Tara Rizvi, MD
Rheumatologist located in Katy, TX
Sjogren’s syndrome is one of the most common autoimmune disorders, affecting 4 million Americans. Tara Rizvi, MD, at Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists in Katy, Texas, was the pioneer rheumatologist at a world renowned multi-specialty Sjogren's center established at the Baylor College of Medicine. She is an expert in the early diagnosis and treatment of this condition. She has conducted many patient workshops for the Sjogren’s syndrome foundation in Houston, Texas. For a consultation and assessment of your Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Sjogren's Syndrome Q & A
What is Sjogren’s syndrome?
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder characterized primarily by dry eyes and mouth. This condition is fairly common, and over half of the documented cases are seen along with other autoimmune problems, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
While Sjogren’s syndrome can affect men or women of any age, as many as 90% of cases occur in women between the ages of 45-55. This disorder is a chronic condition, but with proper treatment, the symptoms can be controlled and most patients are able to lead normal lives.
Dr. Rizvi has proudly been part of a multispecialty team of providers to establish protocols for the treatment of Sjogren’s at Baylor College and Medicine. Her experience with education, diagnosis, and up-to-date treatments for this disorder helps her create a customized treatment plan specific to you and your symptoms.
What are symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome?
The main cause of symptoms related to this condition is autoimmune damage done to your salivary glands and tear ducts. These structures are important for keeping your mouth, respiratory system, and eyes moist and free of infection. Damage to these areas results in symptoms such as:
- Dry or itchy eyes
- Pain or burning in your eyes
- Gritty or tired feeling in your eyes
- Dry mouth, nose, or throat
- Swelling of glands around your face and neck
- Swelling around your jaw
- Difficulty swallowing, especially with dry foods
Tissue dryness can also affect your skin, vagina, blood vessels, and joints. This condition is often seen along with other rheumatic diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, so symptoms often overlap and mimic each other. This can make Sjogren’s syndrome difficult to diagnose, making knowledgeable care all the more important.
What are possible long-term complications of Sjogren’s syndrome?
Long-term complications of Sjogren’s syndrome are mainly associated with decreased tears and saliva. If you have this condition, you are at significantly greater risk for:
- Dental decay
- Gingivitis (gum inflammation)
- Oral infections
- Thrush (oral yeast infections)
In addition to these potential issues, other complications related to the dryness of your tissues may include:
- Painful, stiff, and swollen joints
- Inflammation in your kidney, liver, and lungs
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
- Skin rashes
Dr. Rizvi is committed to helping you understand your diagnosis and treating this condition using research and evidence-based methods so that you can find relief from your Sjogren’s syndrome symptoms and avoid long-term complications.
For a consultation with Dr. Rizvi regarding your symptoms, call Houston Rheumatology and Arthritis Specialists or book an appointment online today.