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Sjogren's Syndrome

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Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack the glands that maintain moisture in your body, such as saliva and tears. The main symptoms are dry mouth and dry eyes, but it can also cause dryness of the skin, nose, throat, and vagina.

Sjogren’s syndrome also a rheumatic disease, which affects your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and it can cause swelling, pain, and can limit your range of motion. Additionally, Sjogren’s syndrome can involve blood vessels, digestive organs, kidneys, lungs, and nerves.

Sjogren’s syndrome can occur at any age, but it mostly affects women over 40. It often occurs along with other immune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Symptoms may include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Dry mouth, which can cause mouth infections and affect swallowing, speaking, and tasting
  • Skin problems, including dryness and rashes
  • Chronic dry cough
  • Thyroid problems
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Numbness and tingling in your arms and legs
  • Fatigue
  • Vaginal dryness

Rheumatologists at University of Miami Health System offer expert care to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. With locations throughout South Florida, you can get personalized treatment that's close to home.

Why Choose UHealth?

The latest treatments for Sjogren’s syndrome. Our rheumatologists are also researchers, so you get care from specialists on the leading edge of autoimmune and rheumatic disease care. You get the latest approaches from an experienced team.

Comprehensive care from a team of specialists. Sjogren’s syndrome affects many areas of your body, so our rheumatologists work with doctors from a full range of medical specialties to give you complete care. You get comprehensive, coordinated care from dermatologists, gastroenterologists, cardiovascular specialists, pulmonologists (lung diseases), nephrologists (kidney diseases), orthopedic doctors, and others as needed.

Specialized care to improve your quality of life. Your team will educate you about caring for your eyes and mouth, protecting your voice, and avoiding medicines or other substances that make symptoms worse. We make sure you have the support and resources you need to relieve symptoms and improve your well-being.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.

Treatments

  • Eye Care

    Doctors use a variety of approaches to treat dry eyes, including drops and ointments to increase or retain moisture, and medicines to reduce swelling and irritation.

  • Medicines

    Doctors use a variety of medicines to treat Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms, including:

    • Corticosteroids: slow the body's immune response to relieve swelling and pain
    • Disease-modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs): suppress the immune system broadly to prevent swelling
    • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): reduce swelling and relieve pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Oral Care

    There are a variety of treatments for dry mouth, including medicines that increase your body's saliva production and saliva substitutes. Your doctor will also recommend tips to combat dry mouth, such as:

    • Chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candy to stimulate saliva production
    • Sipping water or other sugar-free drinks frequently
    • Wearing lip balm to ease dry, cracked lips

Tests

  • Blood and Urine Tests

    Doctors use a wide range of blood tests to diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome, including a complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein test, rheumatoid factor test, and others. Blood tests can determine whether you have swelling and provide information about the health of your organs, including your liver and thyroid. Your doctor may also analyze your urine (urinalysis) to learn how your bladder and kidneys are functioning.

  • Tear Production Test

    In addition to an eye exam, your doctor may perform the Schirmer test to measure your eyes' ability to produce tears. Your doctor places a small paper strip on the inside of your lower eyelids, and you close your eyes for 5 minutes. When the strips are removed, your doctor measures how much of the strip is moistened. Doctors also use a phenol red thread test, which uses special thread instead of paper strips.

  • Salivary Gland Biopsy

    A biopsy removes salivary gland cells or tissues for closer examination in the lab. Your major salivary glands are located in front of your ears, below your jaw, and in the floor of your mouth, and you have thousands of minor glands in your tongue, cheeks, and lips. Depending on the area that’s biopsied, your doctor may use a needle to gather cells or perform minor surgery to take a sample.

  • Other Tests

    Your doctor may use additional tests to diagnose Sjogren's syndrome, depending on your symptoms. Tests could include a skin biopsy, thyroid function tests, chest X-rays, a neurological exam, or others.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.

