What are the GI symptoms of Sjögren syndrome?

Updated: Mar 05, 2021
  • Author: Sriya K Ranatunga, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Dryness of the pharynx and esophagus frequently leads to difficulty with swallowing (deglutition), in which case patients usually describe food becoming stuck in the upper throat. [37] Lack of saliva may lead to impaired clearance of acid and may result in gastroesophageal reflux and esophagitis.

Abdominal pain and diarrhea can occur. Rarely, patients develop acute or chronic pancreatitis, as well as malabsorption due to pancreatic insufficiency. However, caution is advised when interpreting laboratory results because an elevated amylase level may arise from the parotid gland.

Patients with gastritis should be tested for Helicobacter pylori infection, because of its association with gastric mucosa–associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas. [39]

Patients with Sjögren syndrome are at increased risk for delayed gastric emptying, which can cause early satiety, upper abdominal discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. [40]


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