Thursday

Autoimmune thyroid disease and sex life

Autoimmune thyroid disease and sex life
This study  aimed to describe the frequency of self-reported thyroid-related impaired sex life in patients with thyroid diseases. They also examined how this related to the clinical results and to the overall quality of life (QOL).

In the cross-sectional sample, 36% of women and 31% of men reported experiencing an impaired sex life. Women with nontoxic and toxic nodular goiter reported less sexual impairment than women with autoimmune thyroid disease.

In the longitudinal sample, 42% of women and 33% of men reported an impaired sex life at baseline. Also, in the longitudinal group, more women with Graves’ hyperthyroidism reported an impaired sex life than women with nontoxic goiter. 
“While much is known about the effects of treatment of benign thyroid diseases on biochemical changes, mortality and morbidity, data on the impact of chronic, benign thyroid diseases on the quality of sex life are scant,” Nadia Sawicka-Gutaj, MD, PhD, of the department of endocrinology, metabolism and internal disease at Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland, and colleagues wrote in the study background.
“Sexual dysfunction in patients with thyroid diseases might result from hormonal changes, thyroid autoantibodies, psychological imbalance and somatic symptoms in the genital organs, as well as from psychiatric and somatic morbidity. These complex alterations are often associated with infertility.”
Overall QOL was lower in patients with thyroid-related sex life impairment. 

Conclusion

We found a high frequency of self-reported, thyroid-related sex life impairment in patients with benign thyroid diseases, especially in young women with autoimmune thyroid diseases. Self-perceived impaired sex life persisted in women treated for Graves' disease, suggesting that normalization of thyroid function was not sufficient to restore sexual function. 


Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1089/thy.2017.0602 

Wednesday

Significant link between stress disorders and autoimmune conditions

 link between stress disorders and autoimmune conditions

HEALTHline 6th August 2018   Stress Can Be Especially Detrimental to Those with Autoimmune Diseases

There’s a significant link between stress disorders and people living with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
new study has found an association between stress-related conditions such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
What the study uncovered
Dr. Huan Song led the new study.
Song and her team posed the question of whether or not psychiatric reactions induced by traumas or other major life stressors were associated with the subsequent risk of autoimmune disease.
They concluded that stress-related disorders were shown to have a significantly increased risk of carrying with them subsequent autoimmune disease.

Still wondering why

At this time, researchers can’t pinpoint the methodology behind the underlying mechanism. Further studies are needed to better understand this aspect of the findings.
But the link between RA and conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD remains.
In fact, one study showed that women with PTSD are more likely to develop RA than those who don’t live with PTSD. Smoking was found to increase this risk.
Conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD can also lessen chances of RA remission.
The Arthritis Foundation suggests  psychotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, medication, massage, a healthful diet, exercise and physical activity, visualization, and meditation may all help.

Monday

Dietary guidelines and nutritional health among Sjogren's patients

Patients with pSS display a wide range of symptoms and low secretion of saliva, which, in particular, contributes to increased risk of dental caries and oral infections. Moreover, digestive manifestations with dysphagia and dysmotility of the pharynx are common, and both the pancreas and the liver may be affected. There is also a higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease among pSS-patients compared with the general population.
All these symptoms could affect food intake among patients. This Norwegian study was undertaken as there was limited knowledge about dietary intake and body composition among patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS)
We therefore examined the dietary intake among a well-characterized cohort of Norwegian female pSS-patients and compared it with the dietary intake of a national reference group and with the Nordic dietary recommendations. In addition, we studied associations between dietary intake/body composition and oral health among the patients.
They did the study with 20 female patients and a reference group of Nordic female participants matching the pSS-patients in age. 

To assess their dietary intake, each patient was interviewed on three separate days and asked to recall their food intake in the past 24 hours.

Many tools were used to access oral health and related quality of life including questionnaires, salivary secretion, smell and taste testing. 

Results
The pSS patients had a lower energy percentage from carbohydrates and a higher energy percentage from fat compared to the reference group. The lower intake of carbohydrates was due to a lower bread intake, while the higher intake of fat was due to a higher intake of butter, margarine, and oilResearchers proposed a possible explanation for the higher intake of fats in Sjögren’s patients, saying that fat can help lubricate the mouth, aiding in chewing and swallowing.
The patients ate more than twice as much fish as the reference group. 
Their intakes of macro- and micronutrients was good. Compliance with the recommended nutrient intakes “was good overall, with exceptions for saturated fat, fibre, vitamin D, folate, and iron, which is in agreement with the general Norwegian female population,” the researchers wrote.
The diet of those with pSS provided them with an equivalent amount of daily energy as the control group. 
Forty-percent of the pSS patients were overweight/obese. 
Increased intake of beverages was observed in patients with severe xerostomia and/or low oral health.
Reduced fat intake was found in hyposmic patients. Hyposmia is a reduced ability to smell and to detect odors.
In conclusion, the dietary intake among the patients was not much different from the reference group and complied with recommendations. 
So their findings were that no specific dietary guidelines are probably needed to ensure adequate nutrition among such pSS patients.

