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National Scleroderma Awareness Month

SclerodermaAwareness_web_cover_photo_2017

 

 

 

 

 

There are many awareness months you may observe, and one of these is National Scleroderma Awareness Month. This is observed every month of June and is usually led by organizations such as the Scleroderma Foundation. The month-long awareness campaign can be participated not only by scleroderma patients, but also by anyone who wishes to help.

What Is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a skin disease which makes it impossible for patients to move some parts of their body like hands, feet, neck, and so on. Sclero means “hard” and derma means “skin,” so scleroderma is the hardening of skin similar with leprosy, but different in a way that it does not decay. However, the disease stays forever as there is still no permanent cure for it.

So far, it’s not clear what causes scleroderma. It just appears to anyone without any signs. Moreover, many people wouldn’t know what kind of disease it is because it comes on suddenly. You will just find yourself unable to move your fingers, as though there is an outside force stopping you from moving them.

More and more people are suffering from scleroderma. Even so, this is still considered a rare disease. It is so rare that even some doctors are not familiar with it.

The problem with scleroderma is that it does not only attack the skin outside, but also inside our body, and such condition may affect our internal organs such as digestive system, kidneys, and even the heart.

Why is there a Campaign if the Disease is Rare?

It’s true that scleroderma is a very rare disease; however, the number of such cases is ever increasing. In the United States, there are 240 cases of scleroderma for every 1 million in the population, and while this number seems small, the disease should be recognized.

Although there are some studies being conducted to discover the cure for it, researchers find it difficult to gather information because of the lack of sources such as patient history and testimonials. This means that even some people who already suffer from scleroderma are not aware they already have it.

This is why there is a month-long awareness campaign that needs to be observed every month of June in order to encourage patients to share their experience and collaborate with organizations that propagate information about scleroderma.

If you don’t suffer from scleroderma, you can participate in the campaign to help others. You can learn about this disease and teach others about it, too. The information about scleroderma may be limited, but getting more people involved in this awareness campaign can surely contribute a lot in gathering more information.

What Is for Scleroderma Patients?

People who suffer from scleroderma feel helpless because of their condition, and need community support. If you are a scleroderma patient, you can’t go solo, as you need the help of others as it’s not good to feel isolated.

National Scleroderma Awareness Month is the best chance for you to meet other people with the same condition. In this way, you can share experience among one another and boost your confidence to move on with life. Moreover, scleroderma patients may get updates about the latest in scleroderma research, medicine, or technology.

Scleroderma is not a new disease as it so happens that this disease is unknown to many. This is why there is a need for awareness month such as National Scleroderma Awareness Month in order to educate many people about it.

 

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What is Psoriasis?

766x415_10_Tips_for_Taking_the_Unpredictability_Out_of_Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin inflammation caused when your body has an overactive immune system.

This skin inflammation can present itself in the form of red patches of skin. These patches can be itchy, scaly, and silvery in appearance. These red patches can be intensely itchy. Those individuals diagnosed with psoriasis arthritis experience joint swelling, pain, and stiffness.

If your doctor diagnoses you with a skin condition called “Psoriasis,” you may have one of the five types of psoriasis such as plaque, guttate, inverse, or pustular Erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis that affects upwards of 80 to 90 percent of the American populace.

The kind of psoriasis you have determines the type of treatment the doctor says is the correct treatment for you.

Where Does Psoriasis Commonly Attack the Skin?

Psoriasis commonly attacks skin areas that you do not usually cover with clothing such as,

  • Scalp
  • Neck
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Lower Back

These areas of skin inflammation frequently come under the scrutiny of other people who simply do not know about psoriasis.

Your primary doctor can give you the diagnosis of psoriasis, but may refer you to a dermatologist so you can have the benefit of the most current and up-to-date treatment options.

Your particular type of psoriasis demands a specific kind of therapy, and this is up to your doctor. Your responsibility is to follow your treatment plan and report back to your doctor any improvements, increased skin problems, and noted treatment side effects.

Other People Can Be Cruel

If you have psoriasis, you may have experienced strange looks from people who are uneducated in your diagnosis. Many people think that you have something contagious, not getting too close for fear of catching your skin condition. Constantly educate those less informed individuals and never let someone’s lack of knowledge impact your life.

Some Treatment Option Available

Your doctor will take a history from you to help determine why this problem arose. The doctor may pinpoint certain triggers such as stress, insomnia, or diet. Triggers demand an individual treatment as much as the diagnosis itself.

