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Of the more than 100 types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is among the most potentially debilitating. More common among women, RA is an autoimmune disorder—the body’s own immune system attacks its tissue, especially in the small joints of the wrists and hands, causing pain, swelling, stiffness, deformity and loss of function.
Autoimmune disorders are insidious. The body’s own protective mechanism, the immune system, turns on itself, attacking healthy tissue and organs by mistake. Lupus is one autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA).
For such a little gland, it can cause some big problems. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that secretes hormones needed to regulate metabolism. Everything from body temperature to weight to energy are metabolically modulated, so an imbalance in thyroid function can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms.
It's understandable for women to worry a lot about breast cancer. With so many messages aimed at us from so many places, breast cancer awareness, prevention and screening is top-of-mind when it comes to health news. But it may be time to rethink our worries.
Although celebrities like Bruce Willis, Patrick Stewart and Sean Connery may be rocking the bald look, not everyone is at ease with a visible scalp. Yet genetics, illness, stress and drug side-effects may cause significant hair loss in men and women, whether you like it or not.
Gluten-free diets are trendy these days. A raft of celebrities has embraced the gluten-free lifestyle, while bakeries and restaurants are increasingly offering gluten-free choices. Even Bisquick, the decades-old pancake and baking mix brand, now has a gluten-free variety.
Many years ago, people who suffered from chronic, debilitating muscle and joint pain along with constant fatigue were said to ‘have the rheumatism’ or thought simply to be old and achy. But after physicians continued to document patients with characteristic symptoms during the 20th century, the medical community added ‘fibromyalgia’ to the lexicon of medical conditions in 1976. The term literally means ‘fibrous tissue and muscle pain.’
Craniomedial and caudolateral ligamentous bundles compose the cranial cruciate ligament, which originates on the caudomedial aspect of the lateral femoral condyle and inserts centrally on the tibial plateau caudal to the cranial intermeniscal ligament—says Chapter 16 of the Orthopedic Disorders of the Stifle, in Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice.
We tend to think of osteoporosis as a disease of old age. And in most cases, it is. Osteoporosis, a condition in which bone mass diminishes and fractures become more likely, is most common in postmenopausal women. However, certain factors can put younger women at risk for this largely invisible disease.
Everyone knows someone who has type II diabetes. More than 24 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, although many of them don’t know it yet. Even more important are the 57 million people who are pre-diabetic, and for whom diabetes could be prevented. When it comes to diabetes, prevention is the best approach, because its complications can be considerable. “No one dies from diabetes; they die from its complications,” says Dr. Michael Berk, an endocrinologist and clinical professor at Washington University School of Medicine.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition for which there isn’t a cure. It can, however, be effectively managed. Dr. Laura Wagner, a dermatologist in Chesterfield, explains that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease caused by a disregulation of the immune system. A characteristic inflammation of the skin causes skin cells to turn over twice as fast as normal, creating scaly patches.
We’ve heard a lot about antioxidants and their beneficial effects on the body, but evidence on the potency of vitamin D is fast catching up. Dr. Theresa Knight, an OB-Gyn at Women’s Health Specialists of St. Louis, says D is technically not a vitamin because vitamins, by definition, are something we need to take in from our environment, and the body makes its own vitamin D. But she says doctors are seeing a lot more vitamin D deficiency in the general population. “One study in Boston showed that during the winter, 36 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 30 had deficiencies. In the summer that number was only 8 percent. So lack of sun exposure is a culprit,” Knight says. She adds that bowel disorders such as celiac and Crohn’s disease, as well as gastric bypasses for weight loss, all cause malabsorption of fat and fat-soluble vitamins. Liver and kidney disease also affect vitamin D levels.
Imagine a 3-year-old getting out of bed with legs so stiff their ankles and knees just don’t want to move. It’s easier to crawl for the first half-hour or so than it is to walk. As the day goes on, they may loosen up, run and play like any other child, but the next morning it happens all over again.
For such a small gland, the thyroid can cause big problems. Located in the front of the throat, the thyroid’s job is to produce hormones that regulate metabolism, crucial for many physical functions.