Fibromyalgia or Sicca Syndrome?

Sicca Syndrome

Are you suffering from the symptoms of fibromyalgia? You know the chronic pain, fatigue, and mental fog? All tell-tale signs that you’ve got fibromyalgia. But have you ever considered that maybe it’s not fibro? There are actually a number of other conditions that cause very similar symptoms. For instance, have you ever heard of sicca syndrome?

Sicca, also known as Sjogren’s syndrome, is one of these conditions, and it can often be difficult to tell apart from fibromyalgia. So what is the syndrome, what are the symptoms, and how can you distinguish it from fibromyalgia?

What Is Sicca Syndrome?

The syndrome is named after Swedish doctor Samuel Sjogren, who first identified the condition after examining a number of patients who had it. The term sicca syndrome refers to the way it attacks the moisture producing areas of the body and drying them out or desiccating them.

The syndrome is an autoimmune condition that can damage a number of organs in the body. On a basic level, an autoimmune condition is one where your body’s immune system essentially turns against you. In a healthy immune system, white blood cells attack foreign cells such as bacteria or viruses. This trains the blood cells to quickly identify these cells and destroy them as soon as they appear. It’s an important part of your overall health and the only reason that we can survive in a world filled with dangerous bacteria.

In someone with an autoimmune condition, these white blood cells get confused and become conditioned to treat your body’s own cells as though they were hostile invaders. As a result, they attack the body and start progressively destroying tissue and often these conditions can eventually cause significant damage to vital organs.

Sicca syndrome causes your body’s immune system to attack your entire body and though the most commonly affected areas are the moisture producing tissue like the eyes and mucous glands, it can affect everything from your muscles to your lungs. And this can produce some unusual symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms?

Sicca syndrome can create symptoms that are quite similar to other autoimmune condition. People with sicca can experience a persistent cough or possibly painful skin rashes.

But more importantly, sicca syndrome often results in symptoms that are very similar to fibromyaliga. See, it can result in chronic fatigue, mental fog, and chronic pain. And that of course sounds very similar to the symptoms of fibromyalgia. And another similarity is that both conditions can be hard to diagnose, so you can spend years with aching muscles and fatigue before you even know what you have.

Put all that together and it’s quite possible that you could get the two conditions confused. You could be doing research one day to figure out why you’re always tired and have muscle pains and decide that fibromyalgia is the most likely cause only to find out a year later that you actually have sicca syndrome.

So, how do you tell the two apart?

Sicca Syndrome vs. Fibromyalgia

Obviously, there are some significant similarities between sicca syndrome and fibromyalgia. But there is also one significant difference between the two conditions that makes it possible to distinguish between them. That’s the fact that it attacks the moisture producing glands of the body.

One of the most common areas that this occurs is the eyes (in the tear ducts), which leads sufferers to get dry eyes. And because the tear ducts help protect your eyes, this can get very uncomfortable. It can feel like you’ve got something irritating, like sand, in your eyes which you just can’t seem to get rid of. You can also find yourself drying out in other areas, like the mouth.

And if you’re a woman -and the majority of sicca sufferers are- you may experience an uncomfortable dryness of the vagina.

But, this dryness also let’s you know that what you are dealing with is not fibromyalgia. While fibromyalgia can produce a lot of different –and often strange– symptoms, this kind of frequent dryness isn’t one of them. So if you’re finding that you frequently experience fatigue and muscle pain, be aware that there other possible explanations than fibromyalgia.

And sicca might account for the symptoms you are experiencing. It’s worth keeping in mind as you try to make sense of your situation.  Discuss your concerns about symptoms with your primary care physician or rheumatologist.


The preceding information is from and is posted here for sharing purposes only. Please visit their site for additional information.
Image from Wikimedia Commons


“Happy Endings M/M, Cedar Falls #20” by Shea Balik #NewRelease 18+

Happy Endings cover

“Happy Endings M/M, Cedar Falls #20”

by Shea Balik

Genre: MMRomance/Gay/Erotic

Release Date: June 6, 2017


goodreads Button

Welcome to Cedar Falls, a small North Carolina town nestled amongst the Smokey Mountains. Where the people are friendly and the men are hot.