Your doctor may recommend that you use a particular skin moisturizer to decrease skin dryness and irritation. These moisturizers can be over-the-counter or require a prescription. Many doctors find that the use of steroid creams like a cortisone cream helps to reduce the appearance of psoriasis.

Some simple treatments like vitamin D creams or some topical contribute to lessening the rate of inflammation by reducing skin cell growth.

Scalp psoriasis may require a special hair cream or shampoo. Light therapy is a proven effective treatment for some people when used on inflamed skin areas. Doctors frequently combine known and effective treatments together.

What you need to remember is that everyone reacts differently to the diagnosis of psoriasis and the treatment options available. The length of time it takes to see improvements also varies because everyone’s body is different

In Conclusion

If you have psoriasis, no matter what type, you know that it can cause you mental anguish, anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, time off from work, and isolation. And, unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, but you can keep this skin condition at bay by working with your doctor to find the most effective treatment for your body.

Also, not following your appointed treatment regimen can cause secondary infections, health problems, and escalating health care costs.

It is vital to follow your doctor’s orders so that you can see a decrease in your skin problems. You can live a healthy life, enjoying your life to the fullest with your psoriasis diagnosis.

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What is Psoriasis?

766x415_10_Tips_for_Taking_the_Unpredictability_Out_of_Psoriasis

Image is from healthline.com

Psoriasis is a skin inflammation caused when your body has an overactive immune system.

This skin inflammation can present itself in the form of red patches of skin. These patches can be itchy, scaly, and silvery in appearance. These red patches can be intensely itchy. Those individuals diagnosed with psoriasis arthritis experience joint swelling, pain, and stiffness.

If your doctor diagnoses you with a skin condition called “Psoriasis,” you may have one of the five types of psoriasis such as plaque, guttate, inverse, or pustular Erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis that affects upwards of 80 to 90 percent of the American populace.

The kind of psoriasis you have determines the type of treatment the doctor says is the correct treatment for you.

Where Does Psoriasis Commonly Attack the Skin?

Psoriasis commonly attacks skin areas that you do not usually cover with clothing such as,

  • Scalp
  • Neck
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Lower Back

These areas of skin inflammation frequently come under the scrutiny of other people who simply do not know about psoriasis.

Your primary doctor can give you the diagnosis of psoriasis, but may refer you to a dermatologist so you can have the benefit of the most current and up-to-date treatment options.

Your particular type of psoriasis demands a specific kind of therapy, and this is up to your doctor. Your responsibility is to follow your treatment plan and report back to your doctor any improvements, increased skin problems, and noted treatment side effects.

Other People Can Be Cruel

If you have psoriasis, you may have experienced strange looks from people who are uneducated in your diagnosis. Many people think that you have something contagious, not getting too close for fear of catching your skin condition. Constantly educate those less informed individuals and never let someone’s lack of knowledge impact your life.

Some Treatment Option Available

Your doctor will take a history from you to help determine why this problem arose. The doctor may pinpoint certain triggers such as stress, insomnia, or diet. Triggers demand an individual treatment as much as the diagnosis itself.

Your doctor may recommend that you use a particular skin moisturizer to decrease skin dryness and irritation. These moisturizers can be over-the-counter or require a prescription. Many doctors find that the use of steroid creams like a cortisone cream helps to reduce the appearance of psoriasis.

Some simple treatments like vitamin D creams or some topical contribute to lessening the rate of inflammation by reducing skin cell growth.

Scalp psoriasis may require a special hair cream or shampoo. Light therapy is a proven effective treatment for some people when used on inflamed skin areas. Doctors frequently combine known and effective treatments together.

What you need to remember is that everyone reacts differently to the diagnosis of psoriasis and the treatment options available. The length of time it takes to see improvements also varies because everyone’s body is different

In Conclusion

If you have psoriasis, no matter what type, you know that it can cause you mental anguish, anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, time off from work, and isolation. And, unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, but you can keep this skin condition at bay by working with your doctor to find the most effective treatment for your body.

Also, not following your appointed treatment regimen can cause secondary infections, health problems, and escalating health care costs.

It is vital to follow your doctor’s orders so that you can see a decrease in your skin problems. You can live a healthy life, enjoying your life to the fullest with your psoriasis diagnosis.

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Symptoms & Treatment of Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that can occur in any age demographic, gender or race. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis and people who suffer from this condition tend to have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Often enhanced or irritated by environmental factors, psoriasis is genetic and can be passed on to future generations. There are a number of different forms of this condition that cause different symptoms and include psoriasis vulgaris, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis and more. The most common symptom however, tends to be the red, scaly rash that people are most familiar with.

