Relying on thousands of years of use in Chinese medicine, we believe we have created one of the best natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome: SalivaStim. SalivaStim is a dietary supplement combining dendrobium nobile and sarsaparilla have synergistic properties that work together to restore moisture.
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Sjogren’s syndrome is a disease which causes dryness affecting your eyes, mouth, and genital organs.
The dryness can be very debilitating and create problems with vision, extreme thirst and with different sexual dysfunctions. In addition, Sjogren’s syndrome can cause muscle pain, joint pain, various gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems as well as problems with cognitive function.
Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease which mainly affects our exocrine glands. These are the glands that have ducts that secrete material onto a surface such as sweat, saliva, and tears.
Sjogren’s syndrome is one of the most common and one of the most commonly underdiagnosed rheumatic/autoimmune diseases. The disease most frequently affects women (10 women for every man) and usually appears in women around and after menopause.
However, the disease can affect any gender at any age.
What are the symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome?
Some symptoms include:
- prolonged eye dryness
- itching and chronic inflammation of the eye lids (blepharitis)
- mouth dryness
- excessive thirst
- frequent yeast infections
- skin dryness
- vaginal dryness in women
- chronic periodontal disease
- recurring canker sores
- poor dental health
The diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome is based on:
- Demonstration of mucosal dryness upon physical examination
- Specific blood tests (positive anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La antibodies, elevated levels of serum immunoglobulin G)
- Ultrasound imaging of salivary glands
- On rare occasions, a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome requires confirmation through a small salivary gland biopsy or special nuclear medicine studies.
To positively diagnose Sjogren’s syndrome there is a set of classification criteria used by clinicians and researchers around the world.
Ocular symptoms (at least one):
- Have you had daily, persistent, troublesome dry eyes for >3 months?
- Do you have a recurrent sensation of sand or gravel in the eyes?
- Do you use tear substitutes more than three times a day?
Oral symptoms (at least one):
- Have you had a daily feeling of dry mouth for >3 months?
- Have you had recurrent or persistent swollen salivary glands as an adult?
- Do you frequently drink liquids to aid in swallowing dry food?
Ocular signs (at least one):
- Schirmer’s test (measures tear production), performed without anesthesia (≤5 mm in 5 min)
- Rose Bengal (a stain used to identify damaged conjunctival and corneal cells) or other ocular dye score (≥4 according to VAN BIJSTERVELD’S SCORING SYSTEM)
Focal lymphocytic sialoadenitis in minor salivary glands, evaluated by an expert histopathologist, with a focus score ≥1, defined as a number of lymphocytic foci (that are adjacent to normal-appearing mucous acini and contain more than 50 lymphocytes) per 4 mm2 of glandular tissue
Oral signs (at least one):
- Unstimulated whole salivary flow (≤1.5 ml in 15 min)
- Parotid sialography showing the presence of diffuse sialectasis (punctuate, cavitary or destructive pattern), without evidence of obstruction in the major ducts
- Salivary scintigraphy showing delayed uptake, reduced concentration and/or delayed excretion of tracer
Presence of autoantibodies to Ro/SSA or La/SSB antigens, or both, in the serum
Classification of primary and secondary Sjögren’s syndrome
In patients without any potentially associated disease, primary Sjögren’s syndrome can be defined as the presence of any four of the six diagnostic criteria above, as long as either item IV (histopathology) or VI (serology) is positive; or as the presence of any three of the four objective criteria items (items III, IV, V, VI).
In patients with a potentially associated disease (for instance, another well-defined connective tissue disease), the presence of item I or item II plus any two of items III, IV, and V might be considered as indicative of secondary Sjögren’s syndrome.
There are criteria that will exclude a positive diagnosis including:
- Past head and neck radiation treatment
- Hepatitis C infection
- Pre-existing lymphoma or sarcoidosis
- Graft versus host disease
- Use of anticholinergic drugs
Certain factors have been strongly linked to Sjogren’s syndrome including:
- Reactivation of dormant, viral infections such as Epstein Barr Virus and Cytomegalovirus
- TH1/TH2 imbalance with TH1 predominance: TH1 and TH2 are cells that promote inflammatory reactions
- Increased proliferation of TH17 cells
- Production of anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La autoantibodies: SS-A(Ro) is found in 60% to 70% of patients with Sjögren’s syndrome. SS-B(La) is found in 50% to 60% of Sjögren’s syndrome.
