Making Sense of Sjogren’s Syndrome, a Q&A with Shelby

Sjogren’s Syndrome is no reason to sit on your behind. I know it’s hard to, when you get a new diagnosis, it’s hard to adapt to that and adjust your lifestyle, but once you adjust it, you could still live a great life with Sjogren’s.

Lupe & Brian:     Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.

Brian:    This is Brian.

Lupe:     And this is Lupe.

Brian:    And today we have a very special guest, the one and only my daughter Shelby Colburn.

Shelby:  Hello everybody.

Lupe:     Whoop! Whoop!


Brian:    So, Shelby’s joining us today because she’s much smarter than her father. And to prove that point, she is starting her second career as a nurse. And has spent the last, almost two years, over two years now, as a t cell researcher at a State University trying to find the cure to cancer.

Shelby:  We look at the epigenetic modifications for t cells, so it has to do with cancers, with vaccines, with all sorts of stuff. It’s more broad then the cure for cancer.

Brian:    See, we could end the show right there and all of you would know that she’s much smarter than me.

Lupe:     I was just going to say, what he said.

Brian:    Obviously when Lupe or I have questions, we bounce them off Shelby. And if she doesn’t know, she’s been very generous with her time and has done a lot of research for us. And has come back to us with answers.

Brian:    So, she is actually in town. I get to look at her and give her a hug, which is really cool. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that. We wanted to take this opportunity and actually sit down and run an episode asking some questions that have been asked of us, that we’re unaware of and slash or questions that we still have. So with all of that having been said, welcome again Shelby.

Brian:    Thank you. I hope I can answer all your guys’ questions.

Brian:    We have a lot. You know, we’ve done several episodes and it’s been brought to our attention that we never actually explained what Sjogren’s Syndrome is. So Shelby, can you help us out with that?

Shelby:  Of course. So, Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder. I’m sure you guys all already know that. And that’s just a fancy word for saying that your immune system, which usually keeps you free of illnesses and diseases, is actually attacking your own cells and your own bodies. With Sjogren’s Syndrome, the immune system is targeting your exocrine glands in your body.

Shelby:  So exocrine glands are different glands that produce and secrete substances on your epithelial surfaces. So they keep your skin moist, they keep your eyes moist, they keep your mouth moist. They produce different oils and liquids that just keep our body at the right moisture. In Sjogren’s Syndrome, the immune system is attacking these glands, so that your body’s not able to make the right moisture and secretions in different parts of your body.

Brian:    Okay, so lab tests are typically done to determine whether somebody has Sjogren’s or not. And they’re explained to us and we’ve seen the documentation, and one of those tests is an antinuclear antibodies or ANA. Can you explain what this test is and what it’s looking for?

Shelby:  Okay, so first of all, you guys like to point at doctors and nurses and researchers and say that they’re really smart. And one of the reasons were smart is we just put time into this and we learned the second language. And all of these scientific terms just make things seem really complicated, when it’s just special names.

Shelby:  And so antinuclear antibody, test that’s just basically looking at your blood and seeing if there are certain proteins present in your blood. And so the ANA looks for specific antibodies. So let’s back up a little bit and talk about our immune system.

Shelby:  So in our immune system we have different types of white blood cells. And the white blood cells have different names. You guys probably have heard of your b cells and your t cells. And these are two main players. And these cells go around and float in your blood system and travel all over your body. And they just kind of bump up against all the cells to make sure that they’re the right types of cells to be in your body.

Shelby:  So, all of our cells-cells have self-identifiers. They have proteins on them that say that they belong in our body. And these proteins have a name called antigens. So cells have antigens which are like little name tags that say hi, I’m one of Shelby’s skin cells and I belong to Shelby’s body. And we all have these cells and these proteins.

Shelby:  And we have antibodies. And antibodies go around the body and they’re little tags. And so when they find a cell that doesn’t belong in the body, it doesn’t have one of these name tags on it. The antibody will stick to the cell and then the immune cells, the t cells will come and say, this cell doesn’t belong here and they’ll destroy that cell.