What Are The Symptoms

Psoriasis prevents itself as a scaly looking rash that forms in patches most of the time. It tends to be very red and very itchy. The most common places that people will have outbreaks of psoriasis include on the scalp of the hear, the knees and the elbows. Though, these patches can present themselves just about anywhere on the body. The rash itself is not contagious and cannot be passed to others. Though many people feel embarrassed by their psoriasis and try to hide it, the stress of this condition will only make the problem worse. You can however, go into remission and be symptom free for a long duration of time if you are properly taking care of yourself and your skin. There is a form of psoriasis arthritis that affects not only the skin but it also has an affect on the body’s joints, causing pain and stiffness. This is something a rheumatologist can assist with and help treat.

Treatment

Something to keep in mind is that if you have been diagnosed with a form of psoriasis (as much as 3 percent of the population has been diagnosed), this condition can not be cured. Yes, remission can be achieved and maintained but this is not a curable condition. New therapies and drugs are constantly being developed to help manage psoriasis and with the help of medication, many patients can remain symptom free. Not all medical professionals are highly knowledgeable on this condition. You should make sure you seek out a professional in your area that is well versed in psoriasis treatment. Typically this will be a rheumatologist or a dermatologist while a general practitioner can ensure you are taking your medication properly and managing any other health conditions you have. Many people who suffer from certain forms of psoriasis tend to develop liver issues at some point in their lives so this is something your doctor can watch out for over time.

Risk Factors

The actual cause of psoriasis is still unknown but there are some factors that contribute to the development of this condition including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Many medical professionals believe that this condition can be a result of an immune system disturbance. When white blood cells target healthy cells rather than targeting foreign substances, this can cause a dermatological reaction. Psoriasis is basically an inflammation of the skin and anything that can increase inflammation in the body can cause a problem in theory.

While psoriasis may be an unsightly condition to have to deal with, it is very common and at this point, many people have heard of the condition making it quite accepted amongst the population. No person with psoriasis should feel self conscious with themselves during a flare up but the problem may signal something else going on and medical attention should be acquired during a flare up. A trusted medical professional can help you determine is a medication would be beneficial.

 

 

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Importance of National Health Center Week

NHCW17

Image is from North Carolina Community Health Center Association

More Healthy Communities

One of the most important things for proper health in a given community is education. People must know which activities are healthy, and which can be potentially harmful. According to the National Health Center Week (NHCW) 2017 website, more than 25 million in the United States are served by health centers. The site goes on to point out that throughout the fifty states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and outlying U.S. territories, there are some 9,000 sites of delivery. That is quite a few options.

Now there are a little over 19,000 incorporated places in the United States, which means almost every other town or city has some kind of health center–statistically. Though many Americans aren’t aware of the available services which can be attained at a health center, it should be no surprise that a large number of U.S. citizens rely on health center services to survive.

Crunching Numbers

You may not have thought about this, but what an economic indicator! An ill community won’t be able to labor at the same quality as a healthy one. Furthermore, if the illness besetting a given community has a communicable quality, passerby could spread infection. Think about catching a cold and being knocked out for a week. You would work, but can’t. If you averaged $100 a day, you’re out at least $500. The business is out at least three times that; because if you’re making $100 a day, be assured whomever you’ve allied with in an employment capacity is making thrice that.

If a local health center can cut illness down ten percent, it’s likely that a 30% or higher economic stimulation feeds the community hosting the health center. When you consider that health centers in the U.S. provide for all individuals, regardless of economic or insurance affiliation, the picture becomes even more clear.

Communal Economic Energy

Another thing to consider is longevity of service. If you go onto the NHCW website, you’ll find health centers in the United States have been serving the country some fifty years. That’s half a century, and worth a whole lot of accolade.

For those attending NHCW events, there are quite a few very interesting features worth considering, too. Technology expands at a predictable, regular pace. This means medical solutions available to all through a health center are often paraded past the public during NHCW events. There are some truly innovative services designed to provide for the community, and worth exploring. Also, each health center presents itself to the community in its own, unique way.

The healthier a community, the more productive that community is. Greater production leads to greater economic growth, which leads to better jobs. Better jobs mean more economic growth for a given community. A good health center acts almost like an economic mitochondrial fulcrum–if you want to wax medical. The mitochondria is basically the energy center of a given cellular structure. A fulcrum is the “support” around which a given lever “pivots”.

