Can Sjogren's Syndrome cause an increased susceptibility to viral infections?
For the last four years I have been catching viruses (mostly upper respiratory tract infections, and gastro enteritis in the summer) much more often than is usual. For the last few years I caught at least one every two months, but this year it has increased to almost one a week. I have not had more than two days over the last four months when I have felt perfectly healthy, and getting on with uni and work has been extremely difficult.
I have had blood tests done, which showed nothing wrong with my immune system, but that I was borderline with my ANA results for having an autoimmune disease.
My GP suggested that dry mouth caused by Sjogren's syndrome may be what's causing me to catch viruses so often, as the first line of defense (saliva I suppose) is not there.
Has anyone else experienced this in relation to Sjogren's Syndrome, or do you have any other ideas of what could be causing this?
I haven't had any infections, but I definitely have the dry cough. I heard that Sjogrens causes the lungs to dry out for some people. So, that will explain this "smokers" cough, when I don't smoke and never have. I agree that when the organ is dry, you lose the first line of defense. I can't honestly answer your question like a doctor would, but I have to say that once anything is dry, it's open to infections. See if you can get your hands on some fish oil supplements, and maybe those will help your dryest parts. I can't promise anything, but fish oil supplements are good for your body. Also Vitamin E, but too much of that is not good.
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