Sjögren’s syndrome affects an estimated 7 million people in the United States, with over 3 million confirmed diagnoses. This autoimmune disease disrupts the normal function of the tear ducts and salivary glands with almost 90% of confirmed cases occurring in women.
Symptoms include cottonmouth, dry eyes, persistent fatigue, and chronic inflammatory distress. Sjögren’s Syndrome is particularly hard to diagnose, with the average case only reaching a confirmed diagnosis after three years of consultation and treatment.
If left untreated, the disease can lead to potentially serious complications, including the development of cystic lung disease, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, lymphoma, and amyloidosis. The exact causes of Sjögren’s Syndrome remain unknown. However, medical professionals have some agreement on the fact that genetics may play a role in its development.
There is no cure for this autoimmune disease. However, in some cases, individuals can experience relief or even remission from the symptoms with changes to nutrition and lifestyle.
Here are 13 natural ways to relieve the typical symptoms of Sjögren’s Syndrome.
1. Soothe Dry Lips
Sjögren’s Syndrome reduces saliva production, and this adds up to dry chapped lips. Keep your lips moist and soft using this home recipe for lip balm. Apply it generously whenever you feel your lips drying out and make sure you coat your lips thoroughly before going to bed to ensure they stay hydrated throughout the night.
Coconut Lip Balm Recipe
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
• 1-2 drops tea tree oil
Blend the oils until the tea tree is distributed evenly in the coconut oil. When blended correctly, the oil leaves a very slight tingling sensation on the lips. The healthy monounsaturated fat and plant-based phytonutrients found in the coconut oil hydrate your lips, and the anti-microbial and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil protect from infections like cold sores.
For those that have coconut allergies, or find the strong scent of tea tree unappealing, try mixing a home lip balm made of raw honey and Vaseline. This recipe has the same hydrating and anti-microbial properties as the coconut oil and tea tee blend.