Shelby:  And so an immune, ah, the immune system will go around. If we have bacteria in our body, if we have viruses, different foreign substances that aren’t supposed to be there, it’ll tag it with antibodies.

Shelby:  These antibodies will stick on these cells and then our immune system is going to attack them so that we can get rid of them and we can get rid of the illness. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system’s overreactive. So we stick antibodies on our skin cells, on our exocrine cells and Sjogren’s Syndrome, right?

Shelby:  And then our immune system, our b cells and t cells come and attack the cells in the exocrine glands. And so we have different antibodies that we look for in these blood tests and we say for Sjogren’s Syndrome, if you have the SSA or the SSB antibodies, if those are present in that blood test, you have a positive result. Then we say that, hey, you probably have Sjogren’s Syndrome because we see these antibodies. And we don’t usually see these antibodies in people that don’t have Sjogren’s or other autoimmune diseases.

Shelby:  So SSB, which is also known as la, the real la us have probably heard those terms as well. SSB or la is closely associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome. And so when you have a positive SSB or la in your blood tests, your antinuclear antibody test, that’s probably going to indicate that you have Sjogren’s as long as, um, we have six tests that we look for in Sjogren’s, right? If you have different positives for out of the six positive, that’s how we say that. That’s where we diagnose you with Sjogren’s.

Brian:    In Lupe’s words, what she said.

Lupe:     What she said.

Shelby:  You guys can find pictures online too. Visuals help a lot. If you could see a picture of something that’s really helpful.

Lupe:     When you said, name tag. I’m like, yeah, okay. I can picture that.

Shelby:  Yean. So Lupe’s cells, they all have name tags that say this is Lupe’s body. But her immune system says, ooh, Lupe has too many exocrine cells and we’re going to put our SSA and SSB antibodies on Lupe’s name tags, o that our immune system comes in attacks then.

Lupe:     Kick me out. That’s what they’re doing. They’re kicking my cells out. Shelby, I have a question, like I mentioned before, um, I’m a member of several forums online and a lot of people sometimes ask, could you test positive for the SSA and SSB but test negative for Sjogren’s?

Shelby:  So, Sjogren’s diagnosis is based on a few different tests that we can run on the body. And they say if you have four positives out of these six tests that you have Sjogren’s.

Shelby:  I believe that the SSA and SSB though, that’s one where you have to have the presence of those two antibodies in order to have Sjogren’s. And that’s one of the required four of the six.

Shelby:  So, we see with it anti SSA or the RO antibody, that’s present in a lot of different autoimmune disorders. And we know that SSB or the la antibody that’s more closely associated to Sjogren’s. So we’d have to look at the research to know if you can have just one. But just if you have SSB, if you don’t have to have the SSA to meet the criteria for the Sjogren’s diagnosis.

Lupe:     Okay. And there’s another a third antibody, DSDNA?

Shelby:  Yeah, the DSDNA. So the ds just sounds for double stranded. And the DNA of course is like our DNA that makes up our cells and tells our cells but to be in our body what to be, right. We all have our own DNA and so this is just another, the anti DSDNA is another auto antibody. It’s an antibody that’s attacking our own cells, um, that we can look for to see if it’s present. That indicates that we have that autoimmune disease.

Brian:    So we had a guest on the show who tested SSA. Next test was SSB, no SSA. There was some confusion going on with the interpretation of these tests. So they went straight in and did a salivary gland biopsy. What does that consist of and what are they looking for to come up with a definitive answer?

Shelby:  So, we have different biopsies we can do. There’s the lip biopsy or the different gland biopsies. And we have glance all over our body, of course, right ? In our tear ducts and our mouth and our armpits, all over the body. Different glands that produce these oils and liquids to keep our body right.

Shelby:  And in the biopsy, they kind of go and hole punch or they take a little sample of your tissue. And then what this they can look under the microscope and blow it up.

