How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kmad3412 Your Own Question

Kmad3412
Kmad3412, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7
Experience:  Ophthalmologist with fellowship training in the areas of oculoplastic surgery and neuro-ophthalmology.
Type Your Eye Question Here...
Kmad3412 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Im a 50-year old female. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Sjogrens

Resolved Question:

I’m a 50-year old female. In 2004, I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome (primary) with rheumatoid arthritis (secondary). I went to various doctors and was prescribed an overwhelming amount of medication including steroids and quinine. Although I feel like I have the flu most of the time, tired and achy, I am used to this, in that I went undiagnosed for decades. The medication that they had me on was driving me mad (especially the steroids), so I stopped taking all of it. I have my good and bad days and have tailored work and home around to fit my needs.
Since Sjogren’s is so under-researched, I can’t get a straight answer as to whether I am causing my body harm by not seeking treatment. It seems to me that the Syndrome is mostly bothersome, i.e. dry eyes and mouth, body aches, and feeling crappy all the time. I sure the arthritis plays a part in my low energy and I my fingers and knees are beginning to “gnarl up.” However, I seldom experience pain in excess of 4 on a scale of 10 and seldom have the need for pain medication.
I was recently told that the Syndrome could be causing unknown damage to my body. Is this true, and if so what type of doctor should I seek out for advice. We only have one endocrinologist in the surrounding 100 mile area and it is difficult to get in to see her. I am very leery of the “untried” new medicines on the market due to the lengthy list of side effects including leukemia.
So, I guess my question is: Although I am able to manage effectively, is the medication available to treat my conditions necessary and/or worth the risk of side effects?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Kmad3412 replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

 

Sjogren's syndrome as well as many other autoimmune disease (like Rheumatoid Arthritis) can be very difficult and frustrating to treat.

You are correct in that for Sjogren's syndrome the medications treat mainly the symptoms of the disease. However, the medications also help prevent secondary complications of the disease. For example, one of the most common symptoms of Sjogren's disease is dry eye and dry mouth. For some people this is just an irritation, but if left untreated severe dry eye can lead to corneal infections and scarring. Dry mouth can lead to dental carries also. As far as arthritis, some autoimmune diseases can be associated with an erosive type of arthritis. Without treatment of the underlying disease erosive arthritis can be very destructive to the joints.

 

So to answer your question, in most cases the benefits of treatment out-weigh the risks.

 

You also asked about the type of specialist you should see. I would recommend that you see a Rheumatologist, as they usually diagnose and treat Sjogren's syndrome and other autoimmune problems. There are also other medication options as well. I don't know what medications you have tried, but a Rheumatologist can certainly help guide you in that manner.

Kmad3412, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7
Experience: Ophthalmologist with fellowship training in the areas of oculoplastic surgery and neuro-ophthalmology.
Kmad3412 and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
< Last | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me from a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O. USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DoctorDanB/2010-6-7_6228_just_answer_profile_picture_60_pixels.jpg Dr. Dan B.'s Avatar

    Dr. Dan B.

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2903
    Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/anupamadesai/2010-04-13_122313_Dr._A.S.Desai_new_photo.jpg Dr. A.S. Desai's Avatar

    Dr. A.S. Desai

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1903
    MS Ophthalmology with 11 years of surgical expereince
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsokoye/2009-10-28_181751_Dr._Stan.JPG Dr. Stan's Avatar

    Dr. Stan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    895
    Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/eyemd/2009-04-07_180315_pic.jpg Dr. Stevens's Avatar

    Dr. Stevens

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    629
    Board Certified Ophthalmologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CorneaDoc/2012-2-18_0390_photo6.64x64.jpg Dr. Susan's Avatar

    Dr. Susan

    Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    217
    Board Certified & Fellowship trained eye surgeon.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neuph94/2009-10-11_164729_gif_pic.GIF Dr. JP's Avatar

    Dr. JP

    Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic Surgery

    Satisfied Customers:

    28
    Harvard Medical School, Massachussetts Eye and Ear
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjcufyksv/2012-3-13_44825_crop3.64x64.jpg Dr-Trace's Avatar

    Dr-Trace

    Board Certified Ophthalmologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    26
    Board Certified in General Ophthalmology