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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.
Gynecology/Obstetrics Department
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.

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