Saturday

Neuropathic Pain Treatment


In a previous article we explained peripheral neuropathy and here WebMD explain the treatment options.

Anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs are often the first line of treatment. 

Some neuropathic pain studies suggest the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Aleve or Motrin, may ease pain. 

Some people may require a stronger painkiller. 

Be sure to discuss the pros and cons of the medicine you take with your doctor.

If another condition, such as diabetes, is involved, better management of that disorder may alleviate the pain. Effective management of the condition can also help prevent further nerve damage.

In cases that are difficult to treat, a pain specialist may use an invasive or implantable device to effectively manage the pain.

Neuropathic Pain
Electrical stimulation of the nerves involved in neuropathic pain may significantly control the pain symptoms.

Other kinds of treatments can also help with neuropathic pain. Some of these include:
Unfortunately, neuropathic pain often responds poorly to standard pain treatments and occasionally may get worse instead of better over time. For some people, it can lead to serious disability. A multidisciplinary approach that combines therapies, however, can be a very effective way to provide relief from neuropathic pain.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON NEUROPATHIC PAIN TREATMENT

MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: I have Sjogren's Syndrome, Polymyositis and also Fibromyalgia all of which are know to be associated with peripheral neuropathy. I was diagnosed, through an EMG, with peripheral neuropathy in 2017 even though I have had the numbness and tingling for over 10 years.
These symptoms were in my toes, feet, calves, fingers, hands, wrists, forearms and lips and sometimes my tongue.
Finally a new pain rehabilitation specialist prescribed anti depressants for this neuropathy and within 3 days the symptoms were gone. Apparently the antidepressants block the nerve pathways. I don't really understand as I am not a medical specialist just very happy that I no longer have the burning, electric, numbness and tingling sensations. I was not depressed but this is the treatment that works for me. I have taken many other treatments in the past including Tramadol and Lyrica but they all gave me bad side effects which you can read about here.

If you want to know more about peripheral neuropathy I recommend this book which explains it very well: Peripheral Neuropathy: What It Is and What You Can Do to Feel Better (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)

There are many products that come highly recommended that you could try including
Neuro One Nerve Support Cream for Peripheral Neuropathy which is a topical lotion that supports nerve health. It has so many good reviews including

Recommended by my podiatrist. Really cuts the pain. Please, please give it time. You are not going to get instant results.....But I have used for two months now and am very pleased with its effectiveness compared to another product I was using. There is no fragrance and it's easily absorbed into the skin. What relief this product has brought to my painful feet!
Did you know I am an Amazon Affiliate? This means if you do happen to purchase anything through my link I get a small percentage (5% or less) at NO EXTRA COST TO YOU.

Thursday

Vitamin Supplementation for Vitiligo

By 

Vitamin Supplementation for Vitiligo


Vitiligo is a genetic and autoimmune skin disorder in which skin loses its natural color due to lack of pigmentation.
Vitiligo usually develops before age 40, and people suffering with this disorder develop white and irregularly-shaped patches on different skin areas.
Vitiligo may co-occur with other autoimmune disorders, such as hypo- or hyper-thyroidism, diabetes, adrenocortical insufficiency, rheumatoid arthritis, and pernicious anemia.

Treatment

In most of the cases outcomes of vitiligo treatments, which mainly include strategies to restore skin color, are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
The most common treatments include drugs that affect immune system, light therapy (skin re-pigmentation), and surgery (skin grafting and micropigmentation).
A combination of treatments is often very helpful to determine the right regimen for a particular patient.
Alternative medicines, such as vitamin supplementation, are also very effective in treating vitiligo, as vitiligo patients often suffer from vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B12, copper, and zinc deficiencies.

