Updated: Mar 2, 2021
Does Sjogren's and/or Lupus get progressively worse?
Want the short answer? yes and no. It depends on the person.
I know, I know. You are giving me an eye roll.
You want to know if your disease progression is going to get worse.
While I don't have the technical training to answer about you and your body. I do have some tips that might help you figure out how to manage your Sjogren's and the possibility of disease progression.
Listen to your body and do not take on more than you can handle.
This is easier said than done. It's very easy to push yourself over the edge. Once or twice might not be a big issue, you might experience a flare up for a few days and your back to your regular life in no time. But excessively pushing your limits, not listening to body can induce a growing fatigue and one your body might not be able to bounce back from fully. I recently heard this saying and I think it rings true "Pick a day to rest, or your body will pick it for you"
Pay attention to new symptoms, or worsening symptoms. Make sure you keep tabs on what's going on it your body. I like to keep a journal with me so I can write down how my body is feeling day to day. If I notice a symptom growing or gaining at an alarming rate, I make sure to document it and bring it to my next appointment.
Tell your physician if your symptoms are getting worse. This goes hand in hand with the previous recommendation to take note. Bring your notes to your doctors appointment. Give them symptoms, description of the pain, times/dates, and my medications that are helping or not working. Doctors appreciate patients who are willing to meet them have way and come prepared for appointments. ,
Many pharmaceutical drugs can help halt or significantly reduce disease progression. Hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil is one such drug and is commonly used to treat Sjogren's and Lupus. Talk to your doctor about what possibilities are available for you.
For Sjogren's dryness symptoms are usually (but not always) the first symptoms. This includes the popular symptoms of dry eyes and dry mouth.
For Lupus (SLE) skin issues are usually (but not always) the first symptoms. This includes the malar/butterfly rash, but rashes can be seen all over the body.
Sjogren's and Lupus are both systemic autoimmune diseases. Which means the immune system can attack any part of the body. While Sjogren's and Lupus often start in the ways listed above, disease progression often the grows to joint pain and fatigue. From there it can go on to attack and destroy joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, internal organs and skin.
If you have anything you would add to this article I would love to hear from you.
Wishing everyone health and happiness, 💜