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SunJul 23

World Sjogren's Day – July 23, 2023

World Sjögren’s Day is observed every year on July 23. On this day, the Sjögren’s Foundation and other organizations join together to spread awareness about this disease, help people better understand the symptoms, and how to treat it. Sjögren’s syndrome is an immune system disorder whose two primary symptoms include dry eyes and mouth, as it attacks the cells that produce saliva and tears, as well as other parts of the body, such as the thyroid, kidneys, liver, lungs, and nerves. Other symptoms include joint pain, skin rashes, vaginal dryness, continuous dry cough, swollen salivary glands, poor dental health, excessive thirst, and prolonged fatigue of many kinds.

History of World Sjogren's Day

The first person credited with describing Sjögren’s Syndrome was Jan Mikulicz-Radecki. In 1892, he described a 42-year-old man with enlargement of the parotid and lacrimal glands associated with a round-cell infiltrate and acinar atrophy. But these criteria often led to the disease being mistaken for Mikulicz’s syndrome. Nevertheless, this term is still used sometimes to describe the appearance of lymphocytic infiltrates on salivary-gland biopsies.

Henrik Sjögren was born on July 23, 1899, in Koping, Sweden, and graduated from the Karolinska Institute of Medicine in 1927. In 1929 Dr. Sjögren met a patient who complained about having dry eyes, a dry mouth, and joint pain. While many of these symptoms were already well known, it was the combination of them that seemed odd to him, and he decided to investigate. In 1933, he published his doctoral thesis describing 19 females, most of whom were postmenopausal and had arthritis, showing clinical and pathological manifestations of the syndrome. His thesis was not well received at first, as the Board of Examiners criticized some clinical aspects.

After extensive research and data collection, Sjögren published an essential paper in 1951, describing 80 patients with dry eyes, 50 of whom also had arthritis. He called the disease ‘keratoconjunctivitis sicca,’ and it began to be called Sjögren’s Syndrome in literature. Nowadays, ‘keratoconjunctivitis sicca’ is used as a scientific term for dry eyes. The Sjögren Foundation was created by Elaine Harris in 1983. She was a patient diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome who was frustrated by how long it took to identify her symptoms and the lack of information.

World Sjogren's Day timeline

1892
First Description Of Sjögren’s Syndrome

Jan Mikulicz-Radecki describes a 42-year-old man with enlargement of the parotid and lacrimal glands associated with a round-cell infiltrate and acinar atrophy.

July 23, 1899
Henrik Sjögren Is Born

He is born in Koping, Sweden, and graduates from the Karolinska Institute of Medicine in 1927.

1933
First Thesis Describing ‘Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca’

Sjögren’s thesis describes 19 females, most of whom are postmenopausal and have arthritis, showing clinical and pathological manifestations of the illness.

1951
Essential Paper About ‘Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca’

Sjögren publishes a paper after extensive research and data collection, describing the condition of 80 patients with dry eyes, 50 of whom also have arthritis.

1983
Sjögren’s Foundation Is Created

Elaine Harris, a Sjögren’s syndrome patient, creates this organization frustrated at how long it took to identify her symptoms and the lack of information about the illness.

World Sjogren's Day FAQs

Is Sjögren's a serious disease?

Yes, but if treated on time, complications are less likely to develop, and tissue damage is less likely to occur.

How long can you live with Sjögren's Syndrome?

Life expectancy in primary Sjögren’s Syndrome is comparable to that of the general population, but it can take up to seven years to correctly diagnose and can affect a person’s quality of life.

What does Sjögren's pain feel like?

A patient with Sjögren’s syndrome may feel that various parts of their body, such as their muscles, are achy and tender, or that their joints are painful and swollen due to inflammation.

How to Observe World Sjogren's Day

  1. Donate to the Sjögren’s Foundation

    You can donate to the Sjögren’s Foundation online. Alternatively, you can do it by mail or phone at: Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation – World Sjögren’s Day, 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 325, Bethesda, Maryland, 20817, (301) 530-4420.

  2. Share this day on social media

    To help spread awareness of Sjögren’s syndrome, a simpler thing you can do is to tell others about it today. Make a post on social media about how today is World Sjögren’s Day, or share this article or others about the illness.

  3. Read a book about Sjögren’s syndrome

    To find out even more about this illness and current treatments, read a book about it. We recommend “The Sjögren’s Book.”

5 Important Facts About Sjögren’s Syndrome

  1. Famous people

    Some famous people that suffer from Sjögren’s syndrome include Venus Williams and Olympic gold medalist, Shannon Boxx.

  2. It predominantly affects women

    Ten times as many women as men are diagnosed with Sjögren's.

  3. It can affect any age

    While most often diagnosed in women during middle age or after menopause, it can affect people of any age, including children, though younger Sjögren's syndrome patients often present differently from adults.

  4. Statistics

    Sjögren's syndrome patients without an accompanying major autoimmune connective tissue disease number between 400,000 and 3.1 million adults, and, when including those who also have another related disease, the prevalence is doubled.

  5. There is no cure currently

    The symptoms can be relieved with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, hydroxychloroquine, and other drugs that calm the immune system and treatments for dryness.

Why World Sjogren's Day is Important

  1. It raises awareness of an often under-discussed illness

    Many people have never heard of Sjögren's syndrome. It’s important that they check for possible symptoms since it’s particularly hard to diagnose.

  2. It encourages research of the topic

    Besides the usual encouragement from healthcare professionals to researchers and students, the Sjögren’s Foundation can help too. Donations to them help to fund research.

  3. It helps to make patients of Sjögren’s syndrome more visible

    This is another way to raise people’s awareness of the illness. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, share your story on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WorldSjogrensDay.

World Sjogren's Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 23Sunday
2024July 23Tuesday
2025July 23Wednesday
2026July 23Thursday
2027July 23Friday

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