Sjogren’s Syndrome and Pregnancy
1. Sjogren’s Syndrome and Its Symptoms
It primarily involves the inflammation of tissues and glands of the body. The swelling of the salivary gland usually results to cavities, dental decay, swallowing difficulties, mouth dryness, stones, mouth sores, infection of the parotid gland and mouth inflammation.
According to research, people with Sjogren’s syndrome have deficiency in Omega 3 essential fatty acids, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Aside from the dryness of the mouth and eyes, some patients suffer from symptoms such as swollen parotid glands, recurrent mouth infection, eye discomfort, hoarseness, blurred vision and difficulty in eating and swallowing. It can also cause pain and fatigue which can affect the patient’s quality of life.
2. What Causes Sjogren’s Syndrome
Researchers believe that it can be triggered by getting a viral infection.
What Is An Autoimmune Disease
When we say autoimmune diseases, it refers to the abnormal functioning of the immune system. Instead of helping the body fight against diseases, the immune system tends to attack the organs of the body. In Sjogren’s Syndrome, the immune system attacks the salivary gland which produces saliva, and the lacriminal gland which produces tears. This eventually leads to the dryness of the eyes and mouth.
3. Risk Factors For Sjogren’s Syndrome
Even people diagnosed with rheumatic diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis are at a greater risk of suffering from Sjogren’s Syndrome.
4. Sjogren’s Syndrome in Pregnant Women
Many babies are lost during the course of pregnancy due to this condition. It actually causes the amniotic fluid to be filled with hardened crystal-type particles which can suffocate and kill the developing baby in the uterus.
In rare cases, this autoimmune disease can cause congenital heart block which is characterized by an abnormal heart rhythm or rate in infant. When this happens, doctors usually prescribe corticosteroid medications to reduce the inflammation.
Also, doctors have to carefully monitor the baby’s condition throughout the pregnancy. According to research, congenital heart block sometimes necessitates early delivery. In very rare cases, Sjogren’s syndrome increases the fetus’ risk for heart problems. Also, it heightens the baby’s susceptibility to lupus
5. Treatment Options For Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sucking on glycerine swabs and sugarless lemon drops can also help in inducing the production of saliva. Also, drinking plenty of fluid and getting adequate dental care can help in preventing mouth dryness. Saliva stimulants such as cevimeline and pilocarpine can also help in addressing dry mouth.
Surgery may sometimes be prescribed by doctors in order to seal the tear ducts which drain tears from the eyes. Silicone plugs or collagens are then inserted into the ducts for temporary closure. Eventually, collagen dissolves and silicone plugs are removed. In this case, doctors may recommend laser to seal the ducts permanently.
Midwife sonographer facilitated
Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.