Shelby:  So we have these great big pictures of the tissue and the different cells that are there. And then the biopsy, we’re looking to see what cells are present? How many of the cells there are? What size the cells are? What shaped the cells are? And we have set standards done, accumulated from research over the years. We know what we call, as normal. What a normal lip skin cell looks like, what size it should be, what shape it should be. And in Sjogren’s, when these cells are being attacked by the immune system, they’re going to be present in different numbers.

Speaker 2:           They’re going to look damage. They won’t be the right size, they won’t be the right shape. Maybe you’ll have a few normal ones, but we’re going to be able to see that they’re damaged cells in there. And that’s going to indicate to us that there is some sort of immune system or you know, perhaps a bacteria or virus like something’s going wrong there.

Shelby:  So these cells are not looking how they’re supposed to. They’re not present in the right amounts. And these biopsies can also show us, um, if there’s going to be immune cells, they’re like t cells or b cells. Do we have too many immune cells in this area, which will also indicate that the immune system is overactive in this area.

Lupe:     Okay. I have a question, Shelby. What is the importance of hydration with Sjogren’s Syndrome?

Shelby:  In our body, we get a certain amount of water from the foods we eat, from the water and teas and stuff that we drink. And our body’s able to use the substances from that to make sure that the moisture that we need to function is present. But in Sjogren’s Syndrome, we know that our immune system is attacking our exocrine glands and the exocrine glands are what’s making sure that our body has the right moisture in certain areas, right?

Shelby:  And so we’re not functioning at our optimum because our exocrine glands are being attacked. Then our body is going to be dry, our eyes are going to be dry our mouth is going to be dry, that sort of stuff.

Shelby:  And so you need to go the extra mile to make sure your body has everything it needs to function at full force. And with Sjogren’s Syndrome, your bodies can’t function at full force, right? Because your immune system’s already attacking it. So to make sure that you’re hydrated or extra hydrated as extra important so that you’re giving your body the extra oomph it needs to function.

Brian:    We’ve been doing a lot of reading and experimenting with foods that are said to have anti-inflammatory properties. What can you say about that? The foods, what’s your opinion?

Speaker 2:           So, I don’t think there’s a lot of science that’s been done surrounding anti-inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory properties. But that’s not to say that that stuff is baseless or has no actuality in life. Because the science hasn’t been done yet, we can’t say that science says this is how these things work and this is why it’s good. But we know that we’ve seen a lot of personal accounts. People have tried different foods. They’ve tried putting different spices or herbs in their foods to season it and we’ve seen that that’s had a positive impact about how they feel throughout the day and how they feel when they’re doing activities or extra strenuous exercising and stuff. And so just because the science hasn’t said that it works. The science also hasn’t said that it doesn’t work yet. So if you find something that works for you and you think that that’s the change that’s happened that’s created the better feelings, then you should go for it.

Brian:    So what you’re saying is it’s all a placebo effect.

Shelby:  I don’t know that it’s a placebo effect. But if you’re adding turmeric to your shakes in the morning and you feel that ,that’s making you feel better, you have more energy throughout the day, you have more energy to go walking after work or on a hike or whatever. If you think that anti-inflammatory foods are making a difference in how you feel, then continue using it.

Brian:    So, Lupe, we’ve been playing with Turmeric, Chia seed, ginger, thyme, black pepper, red pepper, Cayenne pepper for quite a few weeks now. What’s your opinion of it?

Lupe:     It’s funny that you asked me that today because this morning I woke up feeling really good and for the last several days I feel really good. I have energy. We went hiking yesterday. Um, I just feel good. I don’t feel like my brain fog is as bad as it used to be. I feel a little sharper, but I feel rested and I just feel like I’m energized. Like the Energizer Bunny.

Brian:    As you all know, when she does something, I typically do it, as well. You know, I don’t like to say, hey, try this. Let me know what you think. I try, as well. As long as it’s something knowingly not going to harm me. If that makes sense?

Lupe:     Oh, so you’re going to give it to me and let me?

Brian:    No what I’m saying is, I’ll do it with you. I mean… yeah.

Shelby:  And then we go home together.

Lupe:     Yeah. Hello.

