|About Sjögren's Syndrome|
Early diagnosis and treatment are important for preventing complications. Unfortunately, reaching a diagnosis can often be difficult and has been found to take an average of 4.7 years from the onset of symptoms.
Sjögren’s symptoms frequently overlap with or “mimic” those of other diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Dryness can also occur for other reasons, such as a side effect of medications such as anti-depressants and high blood pressure medication.
There is no single test that will confirm diagnosis. Rheumatologists have primary responsibility for diagnosing and managing Sjögren’s and can conduct a series of tests and ask about symptoms. An international group of experts formulated classification criteria for Sjögren’s which help doctors arrive at a diagnosis. These criteria consider dryness symptoms, changes in salivary (mouth) and lacrimal (eye) gland function, and systemic (whole body) findings.
Blood tests your physician may perform include:
The ophthalmologic (eye) tests include:
The dental tests include:
Your physician will consider the results of these tests along with your physical examination to arrive at a final diagnosis. Further research is being conducted to refine the diagnostic criteria for Sjögren’s and to help make diagnosis easier and more accurate.