Sjogren's Syndrome and Nerve Problems

Various complications are associated with Sjogren's syndrome, and nerve problems are just one of them. Nerve problems that are seen with this disease include carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, and cranial neuropathy. Each affects different areas of the body and causes different symptoms. As a result, people with Sjogren's syndrome and nerve problems may be prescribed medicines to control pain and, if necessary, steroids or other drugs to control inflammation.

Sjogren's Syndrome and Nerve Problems: An Overview

People with Sjogren's syndrome can have nerve problems. When they do, the problem usually involves the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which contains the nerves that control sensation and movement. Involvement of the PNS is increasingly being recognized. Problems with peripheral nerves that can occur in people with Sjogren's syndrome include:
In carpal tunnel syndrome, inflamed tissue in the forearm presses against the median nerve, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and sometimes muscle weakness in the thumb and index and middle fingers.
In peripheral neuropathy, an immune attack damages nerves in the legs or arms, causing the same symptoms there. (Sometimes nerves are damaged because inflamed blood vessels cut off their blood supply.)
In cranial neuropathy, nerve damage can cause:
  • Facial pain
  • Loss of feeling in the face, tongue, eyes, ears, or throat
  • Loss of taste and smell.

Treatment for Sjogren's Syndrome and Nerve Problems

Nerve problems seen with Sjogren's syndrome are treated with medicines to control pain and, if necessary, with steroids or other drugs to control inflammation.

Sjogren's Syndrome Complications

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