- Increased production of antibodies to muscarinic M3 receptor and correspondent suppression of water channel protein aquaporin-5
- Decreased methylation of epithelial cells in the exocrine gland
Why do we need to treat Sjogren’s syndrome?
Left untreated, Sjogren’s syndrome can cause debilitating dryness affecting the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Clinically, this manifests as difficulty in swallowing solid foods, heartburn, malabsorption of nutrients and minerals, bloating, weight loss, chronic sinus infections and prolonged dry cough. Sjogren’s syndrome also significantly increases the risk for malignancies affecting lymphatic nodules, known as lymphomas.
Traditional and Natural Remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome
The goals of therapy are to treat dryness, normalize autoimmune responses, and prevent malignancies.
Treatment of dryness:
- Cevimeline (brand name Evoxac) and pilocarpine (brand name Salagen) for systemic dryness therapy
- Cyclosporin (brand name Restasis) eye drops and artificial tears for dry eyes
- Numoisyn lozenges and liquid, as well as Caphosol for mouth dryness and mucositis
Treatment of autoimmune disturbances:
- Hydroxychloroquin (brand name Plaquenil)
- Leflunomide (brand name Arava)
- Severe autoimmune conditions associated with Sjogren’s syndrome are treated with the biologic drug rituximab (brand name Rituxan)
Prevention of malignancies
People affected by Sjogren’s syndrome need to have regular screenings for malignancies (specifically lymphomas) and premalignant conditions.
Natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome:
- Ear acupuncture (auricular therapy) and body acupuncture to stimulate tear and saliva production
- Elimination diet based on individual food-intolerance profiles
- Probiotics improve intestinal health
- Digestive enzymes improve intestinal health
- Black currant seed oil normalize TH1/TH2 responses
- Cordyceps sinensis to optimize TH1/TH2 responses (autoimmune component)
- N-Acetylcysteine to optimize TH1/2 and Th17 responses
- Fish and krill oils improve moisture
- SalivaStim improve moisture
Focus on SalivaStim
As mentioned above there are many dietary supplements one can use as natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome. After years of using this traditional list, we wanted to see if there was something else we could design to help our patients. Based on the research we found two ingredients from aruyveda that have been used for thousands of years….and designed SalivaStim.
A basic explanation of what SalivaStim is targeting
We have muscarinic M3 receptors located in our exocrine glands, that help stimulate secretion in salivary glands.
There are antibodies (proteins produced in response to an antigen) affecting the muscarinic M3 receptor that have been detected in the serum of patients with Sjogren’s syndrome.
This interaction between antibodies and the M3 receptor creates a downstream event which affects our water channel protein known as aquaporin-5.
Aquaporin-5 plays a role in generating saliva, tears and sweat. In patients with Sjogren’s syndrome, this protein is suppressed and the cells start producing less and less fluid causing our saliva and tears to become much more viscous.
How SalivaStim restores moisture
The extract from dendrobium nobile increases production of aquaporin-5 and by doing that, it restores the production of saliva and tears in those who have dryness. There are several clinical trials that show that dendrobium nobile is very efficient in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome.
The second herb in SalivaStim is a product from the Amazonian rainforest, Smilax medica, also known as Sarsaparilla. Is an herb that not only stimulates sweat and fluids in our body, but also has very strong anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties which improves exocrine gland function.
How to take SalivaStim?
Our recommendation is to start slow and gradually increase the dose up to a comfortable level. Initially we recommend taking one capsule (500 mg) a day for a week or two then increase to two capsules a day. We don’t recommend going above two capsules.
The expectation is that you may experience around 60 to 65% increase in production of saliva and tears after taking SalivaStim for one week.
SalivaStim should be taken early in the morning because it can stimulate your brain and cause insomnia.
Natural remedies for Sjogren’s syndrome can be very effective in helping to alleviate the side effects that accompany the disease. One of the best remedies we have found to increase moisture is SalivaStim. You can purchase SalivaStim in our online store.
For years I always felt like I had sand in my eyes and that is now gone and I am thrilled. It took about 2 weeks to notice a difference and it’s been such a relief. I sweat a little bit more, but I’ve had no other side effects. I’ve also noticed my energy level has increased. –Jordan W.
I’ve had Sjogren’s Syndrome for years and have been taking Evozac, which has been helpful but I didn’t like the excessive sweat I would get around my neck. I started taking SalivaStim and have been very pleased. My dry eyes and mouth have eased with no side effects. It took a few days to notice a difference, it was a subtle build, but now I can tell a difference when I don’t take it. My afternoon energy has increased as well.-Sheryl M.