Brian:    If you’re going to go to your radiation treatment, I’m not going to sign up for it. I have a shoulder issue and I feel my shoulders felt better lately. When we hiked yesterday. My ankle didn’t get as bad as it normally does.

Brian:    Again, I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect. I don’t know if these foods and spices actually have an anti-inflammatory property that I feel is helping me, but I feel better. And it’s a low cost supplement and why not? Why not try it, if you’re having pain. And if you feel, after a few weeks, because bodies absorb things differently. And the way you prepare it and consume it is going to have a different effect within your body. But give it three or four weeks and if you feel it’s working for you, rock on. Keep it rolling.

Lupe:     Um, I’ve been feeling like a million bucks lately. And uh, speaking of brain fog, I don’t know where I was going with that, but it was really good.

Lupe:     Oh, actually I remember. Okay. So I’ve been feeling really good, that happens to be all the time. Okay. I’m talking and mid-sentence, I’m like, what was I going to say?

Lupe:     So I’ve been really good. I put all these spices in my shake, and by I, I mean Brian. Uh, he makes the shakes for me in the morning. I ran out of Glucosamine, I don’t know about a week and a half ago. And I’ve been meaning to go to the store to buy more. And because of all these spices that we’ve been using, my joints don’t hurt. I mean, that can’t be the placebo effect. I think it’s really working.

Brian:    Shelby, what’s your opinion? Turmeric, ginger thyme, cardamom or over the counter Glucosamine coming out of a lab?

Shelby:  Well, it definitely comes down to accessibility too. Some people might have, not have stores nearby, where they can access these different things. Maybe it’s harder for them to incorporate these into their diet. So it comes down to what options an individual has and how they can incorporate it into their lives.

Shelby:  Um, but also without the study’s being done, I don’t know if we can make a recommendation. We can just say try these different things and see how you feel after doing it for a couple of week. And make sure when you’re making changes, try and add one thing in at a time. So you know for sure if that one thing is what’s making the difference, rather than trying a bunch of things at once and then you don’t really know what the difference is coming from.

Shelby:  But with, you know, Glucosamine, that’s a protein that our body uses in all sorts of different ways, right? That’s floating around in our body. Our body makes it based off of pieces it gets from foods that we eat. So, when we take extra supplements, if our cells are able to take it up into the cells and you use it, then that’s extra glucosamine that the body doesn’t have to put the energy towards making.

Lupe:     See, I didn’t know that we had glucosamine in our body. I’m learning today.

Brian:    I thought it came in a little capsule.

Lupe:     So did I. I didn’t know. Actually, that’s very interesting.

Shelby:  There’s been studies done on ginger too. We know Ginger has quite a few properties. They’re still researching it. Um, but it has a lot of immune functions.

Lupe:     Yesterday I hung out with a lot of little kids and me with my Sjogren’s, I’m kind of afraid to hang out with kids. Because, you know, they’re always snotty and sick.

Brian:    Cooties. Snotty as in snot running down the nose, not bratty.

Lupe:     No, no, no. Cooties, cooties.

Shelby:  Kids are germ incubators.

Lupe:     They are carriers of cooties.

Brian:    And this morning when I woke up, I had a sore throat and I’m like, Oh my God, I’m going to get sick. And we went to the store, Trader Joe’s and we saw some ginger root.

Brian:    So, we actually bought some ginger root and I came home… and we’re playing with a lot of weird stuff and we’re calling it tea. And I guess by definition it’s tea, unless you’re British. The Brits might be a little upset with us.

Brian:    But we bought a French press that’s typically used for coffee and it works really, really good for all these concoctions we’ve been trying lately. So we washed and shave some ginger and zested a lemon, a little bit of lemon juice inside, a tiny bit of honey for some sweetness into this French press and we let it steep. And then you can pour off the tea from all the solids in it. What’d you think?

Lupe:     It was really good. I actually drank it all. It was really good. It felt really good going down my throat. So I’m in.

