Are there any complications of Sjögren's syndrome?

Rarely, you can develop complications such as:.

•Infection of the salivary glands.

•Corneal ulcers: dry eyes can lead to infection and the development of ulcers on the surface of the eyes. If not treated, this can lead to loss of vision.

•Pancreatitis: this is inflammation of the pancreas gland noticed by severe pain in the upper part of the stomach (abdomen).

•Peripheral neuropathy: this causes loss of sensation in fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, legs.

•Cranial neuropathy: this causes loss of sensation in parts of the face.

•Kidney problems: rarely, Sjögren's syndrome can progress to affect the kidneys. It can cause kidney inflammation, disruption in body fluid balance, kidney stones and, if untreated, kidney failure.

•Pseudolymphoma: 1 in 10 people with Sjögren's syndrome can develop a condition called pseudolymphoma. This causes enlargement of the spleen (an organ in the left upper abdomen that helps the body fight infection and get rid of old red blood cells). It also causes enlargement of the lymph glands throughout the body.

•Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: in 1 in 10 people who develop pseudolymphoma, the pseudolymphoma can progress to a lymphoma, usually non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This is a type of cancer of the lymph glands. It tends to progress very slowly and in some cases may even regress (go away) without any treatment. The first symptom noticed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is usually swelling of the lymph glands, particularly in the neck. If you are diagnosed with Sjögren's syndrome, you should watch for the development of any lumps or swellings in your neck, groin or under your arms and report anything abnormal to your doctor.

•Parotid gland tumours: these may be more common in Sjögren's syndrome. If you notice a hard/firm swelling in either of your parotid glands (located in the cheek area as described above), you should seek an urgent appointment with your doctor.

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Other problems associated with Sjögren's syndrome

•Recurrent miscarriage: Sjögren's syndrome can rarely be the cause of recurrent miscarriage. Recurrent miscarriage is when a woman has three or more miscarriages in a row. This is because of a link between Sjögren's syndrome and a condition called antiphospholipid syndrome.

•Drug reactions: people with Sjögren's syndrome may be more prone to developing side-effects when they take certain drugs - for example, antibiotics.

•Raynaud's phenomenon: the extremities of the body, usually the fingers and toes, change colour and may become painful usually due to exposure to the cold.

2 Replies

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  • Thanks June there is a lot of good info there

  • As a whinging pom who has recently joined your site - this was an interesting read - as I have had infections in the neck from blocked saliva glands... comes on very quickly and required swift help! Mary F

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