  • Aetna WC
  • Aetna Affiliates/Signature Adm (ASA)
  • Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Aetna Elect Choice (EPO)
  • Aetna Florida Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Medicaid HMO
  • Aetna Medicare HMO
  • Aetna Medicare PPO
  • Aetna POS
  • Aetna PPO
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 1
  • Aetna UM Employee HMO 2
  • Aetna UM Employee POS HRA
  • Aetna/Coventry Institutes of Excellence (IOE)
  • Amerigroup Florida Healthy Kids
  • Amerigroup Medicaid HMO
  • Argus Vision
  • AvMed Choice
  • AvMed HMO/POS
  • AvMed MDC and JHS Groups
  • AvMed Medicare HMO
  • AXIS
  • BCBS Blue Options Network Blue PPO
  • BCBS BlueCare HealthOptions HMO
  • BCBS BlueChoice PPC/PPO
  • BCBS Miami Dade Blue PPO Limited Benefits Plan
  • BCBS of Florida (All products except "SELECT" Plans)
  • BCBS of Florida (Commercial plans exclude HIX Select)
  • BCBS Traditional PHS/PPO
  • Beacon Health (ValueOption)
  • Beech Street PPO
  • Broward Health Medical Center
  • CarePlus Medicare HMO
  • Catholic Hospice
  • CCP/CMS Title XIX (Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/CMS Title XXI (Non Medicaid Enrolled in South Florida)
  • CCP/MMA (Broward County residents)
  • Charlotte County Sheriffs Office PPO
  • Cigna Affiliates
  • Cigna Behavioral Health
  • Cigna Dental HMO/PPO
  • Cigna EPO
  • Cigna HMO
  • Cigna Life Source (Intracorp is part of Cigna Lifesource)
  • Cigna MDCPS Jackson Sr. High
  • Cigna POS
  • Cigna PPO
  • Cigna Shared Administration
  • Clear Health Alliance SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Concordia Behavioral Health
  • CorVel WC
  • Coventry First Health WC
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) HMO/POS
  • Coventry Health Care of Florida (HIP) PPO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) HMO
  • Coventry Health Plan of Florida (Foundation) POS
  • Coventry National PPO
  • Coventry Summit Medicare HMO
  • Coventry Vista Medicare HMO
  • Coventry First Health PPO
  • Delta Dental PPO
  • DentaQuest (ADI)
  • DIKLA
  • Dimension WC
  • Dimension Plus PPO
  • EHN PPO
  • EQUIAN (Health Systems International)
  • Europe Assistance/Global Corporate Solutions (Care Management Network)
  • eyeQuest
  • FCCI WC
  • Florida Healthcare Plan (Affiliate of BCBSFL)
  • Florida PACE (FPC)
  • Freedom Health Medicaid HMO
  • Freedom Health Medicare HMO
  • Gallagher Bassett WC (MDCPS & FCSRMC)
  • Global Excel Mgt PPO
  • Great West (Cigna) HMO/POS
  • Guardian Life PPO
  • HAA Preferred Partners
  • Health First Health HMO/POS
  • Health First Health Medicare HMO
  • Health First Health PPO
  • Health Net Veterans Choice HMO
  • Heritage Summit Healthcare WC
  • Humana Behavioral Health (LifeSynch)
  • Humana Dental/CompBenefits/OHS
  • Humana EPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana Medicaid HMO
  • Humana Medicare HMO
  • Humana National Transplant
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Premier
  • iCare Health Solutions
  • Interlink Health Services
  • International Kids Fund (IKF)
  • League Medical Concepts Federal Inmates
  • Life Trac
  • Magellan Behavioral Health
  • Magellan Complete Care SNP Medicaid HMO
  • MDAbroad
  • Medica Medicare HMO
  • Medical Development In't (MDI)-Federal Inmates
  • Medicus
  • Metlife Dental PPO
  • MHNet Behavioral Network (MHNet)
  • Molina
  • Molina Market Place
  • Molina Medicaid HMO
  • Molina Medicare HMO
  • Morgan White International
  • MultiPlan PPO
  • Naphcare (Federal Prisoners)
  • National Healthcare Solutions Inc.
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan HMO/POS
  • Neighborhood HealthPlan PPO
  • North Broward Hospital District PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare
  • Optum
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicaid HMO
  • Positive Healthcare SNP Medicare HMO
  • Prestige Health Choice Medicaid HMO
  • Prime Health Services WC
  • Quality Health Management
  • Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses PPO
  • Rockport Healthcare Group WC
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises PPO
  • Sanus Health Corporation
  • Seasons Hospice
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Solstice Dental HMO/PPO
  • Start Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine
  • Sunshine AMBETTER
  • Sunshine Healthy Kids HMO
  • Sunshine Medicaid HMO
  • Sunshine Medicare HMO
  • Tricare South Prime HMO
  • Tricare South Standard PPO
  • United Behavioral Health (UBH)
  • UnitedHealthcare Affiliates
  • UnitedHealthcare Healthy Kids HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare HMO/POS
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicaid HMO
  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare Nursing Home Plan
  • UnitedHealthcare PPO
  • University of Miami Athletic Dept PPO
  • VUMI
  • Wellcare/Staywell Healthy Kids HMO
  • Wellcare/Staywell Medicaid HMO
  • Wexford Health State Inmates
  • Worldwide Managed Care