I have had rheumatoid arthritis for the past six years. I also have the "dry mouth syndrome." Is there any help that can be offered for people with the "dry mouth syndrome"?
A -- The condition that you describe also is referred to as Sjorgren's syndrome. It may occur in association with a variety of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment of Sjorgren's syndrome remains primarily symptomatic. This might include sipping fluids frequently; some individuals might wish to carry a water spray bottle. Chewing on sugarless gum or candies often helps to alleviate the symptoms.
Medications that are related to Atropine, anti-depressants, antihistamines and some muscle relaxers may enhance dryness of the mouth and should be avoided. A humidifier in the home is helpful.
John I. Starr, M.D.
Department of Medicine
Q -- I have bladder problems that include difficulty urinating, urgency and pressure in the lower abdomen. Can you suggest any treatment?
A -- The bladder symptoms you have, including urgency, pressure in the lower abdomen and difficulty initiating urination, sound very much like a hormone deficiency that occurs in menopausal women.
Many times these symptoms can be improved or totally eliminated by using hormone vaginal creme.
John H. Peterson, M.D.
If there are health or medical questions you would like answered in this column, please send them to: Buffalo General Hospital, Public Relations Department, 100 High St., Buffalo, N.Y. 14203.