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What is Psoriasis?


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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


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.


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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Understanding Sickle cell

Microscopic view of sicke cells causing anemia disease.

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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.


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.


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.


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


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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World Sickle Cell Day


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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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Understanding Immunotherapy


Image is from Cancer Research Catalyst – American Association for Cancer Research

Immunotherapy also known as biologic therapy is a type of treatment that induces or enhances the body’s immune system instead of using medicines. This process is usually done to treat cancer by stimulating the immune system to become more active in attacking cancer cells or by sustaining the body with man-made immune system proteins.

How Does the Immune System Work?

The immune system is the sum of all components that work together to maintain the normal functions of body organs. These components include but not limited to white blood cells, nutrients, and organ functions.

When the surface of skin is wounded, white blood cells work to heal the wound by eliminating foreign substances. When the wound is larger, it requires a lot of white blood cells to cover the wounded area. This will result in the appearance of lymph nodes near the area. This is where white blood cells build up.

In the process of eliminating foreign substances such as bacteria, germs, and cancer cells, body nutrients such as vitamin C may work to repair the damaged tissues and collagen.

Meanwhile, body organs work together to prevent disease-causing agents to stay inside the body. Kidney works to filter toxins, which are excreted through the urine. Digestive system separate important substances needed by the body from waste. The heart continues to pump blood to carry white blood cells and red blood cells needed to heal wounds.

These are some examples of how the immune system work. The immune system is not a single substance nor a single organ. It is an integration of several body systems that work together to protect the body from certain diseases.

The Immune System as Treatment for Cancer

There still no single medicine that can cure cancer. So far, an effective way to suppress the spread of cancer cells is through the immune system. The immune system serves as the police inside the body. It detects unwanted substances that may infect any area of the body.

However, cancer cells are not detected by the immune system as they appear to be like normal cells by of sending signals to the PD-1 CTLA-4 receptors. These signals confuse the immune system. This is why even a healthy body with strong immune system cannot prevent cancer.

Nonetheless, there is a way to make cancer cells detected by the immune system. The use of immunotherapy drugs such as inhibitors can disrupt the signals that are sent by cancer cells. This will let the cancer cells exposed to the immune system. Cytokines and cancer vaccines are examples of these inhibitors.

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies are man-made immune system proteins. These proteins attach to cancer cells thereby flagging the cancer cells to be recognized by the immune system. On the other hand, monoclonal antibodies work to block the abnormal proteins in cancer cells, so they can also be used to prevent cancer cells from spreading.

These are examples of man-made antibodies:

  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy)

Non-Specific Immunotherapies

Non-specific immunotherapies are used to boost the immune system to directly stop and kill cancer cells. Examples of these are interferons and interleukin’s.


The use of the immune system is still the most recommended method in the treatment of cancer. It only needs the help of inhibitors to let it work properly on the target. The problem with the immune system is that it is not intelligent enough to keep cancer cells from being hidden. This is why there is still a need for human intervention with the help of man-made antibodies.

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Immunity-Boosting Foods


Image is from Fitness World

When it comes to your immune system, getting proper nutrition cannot be underestimated. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals you receive through your food are what keeps your body strong enough to fight off infection. It is important to make the following foods a part of your diet to ensure a good defense against colds and flu.


Beef will boost your immune system, because:

  • It is a good source of zinc, and zinc aids in the development of white blood cells.
  • These white blood cells improve both immune function and response.
  • It’s protein supports the building of antibodies to fight off infection.

Oily Fish

These types of fish include salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these fish:

  • Help reduce harmful inflammation in the body.
  • Control chronic inflammation that can keep your immune system from working properly.
  • Can prevent cold, flu, and more serious diseases.

They also contain Vitamin D, and as daylight hours decrease during the colder months of the year, your Vitamin D stores are depleted. Vitamin D:

  • Is critical to fighting off colds and flu.
  • Reduces the frequency and duration of colds and flu.

Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard, all contain significant amounts of Vitamin C which:

  • If consistently taken, they will shorten the duration of a cold or possibly prevent it altogether.
  • If cooked, they will shrink in size so you can consume more of them.
  • Increases white blood cell production.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

These vegetables are rich in beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A that:

  • Keeps the mucus membranes that line your nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract, along with your skin, healthy.
  • By keeping these membranes healthy, it builds your first line of defense against colds and flu.

Chicken Soup

You really should eat chicken soup when you’re sick, and when you’re not. It combines many elements that boost your immune system. Hot chicken soup:

  • Raises the temperature in your airways, which loosens mucus secretions.
  • Releases cysteine, an amino acid that resembles a drug used to treat bronchitis.
  • Contains a high concentration of vegetables and protein that provide many different vitamins.


According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, garlic contains allicin, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Garlic has been shown to:

  • Cause you to experience fewer and less severe colds.
  • Promote balanced gut flora, which rids the body of viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
  • Contain the most antioxidants when eaten raw.


Yogurt contains microorganisms, or “good bacteria”, that keeps you healthy. It:

  • Is a probiotic food that replenishes this good bacteria.
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Helps prevent stomach ailments.
  • Lowers the risk of upper respiratory infections.


While a hot cup of tea can soothe a sore throat and break up chest congestion, it also provides other benefits. All tea, green, black, or white contains catechins, which:

  • Are a group of antioxidants that contain flu-fighting properties.
  • Protect you from cancer and heart disease.
  • Increase your metabolism.
  • Boost your overall immunity.

Dark Chocolate

The nutritional benefits of cocoa are often overlooked, because many chocolate treats contain sugar and saturated fat. However, chocolate:

  • Contains polyphenols that are disease-fighting antioxidants.
  • Also contains a high concentration of zinc.
  • Can be consumed daily if you stick to 1/4 ounce servings.

The following foods are also recommended:

  • Oysters
  • Anise Seeds
  • Citrus
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Skinned Turkey Breast
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Oats

With this abundant selection of immunity-boosting foods, we can enjoy better health during cold and flu season and all year around.

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