Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s Syndrome

May 27, 2009, 5:08 PM |

Hello My Chess friends,

Most of you may have noticed my decline in participation in my groups and such. I help found the Black Shield Assassins and now can no longer function actively with them. I feel that my friends here deserve an explanation.

My wife suffers from Sjögren’s Syndrome. We have spent many years trying to find out what was wrong with her. This past year she has been in the hospital 8 times, twice for pneumonia. During this time she has been tested for nearly every disease known to man and many times we were told that she had.... Finally within the past six months we got the current diagnosis and unfortunately it seems to be the correct one.

My wife is suffering greatly with pain that is associated with the disease but also the anguish of losing her eye-sight. The disease is attacking her parotid glands, salivary glands and her eyes. Some days she can hardly see at all. Any damage that is done is generally unreversable, so she is on constant steroids to supress her immune system so help slow the disease.

I know this is a lot to hear but I ask that you understand why I am not as active as I might like to be.

Amici Sumus,


Below is an explanation from the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.

Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Today, as many as four million Americans are living with this disease.

Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s may also cause dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.

With upwards of 4,000,000 Americans suffering from Sjögren’s syndrome, it is one of the most prevalent autoimmune disorders. Nine out of 10 patients are women.

About half of the time Sjögren’s syndrome occurs alone, and the other half it occurs in the presence of another autoimmune connective tissue disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma. When Sjögren’s occurs alone, it is referred to as “Primary Sjögren’s.” When it occurs with another connective tissue disease, it is referred to as “Secondary Sjögren’s.”

All instances of Sjögren’s syndrome are systemic, affecting the entire body. Symptoms may remain steady, worsen, or, uncommonly, go into remission. While some people experience mild discomfort, others suffer debilitating symptoms that greatly impair their functioning. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are important — they may prevent serious complications and greatly improve a patient’s quality of life.