Explore Local Options

Health generally acts in this capacity: the economy can positively pivot when good health silhouettes a community. But not everyone can afford top-tier health solutions. Especially when you consider low-income families and single mothers, health center solutions are integral to proper community functionality.

As NHCW approaches, it makes sense to take a moment for appreciation and reflection. For the last fifty years, these areas of medical care have helped keep America’s economic engine functioning. Additionally, there are many services you may not have realized were available. Be sure and look into your community’s NHCW events. You may just learn something that changes your life.

 

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Understanding Cataract

examining-eye

Image is from Medical News Today

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens that filters light in your eye. Cataracts can interfere with your vision and can slowly develop over time or can enlarge quite suddenly. Cataracts are often diagnosed on routine eye exams, but sudden changes in vision should be reported to an eye doctor.

Symptoms of a Cataract

Signs and symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the size of the cataract and how far advanced at is. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems with glares
  • Frequent eyeglass and contact lens prescription changes
  • Clouding of the middle part of the eye
  • Halo effect when looking at lights
  • Double vision in only one eye
  • Needing increased light to do activities such as reading, sewing, or puzzles

A cataract may start as a small spot of blurry vision in your eye and get noticeably worse as time goes on. Regular check-ups with your doctor will help to track the development of the cataract and come up with a proper treatment plan.

What Causes Cataracts?

While cataracts typically develop as you age, there are other issues that can lead to cataracts. Injuries to your eye or surgical procedures can damage the lens of your eye leading to cataracts later in life. Genetics and long-term medical conditions such as diabetes also increase your risk of developing cataracts.

Types of Cataracts

There are four different types of cataracts that you may be diagnosed with. These usually differ by how they develop as well as their location.

Nuclear Cataracts

A nuclear cataract usually begins with a disturbance in your near-sighted vision. As the cataract develops, it will become yellow and more cloudy before becoming brown and will eventually cause a disturbance in both close and far vision.

Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts will begin as white streaks throughout the lens that will eventually spread to the middle, causing more vision disturbance as more light is blocked.

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

This type of cataract typically starts a small opaque area towards the back part of the lens that sits directly in the pathway of the light trying to come through. Posterior subcapsular cataracts will often spread quicker than most and tend to affect reading vision and vision in bright lights. It often creates halos and glare issues.

Congenital Cataracts

Congenital cataracts are ones that a child is born with or they develop sometime during their childhood. This can often be the result of genetics, infection in the uterus, trauma, or medical conditions such as rubella or myotonic dystrophy.

Cataract Surgery

If your cataracts begin to interfere with your ability to read, drive, or perform routine daily activities, cataract surgery may be the best option for you. During the cataract surgery, the doctor will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a new clear lens that will significantly improve your vision.

Cataract surgery is very safe and is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits or surgery with you if it is the recommended course of action.

While cataracts can cause significant problems with everyday life, they are most often treatable with surgery. If you have any vision disturbance or think that you may have a cataract, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

 

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Understanding Sickle cell

Microscopic view of sicke cells causing anemia disease.

Image is from guardian.ng

There are many kinds of diseases that are associated with blood. Some are contagious diseases. Others are developed within the body because of lifestyle or unhealthy habits. On the other hand, there are also such diseases that are inherited, and one of these diseases is sickle cell.

What Is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle cell disease or SCD is a red blood cell disorder that is passed on from parents to children. This red blood cell is identified as sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. There are many people with abnormal hemoglobin such as hemoglobin S, but the most common type of SCD is hemoglobin SS or sickle-cell anemia.

Overview

Our body tissues require oxygen, and this is being supplied by our hemoglobin or red blood cells throughout our body. Since hemoglobin has a round shape, it becomes flexible enough to easily flow through blood vessels. It’s soft and elastic, so it can fit freely flow along with other red blood cells.

Meanwhile, sickle cell has a sickle shape similar with that of a leech. Inside the sickle cell, there are strands that form such a shape, and these stands are hard. As a result, sickle cells don’t easily flow through blood vessels. Instead, they stick to the wall and block the blood vessel. Because of this, the supply of oxygen to our tissues are slowed down or even blocked completely.

When your body tissues don’t have enough supply of oxygen, you may suffer from severe pain crises. Such pain comes without early signs or warning, and this usually ends up being sent to the hospital for immediate treatment. In some cases, it can also harm or damage organs such as lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, and liver.

Causes

SCD is only inherited from a parent as it’s not contagious nor developed overtime. Nevertheless, the probability of inheriting sickle cell disease is low because even if your parent has SCD doesn’t necessarily mean you have also inherited it. There are factors that affect the transfer of SCD such as another parent’s condition. This means that both parents should have SCD in order to pass it on to their children. If only one of the parents has SCD, the disease will not be passed down.

