratopathy (keratins on my eye ball) quite frequently, which usually follows periods of inflammation and grittiness. Surprise, surprise, they don't know what causes it, but a viral cause is suspected.

    Successfully treated it with prednisone, also a immunosuppressant. But is a corticosteroid and I am reluctant to overuse it. So I would be interested to see how you go with the restasis. I am also wondering if it is safer to use than the prednisone.
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    im not sure what im going to do yet, the restasis i will have to talk over with my doc as i also think i have bacterial infections going as abx doxycyline helps. As for prednisone, maybe just using it for 2 days when things get really bad would be ok. these short periods of use require no tappering down as they havent shut down natural cortisol production within such a short time. Im going to try gel type lubricant eye drop and see how things go. I am reluctant with immune suppressant as im on antivirals for viral reactivation, maybe i might try a higher dose of doxy in combo with the gel eye drops and see first. I also think sjogrens is whats effecting my joints as the creeek and grone, anti-oxidants have helped but far off the mark, the only thing that helped was pregnenolone which encourages your body to make more cortisol, i felt great on it for a few days with lots of energy, joints felt great, even eyes cleared up but then after a few days started gget way to wired from it, angry etc and couldnt sleep, maybe need to look into that more.

    cheers!!!
  10. merylg

    merylg Senior Member

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    Have just been reading about the research that the Garvan Institute in Australia is doing on Sjogrens Syndrome:
    (From: http://www.garvan.org.au/research/our-work/sjogrens-syndrome )

    " What research is Garvan conducting in this area?

    Recently, Garvan researchers identified sub-forms of Sjgrens syndrome that are triggered by mechanisms that to date have been thought to have little to do with this disease. Sjgrens syndrome is believed to be caused by improper regulation of two immune cell types, T and B cells, which comprise the adaptive half of the immune system that responds specifically to antigens (foreign substances). Indeed, in many patients this is the case.
    Garvans scientists have shown that many patients suffering from Sjgrens syndrome have high levels of something called B cell-activating factor (BAFF) in their blood serum, as well as locally in their glands. BAFF plays a critical role in B cell survival and immune responses. We have now demonstrated that high levels of BAFF enable B cells to progress the disease without the help of T cells, which was previously thought to be essential for the development of Sjgrens syndrome. This is an important breakthrough that will allow Garvan scientists to develop a new generation of therapeutic agents for Sjgrens syndrome that specifically target auto-reactive B cells. Patients who have this form of the disease will then be able to trial more tailored and effective treatments."

    Another interesting link:

    http://www.garvan.org.au/news-event...ype-1-diabetes-and-sjogren2019s-syndrome.html
  11. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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  12. merylg

    merylg Senior Member

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    Hi Countrygirl,

    Thanks for those links. They seem to imply that a retrovirus "might" play a pathogenic role "in a subset" of patients with Sjogren's Syndrome.
  13. merylg

    merylg Senior Member

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  14. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Interesting, i have tested neg to sjog, but the Schirmer test strips i tested positive to dry eyes. Also positive to ebv and cmv herpes viruses. Doesnt seem to matter how much eye lubricant i use they are red, the red eye drops are the only thing that seem to help.

    cheers!!!
  15. SaraM

    SaraM Senior Member

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    I have had a white tongue and dry gritty eyes for the last few months, which I guess is related to estrogen dominance, and low progesterone. I am now waiting for the arimidex I ordered from 4rx.com. My progesterone to estrogen ratio is just 3, when the normal range is 20 - 200 depending on the week the blood is drawn if you are a woman.
  16. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Would u possibly be better off with increasing progesterone?? I suppose it depends on progesterone levels if already within normal range and E2 above range??

    cheers!!!
  17. SaraM

    SaraM Senior Member

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    Hi Heapsreal,
    I have been using Progesterone cream and Prometrium tabs with varying results. I wanted to give arimidex a try to see if it can help with issues like a little weight gain or muscle pain. I am going to use just 0.5 mg arimidex/week, and do a blood test after taking it for a few weeks.
  18. Annesse

    Annesse Senior Member

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    Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are challenging the current understanding that Sjogren's stems from the autoimmune driven destruction of the exocrine glands. They believe Sjogren's is caused by a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. Secretion of saliva is under control of the autonomic nervous system, which controls both the volume and type of saliva secreted. Here is the info on the study to be conducted. http://clinicaltrialsfeeds.org/clinical-trials/show/NCT00565526

    Here is an additional study that found autonomic dysfunction in Sjogren's.

    http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/6/914.full

    Also, studies show Sjogren's patients lack B12. B12 is necessary to make acetylcholine-one of the neurotransmitters that regulates the autonomic nervous system. Here is one. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20144108

    Here is a study that shows that 25% of Sjogren's patients have low B12. Low iron was found in 51%.
    If Sjogren's is caused by dysautonomia, then we would expect Sjogren's patients to have a higher risk of developing thyroid problems, since both of the thyroid hormones are derived from tyrosine. (Adrenaline is also derived from tyrosine and is the other neurotransmitter that regulates the autonomic nervous system.) The study found that 30% of the patients had Hashimoto's.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11495189

    Also, 85% had rheumatoid factor. Rheumatoid factor is currently defined as an autoantibody directed against an organism's own tissues. These antibody's join to form immune complexes. These are the same immune complexes found in lupus for instance. Here is a picture of one.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100503161423.htm

    Actually, what the immune system is targeting is unbroken down bits of DNA and proteins, because of the lack of pancreatic enzymes called proteases as stated in the study.
    Snow Leopard likes this.
  19. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Senior Member

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  20. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    consider spreading your dose into minimum twice a week to get more even blood levels like .25mg mon and thurd to give u a total dose of .5mg for the week. Tablets are small so maybe cut them in half then crush it and halve the powder and put it in own capsules.

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