Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. This means that your immune system mistakenly attacks your body's own cells and tissues.

Scientists aren't certain why some people develop Sjogren's syndrome and others don't. Certain genes put people at higher risk for the disorder, but it appears that a triggering mechanism — such as infection with a particular virus or strain of bacteria — is also necessary.

In Sjogren's syndrome, your immune system first targets the moisture-secreting glands of your eyes and mouth. But it can also damage other parts of your body, such as your:

  • Joints
  • Thyroid
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Skin
  • Nerves
Apr. 12, 2014