Pronounced “SHU-grens” (with a “U” as in “push”), this is an auto-immune disease that mainly causes dry eyes and dry mouth. Many patients have only these symptoms. But others have more general illness, including joint pains, skin rashes, muscle aches, lung conditions, tingling in feet from nerve damage (neuropathy), and more.
Diagnosis is suspected by blood tests for certain antibodies called anti-SSA/Ro, anti-SSB, and the ANA. If these are suspicious, especially the first two, a rheumatologist may order a biopsy of salivary glands in the mouth (which make saliva). There are various treatments, especially for patients with more complicated symptoms.