Speaker 2:           Ah, you know, Lupe with Sjogren’s Syndrome, uh, you actually have an increased infection risk. So our skin, it’s our biggest organ, right? It covers all of our body, even the lining of your mouth down to your throat and into your lungs and stomach. That’s also considered epithelial lining as part of your skin. And it has to have a certain ph. balance and acid base balance and it has to have a certain moisture in it. And this is our biggest, that’s our first line, our first defense line against infection. Right? And with Sjogren’s Syndrome, when your glands aren’t functioning right, you’re not as moist as you should be. Your Ph might be off kilter if your body’s having a hard time compensating in this, increases your infection risk and makes the bacteria or viruses that you encounter in your day to day life easier to get into your body.

Lupe:     That makes sense. You know what, Shelby, I don’t know if you’ll be able to speak to this, but I’m on a med called Plaquenil. Are you familiar with that?

Shelby:  If you give me the generic name, probably.

Lupe:     Hydro blah, blah, blah blah.

Brian:    Is the malarial, right?

Lupe:     Yes. It’s that one.

Shelby:  Anti-malarial drug?

Lupe:     Yeah. Um, so I’ve been told, Dr Wong and several people actually – I had a toe infection one day. My toenail got affected and fell off, a couple of times. And I finally went to the podiatrist. He said that Plaquenil was making me very susceptible to infections. So on top of my immune system is already down, like you just said. So now the Plaquenil is making me twice as susceptible?

Shelby:  Yeah. So, a lot of the drugs that, the medication, the pharmaceuticals that we use to treat Sjogren’s Syndrome, they’re corticosteroids or other medications that decrease the immune system, they’re immunosuppressants. And that’s because your immune system is overreacting to your exocrine glands. They’re acting an excess against your skin and your glands.

Plaquenil is a DMARD (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug) not an

Shelby:  And so taking down the immune system is how we are able to best treat the disease, based on what we know right now. But then of course it leaves you susceptible to other infections, right? Because we’re saying, we’re putting medication into your body that makes sure that your cells aren’t functioning as much as they can be. Because we know that that’s going to affect, um, it’ll lessen the signs and symptoms of the Sjogren’s Syndrome. But then it also has these other systemic effects where it makes you more susceptible to, you know, the common cold or the flu. All the different germs and bugs that are floating around the world,

Brian:    We understand not being a doctor you can’t diagnose. However, if you have a small surface break in your skin and you get a minor staph infection, obviously staying on your meds for something that minor in treating with Neosporin or some sort of topical, in my opinion would be best case scenario.

Brian:    But a much larger infection, like her toe; For those of you who hike and run and do a lot of walking, our toes get jacked up all the time. Toe injuries, toenail injuries are very, very common. And a larger infection like that, would it be wise to seek the counsel of a doctor to maybe come off that med? Will the body’s immune system respond quick enough to help combat and larger infection like that? Or is it too little too late?

Shelby:  With large infections, I think it would be best to go to your local urgent care or try and make an appointment with your primary physician. Because they’re going to know you a little better, everybody is different. Whatever medications you’re taking, the dosages, how long you’ve been on the medications, that all makes a big difference. But with immunosuppressants and with bigger diseases is it might be best to come off of medications for a while. But the primary physician and your physician team is going to be able to best answer those questions.

Shelby:  If ever you’re sick and you’re on immunosuppressants, just make sure you at least call a doctor’s nurse.

Lupe:     And you had to tell him because, you know, they might not be aware.

Shelby:  Yeah, yeah. Doctors, they have so many patients. They’re not going to know you by name. They’re not going to be able to just look on your file and remember every detail about you. So if you ever have an infection like this, make sure you say, I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, I’ve been diagnosed. I’m taking these medications right now and this is how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m concerned for these reasons. What do you think?

Lupe:     Try Yoga.

Brian:    Try Yoga.

Lupe:     Try Yoga, That fixes everything.

Shelby:  Even the common cold.

Brian:    I think we’ll get into the try yoga statement in another episode.

Lupe:     Shelby, I want to know what causes inflammation in Sjogren’s patients,

Shelby:  So inflammation is a part of the immune response. All immune responses start out with inflammation. Anytime a bacteria or virus gets in our body and it gets marked in our body, understands that we have an illness inside, then all sorts of white blood cells come and flood the area.