Symptoms

There are different symptoms of sickle cell disease, and they vary from one patient to another depending on health condition. Nonetheless, these are some common symptoms you should observe:

  • Eye Problems
  • Slow Growth
  • Infections
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Swelling takes place in hands and feet; however, chronic pain is usually experienced by young adults who have SCD. If not managed properly, it may lead to bone damage and ulcers. Meanwhile, vision problems happen when eyes have the lack the supply of blood as a result of sickle cell blockage.

When You Should See a Doctor

Symptoms may be a false sign or just a sign of another different disease. It’s difficult to predict until you see a doctor. Visit a doctor if you see and experience the following signs:

  • Yellow Skin
  • Frequent Fever
  • Abnormal Swelling
  • Episodes of Pain

Treatment

The only cure for SCD is stem-cell transplant or bone marrow transplant. However, it has a lot of challenges to do so. Aside from the fact that it is difficult to find a donor, only those who are16 years old or below are able to undergo such an operation. Moreover, the operation is risky, and it sometimes leads to death. Nevertheless, antibiotics are administered to cure the crises or pain.

 

 

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National Safety Month

NSM-Logo-2017

Image is from WMC

National Safety Month is observed during the month of June. Every year, people are encouraged to become aware of the steps to reduce the likelihood of injuries and death caused by many different factors such as negligence, accidents, and more. If there is a special day for a certain awareness campaign, there is also a month-long observance such as this.

Every day, we are faced with the risk of getting injured that may eventually lead to sudden death. This is taking a toll not only on our families, but also on the economy in general as unexpected injuries are counter-productive. Moreover, safety is considered our basic need on top of food, shelter, and clothing. We all have an instinct to be safe, but some of us are not aware of the ways to ensure it.

What Must Be Achieved in National Safety Month?

There are months in which people become observant of a corresponding theme. For instance, December 25 is Christmas day, but the entire month of December is filled with Christmas themes such as Christmas messages, ads, events, and more. All these can slowly shape our culture.

Such is what must be achieved in National Safety Month. People should observed and practice all that are being propagated until they make it a habit to follow safety tips all the time. National Safety Month aims to shape our culture in order to make our community a safer place to live.

What Are the Safety Concerns Covered by National Safety Month?

Safety at Home

Our home should be the safest place we can resort to. However, this is not what happens all the time. Children are commonly the victims of accidents at home simply because they are too young to be aware of the risk involved in every kind of activity.

Falling is one of the most common causes of injuries at home. Although children are vulnerable to this kind of accident, adults can also become victims as they need to fix something at home like roof, ceiling, window, cabinet, curtain, ect. However, sometimes, falling causes death depending upon the situation.

Fire is also another common accident that happens at home. This is because some people are not aware of what causes fire at home such as prolonged charging of electronic devices, improper use of kitchen stoves, faulty electrical wiring, and so on.

Safety at Work

At work, injuries happen in many ways. In production areas, workers get injured because of improper use of dangerous machines. In construction areas, falling debris and slippery floors are the usual causes of accidents and injuries.

Aside from work-related activities, some accidents simply happen in company premises even outside working hours. Therefore, workers should be cautious not only during work, but even after work for, as long as they are still in the workplace.

Safety on the Road

Every year, around 1.3 million people die in road crashes around the world. This is a very serious problem which must be addressed not only by government authorities but also by private individuals.

Some people die on the road because of the negligence of other people. No matter how carefully you drive, there are some drivers who are not as careful as you are, and they may drag you to a situation you keep avoiding. Nevertheless, there are different steps to get rid of such incidents, so people must be aware.

Accidents are typically the result of being complacent. Sometimes, the lack of discipline causes this. All of these topics are what National Safety Month aims to address to keep people safe.

 

 

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National Scleroderma Awareness Month

SclerodermaAwareness_web_cover_photo_2017

Image is from Scleroderma Foundation

There are many awareness months you may observe, and one of these is National Scleroderma Awareness Month. This is observed every month of June and is usually led by organizations such as the Scleroderma Foundation. The month-long awareness campaign can be participated not only by scleroderma patients, but also by anyone who wishes to help.

What Is Scleroderma?

Scleroderma is a skin disease which makes it impossible for patients to move some parts of their body like hands, feet, neck, and so on. Sclero means “hard” and derma means “skin,” so scleroderma is the hardening of skin similar with leprosy, but different in a way that it does not decay. However, the disease stays forever as there is still no permanent cure for it.

