Is is really Menopause? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Is is really Menopause?

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Hundreds of thousands of women may be suffering from a disease that appears to be menopause. It is an auto-immune disease that causes dryness and it affects women between the ages of 40 and 60. Almost a million American women are affected by this often misdiagnosed disease. Most are undiagnosed, believing the symptoms are a part of aging. Yet untreated, this immune disorder damages the moisture producing glands. Doctors too mistake it because it appears to be menopause. Sjogren's Syndrome is similar to lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. "This is a chronic autoimmune disease , in this case the immune system is attacking the body's own moisture producing glands," said rheumatologist Dr. Frederick Vivino. Women face dryness of mouth, eyes and other body parts and the inflammation can spread to the joints and cause arthritis or even more serious health problems. "Symptoms like vaginal dryness, fatigue , dryness of the mouth, toothdecay and so on, but, many blamed these symptoms on menopause. Less than half even bothered to report them to their physicians," said Vivino. The drug salagan treats the lack of moisture.It creates saliva and reduces eye, skin and vaginal dryness. Also women can take medicine to suppress the immune system and help with the joint pain.

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