Shelby:  Um, certain liquids will follow. We want to have extra water in that area because it helps the white blood cells function. And so localized inflammation is a big part of any sort of illness. If you have a cut, it might seem a little red and swollen. It might feel a little hot and that’s just part of the immune system and the inflammation response.

Shelby:  And in Sjogren’s, when you have this auto immune disorder, that means you, that you have a system wide, your whole body has this going on, right? Armpits, mouth, eyes, um, all of that is going to be having immune responses and it’s all going to be inflamed to a certain degree. So you’re not going to be bright red and puffy all around your whole body, but you’re going to have this whole system inflammation response going on because that’s how your body has the best functioning white blood cells.

Lupe:     I don’t know if we covered this, but how important is diet with Sjogren’s or just in general?

Shelby:  So in order for your body to function best, we need to have all of our nutrients and vitamins and minerals, right? Because that gives each of our cells all of the little pieces that they need in order to do their job and function best. And when we’re sick, we know it’s important that we make sure that we’re extra hydrated. We’re getting extra protein because this helps our body overcome the illnesses that we’re facing.

Shelby:  And with Sjogren’s and auto immune disorders, you want to make sure that you have the hydration you need, the nutrients you need in order to optimize your cell functioning. So that your cells can function and make sure that your body is functioning at its best level.

Lupe:     I was trying to be really good with my diet, a few months ago and I started eating a lot of dehydrated fruits. Apples, it was all kinds of stuff, right?

Brian:    Bananas, pears.

Lupe:     We even dehydrated, we bought this thing-a-ma-bobber and we started.

Brian:    A dehydrator.

Lupe:     Not thing-a-ma-bobber? Okay. We bought this dehydrator and bananas, pears, you name it. And I was really, I thought I was eating healthy. I think I was. And, but what I found, because I love talking about this subject, I stopped pooping. Can you speak of that?

Shelby:  Ah, well dehydrate, you’re taking the moisture out. And it has a certain effect on her, the nutrients that are available. Um, and I’m guessing if it affected your bowel movements, that it probably affected the fibers. Because it’s the fiber, like the fibrous proteins in fruits and vegetables, and fiber is what makes you go to the bathroom regularly. Right?

Shelby:  Fiber irritates your intestines and the intestine lining and that’s what produces the mucus to help you go poop. Right? Um, so I’m guessing, if I didn’t look it up, I don’t know for sure, but I think dehydrated and we’ll probably have an effect on those proteins. Just like when you eat raw broccoli versus steamed broccoli, steamed Broccoli has a little less nutrients, a little less protein because the steaming it, the cooking it, it affects like the molecular makeup of the broccoli. So dehydration might have a similar effect.

Brian:    Wouldn’t the body also have to have that much more moisture to rehydrate, to help process as well?

Brian:    Well, when you’re chewing food, um, you know, you have a certain amount of saliva in your mouth that helps moisten the food and breaks it up a little more and you have some enzymes in your saliva that start breaking it down. And with dried fruits and nuts like drier foods and even like breads and stuff, it takes a little more saliva to get it to that point. So dried fruits versus, you know, a big juicy apple that’s going to make a little bit of a difference in how much saliva you need to do that.

Lupe:     Yeah, I don’t think I was drinking more water when I was eating dehydrated foods. I just, you know, I just realized…

Shelby:  And hydration’s important for pooping too.

Lupe:     Yeah. So then I just noticed that I wasn’t pooping and I’m like, okay, I not consuming more water, it’s dehydrated, you know. So anyway, so I just stopped eating dehydrated foods.

Lupe:     I have one more question and then I’m good. A flare up, I hear that word a lot. Can you explain it?

Shelby:  So flare ups is just um, you know, probably something happened that pushed your body a little off kilter. You got a little off balance, um, and then your immune system just has a big overreaction to try and get back to a baseline. Right? So our body always wants to have a good baseline.

Shelby:  If we get sick, we get a little off the line. If we, you know, go out for a big, a long hike then our body gets exhausted, we’re off the line. If you’re out and you know you’re partying or drinking or something, your body’s off that line. And your body always wants to return to baseline.