Gabriel McCarthy came to Cedar Falls in an attempt to find his own way in this world. What he hadn’t expected was to find friends who would stand by each other no matter who tried to get in their way or a man he could easily see spending the rest of his life with.

Lakyn Voss had just had the rug pulled out from under him when the mayor of Cedar Falls made it his mission to destroy Lakyn’s business. Determined not to fall victim to the man’s manipulations, he finds solace in Gabriel’s arms.

Warning: A battle of wits ensues in Cedar Falls as the tension rises and the date for the mayoral race comes closer.


“What do you think of Jesse becoming mayor, Lakyn?” Vail asked.

At times, Lakyn might cringe at the thought of Jesse being mayor, but he knew, deep down – like way deep, deep down – that Jesse would make a great mayor. “So long as he doesn’t actually do half the crazy things he mentions, I’d vote for him.”

Ethan gave a harsh laugh. “Yeah, let’s just hope he doesn’t ban tea from downtown. I might prefer coffee most days but I have to admit to still liking a cup of hot tea on occasion.”

“Or erecting a Bigfoot statue,” Flynn added. “Sure it would be cool, but I also don’t believe the taxpayers should have to pay for that any more than they had to pay for that waterfall monstrosity Mayor Murphy had built.”

“I’d like a Bigfoot statue,” Vail insisted. “And it might add enough mystery to this town to get more people to visit.”

Lakyn would appreciate that. “I agree. Those weekends when the festivals do activities in the woods or on the lakes generate a lot of business for me. Zoey and I are usually booked solid as the men go off on their adventure while the wives stay and get massages.”

Zoey was Lakyn’s partner. They had both worked for Sierra Breeze, a holistic store in town, for about a year. But when the owners Sierra and Breeze said they needed more room for their products and would no longer be able to give Lakyn and Zoey room to give massages, they had decided to try to open their own massage parlor, Happy Endings.

It was tough going at first, but they have been building a steady clientele. They also set up massage chairs during the festivals that brought in really good money.

“See?” Vail said. “Building a Bigfoot statue and having a yearly event to search for him would bring in great revenue.” The smug expression on his face told Lakyn this wasn’t the first time they had argued about the topic.

“Excuse me?” A man in a suit that was way too formal for Cedar Falls approached their table.

Instantly Lakyn was put off by the man’s need to impress. Who did he think lived in Cedar Falls that a suit was needed? This was a small southern town, not some big city where the only morals people knew were the ones that were green and had numbers on them.

“I heard you gentlemen discussing the mayoral race and I was wondering if I may get your perspective on the candidates.” The man’s deep cultured voice sent a small shiver down Lakyn’s spine.

Lakyn tried to stop it, but he couldn’t seem to help himself. There was just something about the smooth voice that made him want to listen all day. Didn’t mean he would, just that he would like to.

“I haven’t seen you around these parts and that suit clearly screams you aren’t from Cedar Falls, so why would you want to know about our mayoral race?” Ethan asked bluntly.

Compelled to look up at the man whose voice held his attention, Lakyn softly gasped as he stared into brown eyes swirled with amber. They were like the warm honey he drizzled on his toast. Enthralled, Lakyn found himself gazing up at the man, not caring that just seconds before he’d been put off by the stranger for wearing a suit.

“I’m here for an interview with Jesse Grant to be his campaign manager, but I was hoping to get a sense of the man first,” the stranger answered, not even seeming to notice that Lakyn was there. Then again, Lakyn hadn’t spoken so there was no reason for the man to notice him. Not that Lakyn wanted him to.

Ethan immediately stiffened and went on the defensive. “I don’t remember Jesse saying he had an appointment with anyone today.”

“That’s because I don’t have an appointment,” the stranger said. Then he stuck out his hand to Ethan. “Gabriel McCarthy. Nice to meet you.”

