Venus Williams Lives With Sjogren’s Syndrome And Tries To Change The Face Of This Condition

Date November 24, 2017

Autoimmune disease can affect anyone

Autoimmune diseases are quite common and can affect almost everyone. Famous tennis player Venus Williams is among millions of people living with autoimmune diseases. She has Sjogren’s syndrome and tries to change the face of this condition.

Hopefully that shot was a winner ;) @elevenbyvenus

Публикация от Venus Williams (@venuswilliams)

What is Sjogren’s syndrome?

Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that influences secretion system. It develops when the lymphocytes (white blood cells) decide that some organs in the body are alien and start to attack them. This condition affects the functioning of the glands that produce saliva and tears.

Today more than 4 million people in the United States suffer from this systemic autoimmune disease. According to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, nine out of ten people with Sjogren’s syndrome are women. Most of the patients are diagnosed after the age of 40.Doctors don’t know exactly why this condition occurs, but they think heredity plays a role. In addition, they suspect certain viruses and bacterium can trigger it.

Symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome

The signs and symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome may vary from person to person. They include the following:

  • dry mouth;
  • dry eyes;
  • dry skin,
  • fatigue;
  • rashes;
  • dry cough;
  • pain in muscles and joints;
  • thyroid problems.

The most common complaints are dry mouth and dry eyes, but in more serious cases, this condition can involve the kidney, lungs, and liver. Although Sjogren’s syndrome is Sjogren’s syndrome, it isn’t life-treating, if it is diagnosed in time. All possible complications need to be treated promptly. People with Sjogren’s syndrome are at greater risk of developing lymphoma.

Unfortunately, Sjogren’s syndrome often remains undiagnosed because its symptoms can be similar to the signs of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other conditions.

Venus Williams’ journey

Venus Willims was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011, and she had to withdraw from the US Open that year. Sjogren’s syndrome made Venus change her life. After the diagnosis, she started to follow a vegan diet and reduced her consumption of sugar.

But I really do love sliding...but I really do love the clay! @elevenbyvenus #RG17

Публикация от Venus Williams (@venuswilliams)

Venus also faced difficulties with being diagnosed. On TV show “Katie” in 2013, she recalled that it was really exhausting. She said:

When you’re so tired it’s hard to explain but the quality of your life goes down. I’d go to the doctor and say I don’t feel good and they didn’t know why.

I'm a proud mama @jessrbgreen @serenawilliams #nationalpuppyday

Публикация от Venus Williams (@venuswilliams)

The tennis superstar explains that today due to her condition it takes her more time to recover and she has to deal with it. Venus demonstrated her courage by sharing her experience, and her story can help other patients.

Source: Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, MedicineNet, CBSNews

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.