Shelby:  And with flare ups you probably had something happen. And with Sjogren’s Syndrome, your lines a lot finer, right? It’s easier to get off the line and get off balance. And it’s harder to get back on balance and on track and to that line.

Shelby:  So a flareup is just when your immune system has to overreact, your body and your cells have to work harder to get back to baseline. And with Sjogren’s Syndrome, all sorts of things can put it off balance, right? When you go hiking on your long hikes on the weekends, that might cause a flare up because you’re using your body and you’re causing a little more damage and exhausting the cells a little more.

Lupe:     Yeah.

Lupe:     And it probably affects people differently, right? Depending on the person.

Shelby:  Oh yeah, of course. Lots of people are different. We all are going to react differently. And even like to think, you know, we go to the grocery store, think of how many bacteria and viruses we come into contact with. But we don’t always get sick, right? Because our body’ is able to attack those, you know, those foreign pathogens a lot quicker. And get rid of them before we start feeling the symptoms and we actually get sick. And that happens all the time. You know, we interact with bugs and viruses all the time.

Shelby:  And so as Sjogren’s Syndrome that probably can cause a flare up to. You might go to the grocery store and just interact with someone sick without really knowing it and you don’t get fully sick, but you get a little bit sick in your body has to work hard to squash that sickness.

Lupe:     Shelby, are there any words of encouragement that you would like our listeners to hear?

Shelby:  So you guys have been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome or you know, somebody affected by it. That’s probably what brought you to listen to this show. Um, I hope that you guys are finding good community and other people that are living there day to day life. The Sjogren’s Syndrome.

Shelby:  I hope that you guys are taking the extra steps you can so that you can continue living life to the best of your ability. Making sure you have good nutrition. You’re drinking lots of water. Making sure you’re still getting out there and enjoying the activities that you like doing.

Shelby:  Sjogren’s Syndrome is no reason to sit on your behind. I know it’s hard to, when you get a new diagnosis, it’s hard to adapt to that and adjust your lifestyle, but once you adjust it, you could still live a great life with Sjogren’s.

Lupe:     Positive mental attitude.

Brian:    Shelby, we really want to thank you for being a guest on Sjogren’s Strong.

Brian:    In the show notes there will be a link to a post we’re going to put in the Living Sjogren’s Strong group on Facebook and we’re going to tag Shelby. She’s a member of the group. I had to twist your arm a little bit. She’s like, Dad, I’m busy. I’ve got my own life.

Brian:    But no, she’s a very loving, caring individual. And um, if there are any questions because of this show or questions you would like to ask of a nurse, we do have one in the group and she’s graciously said that you can ask your questions on that post and she’ll do her best to answer them in a timely manner.

Brian:    So don’t go bashing on my kid. But, you know, go ahead and ask your questions. And you know, we’re going to do our best to ask the questions. We’ve committed to you all that if we don’t know the answer, we will find out and/or point you in the best direction, So with that having been said, Lupe?

Lupe:     Shelby I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to be on our show. We really appreciate it. You’ve been really helpful. You’ve answered so many questions. Our listeners had so many questions and both Brian and I learned a lot.

Shelby:  Thank you guys for having me. I really enjoyed doing this show and learning so much about Sjogren’s Syndrome just by knowing Lupe. And getting to know a lot more about this disorder and the immune system. Um, and I’m happy to answer all your questions. I love learning about this stuff. Um, and I love being able to interact with the primary literature because I’m a big old nerd.

Brian:    Yes, she is.

Shelby:  Thanks guys.

Brian:    Thank you.

Lupe:     Thank you.

No matter how long you’ve had an illness, we encourage you to keep an open mind and continue to learn how to better manage any condition. The more in tune you are with your own body, the better you’ll be able to realize what’s helping. For example, by adding Turmeric, ginger, and thyme to my morning shake, I haven’t felt the effects of not taking glucosamine for a couple of weeks.

We hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group Living Sjogren’s Strong.


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