Posted 05 May 2009 - 05:39 AM
Posted 05 May 2009 - 03:43 PM
You might be able to hasten the process a little bit by going about it in an organized fashion. First, have a board certified opthalmologist run a Schirmer's test on you. Pick your doctor carefully so that later on, nobody is going to question their credentials and thus ignore or dismiss your test results.
Then go to your dentist, which I am sure you do regularly anyway, and tell them you think your mouth is excessively dry, and ask them to evaluate you for it. They can look in your mouth, see the secretions from your saliva glands, and possibly provide some verification for you. Ask them to please be sure to note their findings in your dental record.
Get copies of these evaluations and take them to your primary care doctor. Tell them you have an inkling that you might possibly have Sjogren's syndrome. Ask them to run some blood tests for Sjogren's, which they might do or they might refer you to a rheumatologist to have it done. If you are extremely lucky, the blood tests might come back positive for Sjogren's and your diagnosis complete. But it might not, in which case you may want to try to get a referral to a rheumatologist who may or may not agree to do a lip biopsy to prove or disprove Sjogren's.
In other words, its probably not just a little project, more like a major journey and it could be cut short anywhere along the way. If you don't properly flunk the eye and mouth exams, you may be experiencing the symptoms but not severely. In any case, you don't need diagnosis to get some basic treatment. The eye doctor will probably give you samples of eye drops and the dentist a lecture about how you two get to be good buddies with more frequent visits than the average customer, perhaps special toothpaste and mouthwashes and mouth gels.
What I'm trying to say is that you don't need to hit a panic button over the symptoms. They might be just temporary or a side effect of medications or dryness syndrome without being full blown Sjogren's. So I'd suggest you just create a plan, work the plan, and meanwhile, look for ways to make your mouth and eyes (and such) moister and more comfortable. Let us know what you find out, along the way.
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Posted 06 May 2009 - 02:51 AM
Posted 06 May 2009 - 04:39 PM
Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:19 PM