Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk Factors Every Woman Should Know, But May Not

By Deborah Mitchell on March 19, 2013 – 9:32am for eMaxHealth
Arthritis Pain Treatment Women’s Health Current News

Rheumatoid arthritis is about two and a half times more common among women than men, and while both sexes do share some risk factors, there are others that are exclusive to women. New research reveals the rheumatoid arthritis risk factors every woman should know. Do you know what they are and what you can do about them?

What are the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis?
An estimated 1.5 million adults in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis, with women far outnumbering men. This debilitating autoimmune disease typically strikes women between the ages of 25 and 50, although there is a juvenile form of the disease as well.

Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an inflammatory polyarthritis because it typically affects multiple joints. In addition, rheumatoid arthritis is also systemic, which means it can have an impact on the entire body. The chronic inflammation associated with the disease not only affects the linings of the joints but the internal organs as well, resulting in pain, deterioration, and limited movement.

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Know Active Ingredients in Children’s Meds

Ah-choo!

If your child is sneezing up a storm, it must be allergy season once more.

And if your child is taking more than one medication at the same time, there could be dangerous health consequences if those medicines have the same active ingredient, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., a pediatrician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A medicine is made of many components. Some are “inactive” and only help it to taste better or dissolve faster, while others are active. An active ingredient in a medicine is the component that makes it pharmaceutically active—it makes the medicine effective against the illness or condition it is treating.

Active ingredients are listed first on a medicine’s Drug Facts label for over-the-counter (OTC) products. For prescription medicines, they are listed in a patient package insert or consumer information sheet provided by the pharmacist.

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Uncommon Causes of Hypoglycemia

If your lows are baffling, consider these possible triggers
By Erika Gebel, PhD
The shaky, sweaty, super-unpleasant symptoms of hypoglycemia may seem even worse if you can’t pinpoint what caused the low blood glucose. You ate the same, you exercised the same, you took the same medication doses, so what could it be? Well, there are other possibilities. While these less common hypoglycemia triggers may not be on the tip of your tongue, they deserve consideration if you’ve gone down the list of usual suspects and still can’t identify the culprit.

Tip No. 1, according to Belinda Childs, APRN, MN, BC-ADM, CDE, director of clinical and research services at Mid-America Diabetes Associates, is that “having a low isn’t reason to panic.” The key is to start doing some detective work to see if you can find the cause of a low. “If you can identify that common thing, then you try to prevent it next time,” she says. “If you are having lots of lows, you are going to want to increase blood glucose monitoring. If you start developing patterns or notice an increase in the frequency of lows, that’s when you’ve got to start looking at the less common triggers.”

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A personal story excerpted and updated from the Arthritis Foundation’s book Raising a Child With Arthritis.

A personal story excerpted and updated from the Arthritis Foundation’s book Raising a Child With Arthritis.

The first time Nathan Everett ever boarded an airplane, he landed right in the heart of the nation’s capital and political advocacy. The sixth-grade Michigan student and his father had been asked to visit Washington, D.C., as part of the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Advocacy and Kids’ Summit.

Every year, children with arthritis, along with their parents and other advocates, convene for several days. First, they receive training and education about arthritis-related initiatives, followed by meetings with members of Congress.

Nathan, an articulate 11-year-old, participated in a significant meeting with Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). The long-time representative, elected from Nathan’s congressional district, is chairman of a key subcommittee involved with arthritis legislation.

Nathan shared his story of being diagnosed at age 3, when an injured left ankle stubbornly refused to heal. He talked about how he was forced to stop wrestling after one knee developed arthritis. (He still plays football, baseball and soccer, among other sports.) “He refuses to define himself by this [arthritis],” says his father, John. “He refuses to go for pity. He has a lot of self-confidence, he’s smart and he has a certain degree of charm to him.”

After Nathan spoke, so did two sisters, both of whom have arthritis. During the course of the day, the Everetts also spoke with another member of Congress and at least four legislative aides.

The meetings left both Nathan and his father itching to do more. “It got my attention level to where I’m now motivated,” John says. “Once I’m motivated, I tend to be kind of stubborn.”

