Tips for Dealing

with Sjogren's

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     These tips are actually just things that I have found to help me.  Each person is different so you will have to experiment to find what works for you.  You should, however, always check with your doctor first.                                            

 Tips for Dry Eyes

    To help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes, it is recommended that you use artificial tears.  I use GenTeal lubricant eye drops which my doctor recommended.  There are many kinds available so you may have to experiment to find one that works best for you.  There are ointments also that are used for night time relief.  I use GenTeal ointment before bed when my eyes are very dry and irritated.  Your ophthalmologist can make recommendations on what you should try.  I also find it helpful to wear glasses as often as possible.  The glasses help to protect your eyes from dryness factors such as wind, heat, air conditioning, etc...  I use sunglasses when appropriate and I also have a pair of anti-fog clear wrap around glasses like nurses or hygienists wear.  These come in especially handy for me since I often bake and the heat from the oven would bother my eyes terribly.  I also wear them when I crochet since I have noticed that the fibers of the yarn irritate my eyes.  Having dry eyes makes you more susceptible to irritants such as dust.  I find wearing the glasses to dust, vacuum and perform other tasks very helpful.

 Tips for Dry Mouth

    One of the ways to alleviate dry mouth is of course to drink a lot.  I love water with lemon wedges, so I sip on that most of the day.  Any beverage will do but be very careful about sugary drinks which can really do a job on your teeth.  Sucking on sugar free candies or chewing sugar free gum can also help.  Some people find that using a mouth moisturizer at night before bed is helpful.  There is one called Oralbalance which is a gel you put on your tongue and gums to keep from getting so dryed out during the night.  Other brands of artificial saliva are also available.

 Tips for Joint Pain

    My joint pain is relieved by using an over the counter arthritis pain reliever as well as a prescription pain medication.  I also use a moist heating pad.  I'm not sure if it helps but it feels good so I use it.  I also try to rest the joint more when it hurts.  If you are having difficulty with joint pain, you should talk to your doctor.  There are many prescription pain relievers available.

 Tips for Swollen Glands

    Sometimes the first sign that my saliva gland is acting up is my teeth may hurt and I have a headache.  Most times though, I just wake up with a swollen face and jaw.  The doctor recommends massaging the swollen gland and applying heat.  I have gotten relief doing those things most of the time.  However, a few times it just didn't seem to be working so I asked my friends on the Scleroderma digest if they knew of anything else I could try.  It was suggested I try sucking on sour lemon hard candies.  I did and the next day my gland was better.  My doctor recommends sugar free sour candies to avoid additional problems with my teeth.  I have found when the gland is acting up that eating seems to make it worse.  So on the days that it is bothering me, I tend to drink more and eat less.

 Tips for Teeth

    My teeth are very sensitive so I find brushing them with a soft toothbrush and Biotene toothpaste works well for me.  I also apply Gel-Kam (a fluoride treatment) to my teeth before going to bed as this protects my teeth from cavities and helps the sensitive areas become less sensitive.  I also see my dentist every six months to keep everything under control.  I find having the same hygienist each time I have my teeth cleaned has helped.  She now knows where the extra sensitive areas on my teeth are and is extra gentle when cleaning them.

 Tips for Dry Skin

    I have very dry skin and I believe I have just about every moisturizer on the market in my house.  I have found significant improvement using a moisturizer called Lac-Hydrin 12% creme.  It is a prescription moisturizer.  My hands get especially dry in the winter so before bed I apply a heavy coat of the Lac-Hydrin and put cotton gloves on.  The gloves keep the moisture on my hands most of the night and I usually see a tremendous improvement after a few days.  I've also had good results with Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream which lasts through hand washing and moisturizes for 24 hours.  Another one I like is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly Cream.

 Tips for Raynaud's

    The most important step in preventing raynaud's attacks is to keep warm.  I keep numerous pairs of gloves around my house.  I have some near the refrigerator for when I need to get something out of the freezer.  I also keep a pair by the side of my bed because sometimes my hands turn white as I lie in bed reading or watching television.  On cold days when I have to be outside for any length of time, I use hand warmers inside my gloves or mittens.  I also use toe warmers to keep my feet warm on cold days.  Hand and foot warmers can usually be found in sporting goods stores in the hunting department or check out my Products page for information on where to order them.  A warm hat is also helpful by holding more heat in your body.  I also use what is called wristies to help keep my hands warm in the house.  It is a fleece glove with cut-outs for your fingers.  It comes in handy when I need my fingers free to do things but still provides extra warmth.  I found the wristies in a health supply catalog.  You can find the ordering information on my Products page.

Disclaimer
The author of this page does not promote, support, or recommend any particular treatment or medication for any medical condition. The opinions expressed in stories or links are the responsibility of their authors. No treatment should be undertaken without the supervision of a physician.


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