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Stem Cell Therapy and Sjögren’s Syndrome

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is a disorder in which the immune system itself attacks the glands that produce tears and saliva, causing dry mouth and eyes. However, this condition can affect other parts of the body such as the skin, kidneys, thyroid, liver, nervous system, and lungs, and sometimes occurs with other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

It is estimated that around four million people suffer from this syndrome, of which 90% are women. It is a chronic disease most often diagnosed in people over the age of forty.

The disease has two types: primary and secondary. In the first one, the person suffers from dry eyes and mouth as a result of an attackon to the glands that produce tears and saliva, respectively. Patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome sometimes have antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in their blood.

Secondary Sjögren’s syndrome occurs with other autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, polymyositis or dermatomyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.

Main symptoms

Usually, Sjögren’s syndrome affects the mucous membranes and glands that produce moisture in the eyes and mouth, so the first symptoms are:

  • Dry eyes, burning, itching or sensation of having sand or a foreign body inside.
  • Dry mouth, sensation of having cotton or something that makes it difficult to speak or swallow, loss of taste for food, thick saliva, mouth ulcers, tooth decay and gums inflammation due to lack of saliva.

In addition, the following symptoms are common when Sjögren’s syndrome accompanies another autoimmune disease:

  • Joint pain
  • Swollen and stiff joints
  • Rashes
  • Dry Skin
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful urination
  • Swollen parotid salivary glands (located in the jaw and in front of the ears)
  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heartburn

Diagnosis

Unfortunately, Sjögren’s syndrome is a difficult disease to diagnose because the clinical manifestations can be associated with other conditions, instead of being evaluated and treated together, as a single disease.

Specialists in internal medicine or rheumatology are those who treat Sjögren’s syndrome, and usually analyze the periods of dry eye sensation, sensitivity to light, difficulty speaking and eating, changes in the sense of taste, swollen glands, among other signs of the disease.

Blood test

The specialist may ask for tests for rheumatoid factor or autoantibodies, nuclear antibodies, or Ro (or SS-A) and La (or SS-B), which are the antibodies that patients with Sjögren’s usually have. These are blood tests that will help the specialist detect the syndrome by verifying the presence of antibodies. That is, substances in the blood that attack the body’s tissues instead of attacking foreign agents such as bacteria.

Eye Exams

The Schirmer test is used to determine if the eye is producing enough tears to keep it moist and to measure dryness in the eyes.

Diagnostic imaging

  • Gammagraphy. A technique that helps to diagnose and corroborate the damage of the disease in the salivary glands.
  • Sialography. Radiographic test to diagnose the disease in difficult cases since it allows to see the gland´s internal structures.
  • Ultrasound. It is used to analyze changes in the salivary glands, multicystic or reticular patterns.
  • Resonance. It is the best test to analyze the parotid gland, salivary glands and possible affected masses.

Treatments

In general, Sjögren’s syndrome treatment focuses on symptom relief. For example, use of artificial tears, lubricating eye ointments, saliva substitutes, drinking plenty of water in small sips throughout the day, chewing sugar-free gum, avoiding medications that cause dryness

In addition, possible fungal infections should be treated as Sjögren’s patients are more prone to oral candidiasis.

Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) used for rheumatoid arthritis help improve Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms.

Can Stem Cells Really Help Sjögren’s Syndrome?

Although autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome do not have a cure, studies have been carried out that show that autologous bone marrow stem cells, that is, obtained from the same patient, are a first option for the improvement of the patient´s quality of life. A second cell therapy option is known, which are allogeneic stem cells, originating from the umbilical cord. Therapy focused on treating autoimmune and rheumatological diseases in which inflammation phenomena occur, such as Sjögren’s syndrome.

How do stem cells act against Sjögren’s syndrome?

Stem cells have immunomodulatory properties that reduce inflammation processes in the body. In addition, they differentiate into other types of cells, such as chondrocytes or osteocytes. Therefore, they are used to improve diseases in which the immune system is altered, and to reduce inflammatory processes.

What is the stem cell treatment process like?

ProgenCell procedures are scientifically designed and professionally consulted. We have one goal in mind: A significant improvement in people’s health using simple logistics.

We do not recommend that patients replace or abandon their current doctors and treatments. Because we deal with a long-term protocol, it is necessary that your current doctor continue to follow your case.

Step 1: Information

Our medical experts will review your case, current medical condition, and medical history. After a thorough evaluation, it will be decided if you are a good candidate to participate in the protocol and to receive cell therapy. A multidisciplinary medical committee will study your case and honestly consider the potential for improvement.

After your case is evaluated, ProgenCell staff will contact you to discuss your particular case and potential benefits. We will also answer any questions you have about the procedure and its requirements.

Step 2: Planning

Once you have agreed to proceed, we can plan your treatment. Because our treatment is in high demand, you will need to be scheduled at least two to three weeks in advance. Exceptions may be made if the patient’s condition requires urgent attention.

Step 3: Conditioning and medical procedure

Once you have been scheduled, we will assign you a personal assistant who will be supporting you throughout the treatment. The assistant can help you with administrative tasks, logistics, planning your stay, communication with medical staff, etc. He will also provide you with the necessary documents to complete your medical history, and will explain informed consent. In a few words, we will coordinate everything necessary to facilitate your stay at ProgenCell. The complete treatment, from beginning to end, varies in time according to each patient. The program and the procedure to be carried out, lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours. During recovery you will be able to watch television and have access to telephones and the internet.

If you suffer from Sjögren’s syndrome and are looking for complementary treatment, stem cell therapy is for you. Contact our experts! At ProgenCell you will find the professionals you need in order to improve your health and quality of life.

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Learn if Stem Cell Therapy can help you improve your quality of life.

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    Sjögren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune condition in which cells attack the glands that produce saliva and tears and other glands, especially those in the digestive tract. The syndrome also presents as a rheumatic disease in that it causes pain and swelling in the joints.
    Are you living with Sjögren’s Syndrome? Call us today for a FREE consultation or fill out the Case Evaluation Form to begin.

    ProgenCell’s procedures are scientifically designed and professionally followed; we have one goal in mind: substantial health improvement of people with simple logistics.

    We do not suggest that patients substitute their current medical doctor or abandon current treatments. Since this is a long-term protocol, is necessary that your current medical doctor continues to follow up on your case.

    There are two types: primary Sjögren’s syndrome, and secondary Sjögren’s syndrome. In the first there are problems of dry eyes and mouth caused by attacks on the glands of tears and saliva, respectively. Patients with primary Sjögren’s sometimes have antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in the blood. Secondary Sjögren’s is present with other autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, polymyositis or dermatomyositis, and mixed connective tissue disease.

    The main symptoms are most highlighted eyes and dry mouth (along with the related complaints), pain and fatigue in the extremities, rash, and dry skin. It is estimated that there are about four million people with this disorder, of which ninety percent are women. This is a chronic disease usually diagnosed in people over forty years old.

    Treatment is focused on decreasing the reactivity of the immune system and on alleviating symptoms. Artificial tears can be employed. Drugs can be used to stimulate secretions and to alleviate the pain of sore muscles and joints.

    Improve your quality of life

    Start your online process for FREE Now!
    Learn if Stem Cell Therapy can help you improve your quality of life.

    Is Stem Cell Therapy Right for You?

    Start your online process for FREE Now!
    Learn if Stem Cell Therapy can help you improve your quality of life.

    Our Blog

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