But Ethan, Flynn, and Vail just continued to eye Gabriel, silently demanding he explain further.

But Gabriel didn’t bend, which was impressive. If Lakyn’s friends had looked at him like that, he would have given up whatever secrets the three wanted. He probably would have even made up a few just to keep them happy.

Almost reluctantly, Flynn stuck his hand out and shook Gabriel’s. “I’m not sure we can trust you, but I am impressed. Flynn Rankin.”

Gabriel’s lips turned upward just slightly. “Thank you. I must say, it isn’t often I’ve faced anyone as intimidating as you three, and I’ve faced potential presidents.”

Lakyn wanted to leave. He might be attracted to the guy, but it was obvious by the reserved expression on Gabriel’s face that he was as fake as a three-dollar bill. Nothing turned Lakyn off more than those who couldn’t be genuine.

“Wait a minute,” Vail said. “If you’ve met people running for president, what in the hell are you doing in Cedar Falls to meet Jesse?”

Gabriel’s face fell for the first time since he approached the table. It only lasted seconds but it was the first time Gabriel had been real and damn if it didn’t draw Lakyn in.

A haughty note crept into Gabriel’s tone, as if he were trying to cover his mistake of dropping the mask he’d been wearing since approaching them. “Unfortunately, I may have met some of the leaders in this country, but due to my young age and inexperience, I was not given the opportunity to actually help on their campaigns as I had wished.”

Ethan tilted his head. “So, in other words, you want to use Jesse to give you experience of running a campaign to advance your career.”

Those liquid honey eyes hardened into amber. “Even though I wish to advance my career, I can assure you Jesse would benefit from the knowledge I possess in politics. I graduated from Harvard, after all.”

Ass. Yet, even though he thought that about Gabriel, Lakyn couldn’t deny he was attracted. If he had any hope of not falling for the guy, who clearly was used to playing a part instead of being himself, then Lakyn needed to get out of there. Fast.


Follow Shea Online

Website –

Facebook –

Amazon –

Twitter –

Pinterest –

Instagram –

Goodreads –

Bookstrand –


“An Unlikely Bride” by Nadia Lee #TeaserTuesday #PreOrder

An Unlikely Bride teaser


The meek shall inherit the earth, they say.

Bullsh*t. Look at me now. What do I have? Nothing.

I thought I wouldn’t get past a second heartbreak. I was wrong. I never should’ve closed myself off in tears when Lucas told me he loved me. I should’ve had faith he wouldn’t betray me.

Regaining his love will mean throwing away my pride, my armor and laying myself completely bare. I have to trust that he won’t crush me at my most vulnerable.

The attempt will leave me bleeding. It might just kill me. But I definitely won’t survive knowing that I didn’t fight for what I wanted: my future.

A future with the only man I ever loved…a man more important than the very air I breathe…


You gotta put yourself out there to get what you want.

My @ss.

I bared my heart to Ava. I begged for her trust, her love.

Instead she shattered my soul.

She’s circling me, her pretty eyes vulnerable. She won’t fool me this time. I’ll never give her another shot. I’ll break her before she breaks me…

An Unlikely Bride (Lucas & Ava #2)
An Unlikely Bride teaser2



“A Fighting Chance” by Annie Stone #ReleaseBlitz




When Mackenzie meets Carter, it’s love at first sight. They have a blissful year together before trouble arrives. In the form of Carter’s two teenage sons.

When Hunter and Carey decide they want to live with their father in California, Mackenzie knows right away that she’s in for a tough time. And she couldn’t be more right.

The two boys show her on a daily basis that she’s not good enough for their dad. In fact, they make it quite clear their lives would be better without her. But could it be that Hunter has quite a different motive for hating her?
I’m a contemporary romance writer, who likes her men tattooed, her women independent and her coffee strong.

My stories are all about love, but some are of the romantic kind, some of the sad kind and others of the very steamy kind. So if you can stand drama, foul language and sex, you came to the right place.

Love, Annie
Author Links