Prior to the trip, the Everetts had approached a local newspaper about Nathan’s advocacy plans. A reporter wrote about Nathan’s journey and his disease. After returning from Washington, D.C., John planned to contact the newspaper again to see if a reporter would delve into the legislative angle and write about the lack of movement on key arthritis initiatives.

Nathan, intrigued by the congressional pages and other activity on the House floor, now is more determined than ever to get his law degree. With that in hand, he plans to return one day to Washington, D.C.

Speaking Up: An Update

It’s been five years since Nathan boarded that plane to Washington for the Arthritis Foundation’s annual Advocacy and Kids’ Summit. Today, at 16, Nathan hardly seems like a kid. The soon-to-be high school junior works hard at school, plays the drums in a band, enjoys attending rock concerts with his dad and will soon receive his driver’s license.

While his arthritis is not in remission, it is generally well controlled with a cocktail of medications, including etanercept (Enbrel), hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) and endomethacin (Indocin). “He’s been on this group of meds for a while now and they seem to be working,” says his father, John.

Although Nathan has no plans to return to Washington immediately, he is looking forward to another trip. This summer he will travel to Lapeer, Mich, where he will be a counselor in training at Camp Dakota, a week-long summer camp for children and teens with juvenile arthritis and related diseases.

Burning or Tingling Feet May Be Early Warning of Pre-diabetes

By Armen Hareyan on June 30, 2005 – 7:27am for eMaxHealth
Pre-Diabetes Signs and Symptoms
Adult onset, or type 2 diabetes, is a growing problem in the United States. Researchers estimate that about 10 percent of Americans will develop diabetes during their lifetime and about twice that number will develop a milder form of diabetes called impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes. Diabetes and pre-diabetes often do not present any symptoms until a complication arises, making the disease difficult for patients to detect.

Physicians already know that people with pre-diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Likewise, people with pre-diabetic neuropathy may be able to reduce their risk for developing severe nerve disease. They may even be able to reverse the neuropathy.

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System are investigating neuropathy, or nerve damage characterized by a persistent tingling, burning or numbness in the hands and feet, as an early warning sign of pre-diabetes. Their preliminary research also suggests that lifestyle modifications, including weight loss and regular exercise, may be able to prevent further nerve damage among patients with pre-diabetes and, very possibly, reverse the damage.
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No More Diabetes Testing Using Blood? New Glucose Sensor

By Deborah Mitchell on August 26, 2012 – 5:33am for eMaxHealth
Diabetes Care Current News

Imagine not having to prick your finger, arm, or thigh ever again to take a reading of your sugar levels. Sound good? Purdue researchers have developed a new glucose sensor that can detect sugar concentrations in urine, tears, and saliva, which could mean no more finger sticks in the future.

Is there a better way to test glucose?
People with diabetes need to monitor their blood glucose daily as part of their standard care. For those with type 1 diabetes, at least three to four tests per day is typical, while those who have type 2 diabetes should do at least two finger pricks. Yet compliance is not good, with one study showing that up to 67 percent of patients don’t routinely monitor their sugar levels.
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Important numbers for diabetes: 3 things to prevent complications

By Kathleen Blanchard RN on March 7, 2013 – 9:53pm for eMaxHealth
If you are dealing with diabetes, there are 3 important numbers that studies show can help prevent complications. Dealing with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can seem complicated, but if you understand 3 important numbers that can prevent complications, it makes things much easier.

You already know it’s important to stay active, watch your weight and food portions and focus on specific food groups. But, there’s an underlying reasons related to diabetic complications for combining diet and lifestyle choices to manage diabetes.

It all boils down to blood pressure management, ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and keeping your hemoglobin A1C number less than 7.0. Your own doctor may want the number to be even lower.

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Mini Organ to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) — A new bioengineered, miniature organ dubbed the BioHub might one day offer people with type 1 diabetes freedom from their disease.

In its final stages, the BioHub would mimic a pancreas and act as a home for transplanted islet cells, providing them with oxygen until they could establish their own blood supply. Islet cells contain beta cells, which are the cells that produce the hormone insulin. Insulin helps the body metabolize the carbohydrates found in foods so they can be used as fuel for the body’s cells.

The BioHub also would provide suppression of the immune system that would be confined to the area around the islet cells, or it’s possible each islet cell might be encapsulated to protect it against the autoimmune attack that causes type 1 diabetes.

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