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Sjogren’s Syndrome with Lupus

A common symptom of lupus is the butterfly rash on the face. For people with Lupus, one of the major diagnostic factors is positive anti-nuclear antibodies in the blood.

The coexistence of Sjogren’s and Lupus symptoms was first described in 1959. These two diseases have many overlapping clinical and serological parameters – making the diagnosis between Sjogren’s syndrome and Lupus very difficult.

Some of these diagnostic challenges are:

  • People with Lupus often have features of secondary Sjogren’s.
  • People with primary Sjogren’s syndrome and those with Lupus often have other similar disease symptoms, such as: arthritis, skin rash, kidney disease, increased levels of antinuclear antibodies (ANA).
  • Certain genes have been found to be involved in both primary Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome may also be confused with diseases, such as: viral infections drug side effects (e.g. antihypertensives, antidepressant or antihistamines.
  • Other diseases may also cause salivary gland enlargement, such as viral infections, sarcoidosis (a chronic lung disease), and diabetes.

Because lupus can affect so many different organs, a wide range of symptoms can occur. These symptoms may wax and wane and different symptoms may appear at different times during the course of the disease.

The most common symptoms of lupus, which are the same for females and males, are:

  • Extreme fatigue (tiredness)
  • Headaches
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Anemia (low red blood cells, feeling dizzy)
  • Swelling (edema) in feet, legs, hands, and/or around eyes
  • Pain in chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)
  • Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
  • Sun- or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity)
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Fingers turning white and/or blue when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Mouth or nose ulcers

Many of these symptoms occur in other illnesses besides lupus. In fact, lupus is sometimes called “the great imitator” because its symptoms are often like the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease, and a number of heart, lung, muscle, and bone diseases.

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