Vitiligo and Vitamins

To treat vitiligo, doctors generally prescribe vitamins and folic acid in combination with other treatment regimens.
Vitamins are known to play important roles in the process of skin pigmentation. Few examples are as follows:

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid

Vitamin B12 inhibits the production of homocysteine, a homologue of amino acid cysteine. Homocysteine down regulates the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for melanin production, as well as generates free radicals, leading to impaired melanin synthesis and destruction of melanocytes. In this whole process, folic acid works in tandem with vitamin B12 as a methyl group donor.
According to some scientific studies, a combination of vitamin B12 and folic acid supplementation and sun exposure is a good strategy to regain natural skin color.
Supplementation of B12 and folic acid along with pantothenic acid, a water soluble form of B vitamins, has also shown very promising outcome in removing white patches.

I actually found a product that contains these vitamins called Callumae
  • Contains vitamin b12 and folic acid: A clinical study of people with actively spreading vitiligo was conducted where subjects took a combination of vitamin B12, folate and vitamin C along with UVB therapy; the results showed that 100% of subjects had a halt in depigmentation, and induction of repigmentation in 6-8 weeks
  • Regardless of your age, how widespread your vitiligo is, or what conventional treatment you currently use as part of your day-to-day treatment, Callumae can be used to compliment any existing therapies (UVA, UVB, PUVA)
I cannot recommend this product as I do not have Vitiligo and therefore have not tried it but if you are thinking of trying vitamins you may want to check this product 
I am an Amazon affiliate which means I earn a small % if you purchase st no extra cost to you.

Wednesday

What is peripheral neuropathy?

                                                                                   MedicalNewsToday

Peripheral neuropathy refers to a problem with the peripheral nerves. These nerves send messages from the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord to the rest of the body.

The peripheral nerves tell the body when, for example, the hands are cold. It can lead to tingling, prickling, numbness, and muscle weakness in various parts of the body.
Peripheral neuropathy can affect a range of different nerves, so it can impact a variety of locations in different ways. It can affect a single nerve, or several nerves at the same time.

Managing neuropathy

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, may help control pain. 
Topical ointments and creams, such as capsaicin 0.075 percent cream, containing chili pepper, may ease pain. Patches are also available.
Symptoms
Symptoms vary according to the types of neuropathy.

Sensory neuropathy

The person may have:
  • tingling and numbness
  • pins and needles and hypersensitivity
  • increased pain or inability to feel pain
  • loss of ability to detect changes in heat and cold
  • loss of co-ordination and proprioception
  • burning, stabbing, lancing, boring, or shooting pains, which may be worse at night
Causes

Many types of neuropathy are "idiopathic," or of unknown cause, but a number of conditions can trigger it.
Diabetes is the most common cause of chronic peripheral neuropathy. It happens when high blood sugar levels damage the nerves.
Other medical conditions and injuries include:
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Injuries: Broken bones and tight plaster casts can put pressure directly on the nerves.
  • Infections: Shingles, HIV infection, Lyme disease, and others can lead to nerve damage.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: This is a specific type of peripheral neuropathy, triggered by infection.
  • Some autoimmune disorders
Natural treatments

Non-drug measures include:
  • wearing fabrics that do not irritate, such as cotton
  • covering sensitive areas with a plastic wound dressing or cling film
  • using warm or cold packs, unless the problem is worsened by heat or cold

The role of diet in MS

Nature 
Although several lifestyle and environmental factors likely contribute to the unprecedented rise in both the incidence and prevalence of autoimmune diseases like MS in the last few decades, efforts to translate this information into therapeutic or preventive purposes has been minimal. 
This study Dietary non-fermentable fiber prevents autoimmune neurological disease by changing gut metabolic and immune status provides important insights into the role of diet in MS and autoimmune disease in general.

Among several lifestyle factors, diet is a potential contributor to the MS development and the microbiome has been suggested as a mechanism by which diet would be implicated in MS.

In addition, recent studies have shown that gut microbiome is altered in MS patients and transplantation of MS microbiota induce disease in mouse models

This raises the possibility that diet could be used to correct these microbiome alterations associated with the disease to achieve benefits.

Our results revealed that non-fermentable fiber supplementation in early adult life suppressed the neurological disease development. 
The disease suppressive effects were observed in mice that were raised and maintained in the cellulose rich diet and in mice that were switched from control diet at young age. 
We are not aware of any studies that has investigated the impact of dietary cellulose in EAE models. However, dietary cellulose supplementation has been shown to ameliorate colitis in mice

These findings support the assumption that nutritional interventions, that include non-fermentable fibers, are indeed valuable options for the autoimmune disease control.


Best fiber rich foods


Studies have shown that countries with a high intake of saturated fat have higher risk to develop MS than in countries with a high intake of polyunsaturated fat

In addition, diets rich in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids have been encouraged for MS. 