So far, it’s not clear what causes scleroderma. It just appears to anyone without any signs. Moreover, many people wouldn’t know what kind of disease it is because it comes on suddenly. You will just find yourself unable to move your fingers, as though there is an outside force stopping you from moving them.

More and more people are suffering from scleroderma. Even so, this is still considered a rare disease. It is so rare that even some doctors are not familiar with it.

The problem with scleroderma is that it does not only attack the skin outside, but also inside our body, and such condition may affect our internal organs such as digestive system, kidneys, and even the heart.

Why is there a Campaign if the Disease is Rare?

It’s true that scleroderma is a very rare disease; however, the number of such cases is ever increasing. In the United States, there are 240 cases of scleroderma for every 1 million in the population, and while this number seems small, the disease should be recognized.

Although there are some studies being conducted to discover the cure for it, researchers find it difficult to gather information because of the lack of sources such as patient history and testimonials. This means that even some people who already suffer from scleroderma are not aware they already have it.

This is why there is a month-long awareness campaign that needs to be observed every month of June in order to encourage patients to share their experience and collaborate with organizations that propagate information about scleroderma.

If you don’t suffer from scleroderma, you can participate in the campaign to help others. You can learn about this disease and teach others about it, too. The information about scleroderma may be limited, but getting more people involved in this awareness campaign can surely contribute a lot in gathering more information.

What Is for Scleroderma Patients?

People who suffer from scleroderma feel helpless because of their condition, and need community support. If you are a scleroderma patient, you can’t go solo, as you need the help of others as it’s not good to feel isolated.

National Scleroderma Awareness Month is the best chance for you to meet other people with the same condition. In this way, you can share experience among one another and boost your confidence to move on with life. Moreover, scleroderma patients may get updates about the latest in scleroderma research, medicine, or technology.

Scleroderma is not a new disease as it so happens that this disease is unknown to many. This is why there is a need for awareness month such as National Scleroderma Awareness Month in order to educate many people about it.

 

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World Sickle Cell Day

sickle-cell-anemia-e1424423793954

Image is from TheHealthSite.com

World Sickle Cell Day is acknowledged on June 19th each year to bring awareness to this widespread blood disorder. Sickle Cell Disease is the most frequent genetic disease worldwide and is present on four continents. The United Nations estimates that over 500,000 people are born with this condition each year and that 50% of those affected could die before the age of 5.

What is Sickle Cell Disease?

Sickle Cell Disease is a red blood cell disease that is inherited, meaning it is not contagious but a genetic event that people are born with. The affected red blood cells contain mostly hemoglobin S, considered an abnormal type of hemoglobin.

This abnormality causes many of the cells to form an abnormal sickle, or crescent-like, shape. Abnormally shaped blood cells are not able to travel the body as typical round cells, getting stuck or slowing down blood flow to affected areas, and causing further problems.

In addition to affecting blood flow, these crescent-shaped cells are also less hearty than traditional blood cells and are destroyed faster within the body. Patients frequent suffer from anemia, gallstones, and jaundice. Serious illness can be caused by limited blood flow to the lungs and limbs, including stroke and organ damage. Patients are also highly susceptible to bacteria and infection.

How is Sickle Cell Treated?

There is no universal cure for Sickle Cell Disease. Affected patients are divided into three primary groups including Sickle Cell Anemia, Sickle-Hemoglobin C Disease, and Sickle Beta Thalassemia. Treatments for each disease subgroup will vary.

Treatment of symptoms is common, using antibiotics for infection, blood transfusion for blood clots, and medication for pain. Frequent blood transfusion can cause their own problems too, increasing iron in the blood too much, so this is not an ideal solution. Current treatments focus on maintaining patient overall health, and treating symptoms as they arise.

Droxia, the manufacturer name for a drug called hydroxyurea, has been used with some success since FDA approval in 1998, but further research and treatment is still needed.

How Can I find out more about World Sickle Cell Day?

This specific day of awareness was created by a United Nations resolution and features worldwide activities, many of which can be found on the World Sickle Cell Day’s Facebook page.

While different areas may have additional Sickle Cell Awareness events, including Sickle Cell Awareness month in the United States, June 19th represents the united global event. World Sickle Cell Day online provides many resources about this global awareness event including history, the text of the United Nations resolution and involved organizations, and event listing of years past.

Contact these groups to join Sickle Cell awareness and fundraising events in your area.

 

 

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