Re: Secondary Sjorgren's
Hi MellyMell....I left a message for you on the Arthritis board. I have secondary Sjogrens and my blood work is negative as it is for RA. But the ophthalmologist did both the Schirmer's test(that's where they put tiny strips of test paper in your lower eye lids for 5 minutes and then measure the the length of the wetness on the papers). If it's under 10mms. you have a problem but if it's under 5mms. you have "clinically" dry eyes. Then they do the Rose Bengal dye test and they can see the dry areas and how bad they are. My doc said mine looked like cracked glass.
So you can have a definite diagnosis of dry eyes without any positive blood work but what the cause is is not known. My docs assume it's secondary Sjogrens...but medications can cause it, environmental factors can cause it...the cause may be elusive but you can still confirm it and then treat it. I use Restasis only when I have to(very expensive) but use dry eye drops religiously...hourly during the day and a thick ointment at night. You can buy those in any drug store and try them and see if they help. I like the gel type drops and my doc pushes the preservative free drops so I alternate both.
Real full blown Sjogrens has dryness everywhere. Mouth, throat, lungs, skin, vagina, nose, sinuses....all mucous membranes are susceptible. My mouth and vagina and sinuses are involved so far and my doc is watching my lungs carefully. And it can cause a nasty form of arthritis.
Once you can find out what kind of arthritis you have, then you can start digging in and finding out what else might be going on. I've had OA for years...since my late teens.....then got RA about 6 years ago and now I have secondary Sjogrens and gout. Once you get an auto-immune disorder. it opens the door for all sorts of other disorders to hit as well.
Hope this helps and hope I'll see on the Arthritis board if you have other questions.