"Our finding that dietary cellulose, which is high in vegetables, is likely protective through a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid fatty acid (cis-11 eicosenoic acid) common in plant oil and nuts suggests a potential reason for the beneficial effects of vegetable fat."  

The fact that vegetarian diet can be easily consumed in daily life, makes it a useful supplementation to the currently available medications for MS. 

In addition, cis-11 eicosenoic acid could be tested as a supplement or treatment in human MS. 

Dietary non-fermentable fiber prevents autoimmune neurological disease by changing gut metabolic and immune status 
volumeScientific Reports8, Article number: 10431 (2018)

Monday

Healthy diet behaviours are associated with less asthma symptoms and greater asthma control

Healthy diet behaviours are associated with less asthma symptoms

Associations between asthma and the nutritional quality of diet remain poorly understood. So they did a study 'Associations between dietary scores with asthma symptoms and asthma control in adults' which was printed in the European Respiratory Journal. 

There were 34, 766 participants from the NutriNet-Santé cohort who answered a detailed respiratory questionnaire.

They investigated the connections between overall quality of diet and the asthma symptom score and asthma control. They used three dietary scores:  

  • the Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI-2010) 
  • the literature-based adherence score to Mediterranean diet (MEDI-LITE) 
  • the modified Programme National Nutrition Santé Guideline Score (mPNNS-GS)

Quality of diet was assessed based on three randomly collected 24-hour dietary records and each participant’s adherence to three dietary scores. They considered diets with high fruit, vegetable and whole grain cereal intake as the healthiest, while diets high in meat, salt and sugar were the least healthy.
The researchers adjusted their analysis to consider other factors known to be linked with asthma, such as smoking and exercise.
The data showed that, overall, men who ate a healthier diet had a 30% lower chance of experiencing asthma symptoms. In women with healthier diets, the chance of experiencing symptoms was 20% lower.
The researchers say that the results suggest a healthy diet may have a role in preventing the onset of asthma as well as controlling asthma in adults.
“A healthy diet, as assessed by the dietary scores we used, is mostly made up of a high intake of fruit, vegetables and fibre. These have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are elements in a healthy diet that potentially lower symptoms. In contrast, the least healthy diets include high consumption of meat, salt and sugar, and these are elements with pro-inflammatory capacities that may potentially worsen symptoms of asthma.”
STUDY DETAILS: 

Associations between dietary scores with asthma symptoms and asthma control in adults

Roland M. AndrianasoloEmmanuelle Kesse-GuyotMoufidath AdjibadeSerge HercbergPilar GalanRaphaëlle Varraso

Sunday

A constellation of symptoms presages first definitive signs of multiple sclerosis

A constellation of symptoms presages first definitive signs of multiple sclerosis
July 15, 2018 UBC Faculty of Medicine


During the five years before people develop the first clinically recognized signs of multiple sclerosis (MS), they are up to four times more likely to be treated for nervous system disorders such as pain or sleep problems, and are 50 per cent more likely to visit a psychiatrist, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.
The study, the largest-ever effort to document symptoms of people before they know they have MS, could enable physicians to diagnose the disease – and thus start treating it – earlier, thus possibly slowing the damage it causes to the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Tremlett and former postdoctoral fellow José Wijnands found that fibromyalgia, a condition involving widespread musculoskeletal pain, was more than three times as common in people who were later diagnosed with MS, and irritable bowel syndrome was almost twice as common.
Two other conditions with markedly higher rates among people to be diagnosed with MS: migraine headaches and any mood or anxiety disorder, which includes depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
The higher rates of those illnesses also corresponds with higher use of medications for musculoskeletal disorders, nervous system disorders, and disorders of the genito-urinary tract, along with antidepressants and antibiotics.
The study, published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal, provides definitive evidence that MS can be preceded by early symptoms – known as a prodrome – that aren’t considered “classic” manifestations of the disease, like blurred vision or numbness or weakness in the limbs. As recently as 2000, medical textbooks asserted that MS did not have a prodrome.
“The existence of such ‘warning signs’ are well-accepted for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, but there has been little investigation into a similar pattern for MS,” said Dr. Tremlett, a Canada Research Chair in Neuroepidemiology and Multiple Sclerosis and member of the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. “We now need to delve deeper into this phenomenon, perhaps using data-mining techniques. We want to see if there are discernible patterns related to sex, age, or the ‘type’ of MS they eventually develop.”
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