Updated: Oct 19
If you’re suffering with dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, or joint or nerve pain and have been wondering what’s actually at the underlying root cause of it, then read this article right to the end. You are going to understand how to assess and address the root causes of your Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms so you can finally be on the path to healing.
In the paragraphs below I’m going to briefly explain three intertwined body systems that can become dysfunctional, especially in many women around their menopause, that if assessed and addressed with a unified holistic approach, can really lead to significant and sustained improvements to these symptoms.
The Immune System
The first body system that can become dysfunctional and cause many of the symptoms you may be experiencing is, unsurprisingly perhaps, the immune system. Sjogren’s Syndrome is afterall an autoimmune disease, implying a dysfunction in the immune system. What we’re really interested in, though, is what’s causing this immune dysfunction.
The immune system can become dysfunctional for many reasons, but the three most important ones when it comes to Sjogren’s are:
Deficiencies or insufficiencies of a wide ranges of nutrients
A leaky or permeable gut wall, which causes chronic inflammation beyond the gut as well as an imbalanced immune response over time
Chronic or reactivated viral infections, and in the case of Sjogren’s syndrome, Epstein Barr virus is one of the main culprits.
When assessed and addressed thoroughly, all of these sources of immune system dysfunction can be dealt with effectively, leading to significantly reduced Sjogren’s symptoms
The Endocrine/Hormonal System
The second body system that, in many ways, can really lay the foundations for developing Sjogren’s Syndrome, is the hormonal, or endocrine system. Firstly, the sex hormones, and especially androgens, actually play a role in tear production and vaginal hydration. These hormones not only decrease significantly around menopause, but imbalances between the various sex hormones can also play a significant role with eyes, mouth, vaginal dryness, and fatigue, for example.
Secondly, thyroid hormones can very often be low, and this can contribute to issues like constipation, fatigue, and more.
Thirdly, adrenal hormones are also very often low in Sjogren’s Syndrome. This leads to fatigue, a decreased tolerance to stress, reduced tear, and saliva production - which are inhibited during stress - as well as immune and many other metabolic disruptions.
All of these interconnected hormonal dysfunctions are majorly impacted by diet, nutrition, and lifestyle factors. And when assessed effectively, the can also be addressed effectively.
The Nervous System
Lastly, nervous system dysfunctions play a huge role in the development and progression of Sjogren’s Syndrome and its symptoms. The scene for nervous system dysfunctions can be set very early on in life, starting with trauma and instability during childhood and adolescence, through to the grief of losing a loved one, or prolonged stress, in later adulthood.
Because a very important part of our nervous system resides in our gut, creating what’s known as the gut-brain axis, this means that many aspects of our mood, our fears, and joys can actually be affected by what’s going on in our gut.
Also, because it’s the nervous system that actually activates the tear and saliva producing glands, imbalances between the various arms of the nervous system can have profound effects on the function of these glands.
These nervous system dysfunctions can often be effectively addressed with various lifestyle, nutritional, and other natural therapeutics. In order to do this, though, they need to be looked at and addressed alongside those other underlying dysfunctions that are so commonly at the roots of Sjogren’s syndrome.
While there are additional important factors that can contribute to the development of Sjogren's syndrome than what is covered in this article, nevertheless, diet and lifestyle factors can have a very significant effect on the progression and severity of the symptoms in any event.
In order to get the best results a personalised approach is essential, both in assessing as well as addressing the underlying issues. No two people's underying issues are the same, therefore the treatment approach will inevitably be individual.
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