Diseases Home > Types of Sjogren's Syndrome

The two types of Sjogren's syndrome are primary Sjogren's syndrome and secondary Sjogren's syndrome. Both types can affect the entire body, but they differ in the type and intensity of symptoms. Of the types of Sjogren's syndrome, the primary form occurs by itself, while the secondary form occurs with another, already existing autoimmune disease, such as lupus.

What Are the Types of Sjogren's Syndrome?

There are two main types of Sjogren's syndrome:
  • Primary Sjogren's syndrome
  • Secondary Sjogren's syndrome.
Primary Sjogren's syndrome occurs by itself, and secondary Sjogren's syndrome occurs with another disease. Both are systemic disorders, meaning they can affect the whole body, although the symptoms in the primary form are more restricted.
Primary Sjogren's Syndrome
In primary Sjogren's syndrome, the doctor can trace the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome to problems with the tear and saliva glands. People with this type of Sjogren's syndrome are more likely to have certain antibodies (substances that help fight a particular disease) circulating in their blood than people with the secondary type. These antibodies are called SS-A and SS-B. People with primary Sjogren's syndrome are more likely to have antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) in their blood. ANAs are autoantibodies, which are directed against the body.
Secondary Sjogren's Syndrome
In secondary Sjogren's syndrome, the person had an autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, before Sjogren's syndrome developed. People with this type of Sjogren's syndrome tend to have more health problems because they have two diseases. They are also less likely to have the antibodies associated with primary Sjogren's syndrome.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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