More Caffeine Please? By Gale Ferreras

Before you make your usual stop to your favorite local coffee shop for the routine energy-boost in the morning, do you ever wonder if your zombie-like state pre-caffeine is not normal?

If you tend to feel lethargic and lackluster until you get your caffeine fix, you are not alone.  According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 Americans do not get enough sleep.  Sleep deprivation can be attributed to an array of reasons such as work, stress, guilty pleasures, and responsibilities. Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you?  The typical reasons for feeling lackluster in the morning are as follows: babies, sick kids, needy spouses, needy partners, college papers (I remember these! So fun!), work deadlines, stress and anxiety, a late night out (cheers! drinks up!), social media, and my favorite - Netflix.

If the aforementioned does not quite explain the lack of pep in your step in the morning, then you may want to consider seeking medical advice from a professional.  Not to sound too alarming, but a possible diagnosis could potentially need to be treated, or may need immediate medical attention. A simple initial visit such as a physical assessment and routine lab work can help to accurately provide a diagnosis.



As researched by Medical News Today, here is a list of what may be some of the causes for concern for a population of tired and sleepy day walkers:

  1. Lack of sleep

  2. Poor diet

  3. Sedentary lifestyle

  4. Excessive stress

  5. Medical conditions


Fatigue and lack of sleep are causes for concern for the general population. For example, a statistic provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states,

“Around 15.3 percent of women and 10.1 percent of men regularly feel very tired or exhausted in the United States,” and “1 in 25 adult drivers report falling asleep at the wheel each month,” which accounts to “72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries, with 6,000 of those reporting as fatal crashes as a result of drowsy driving.”

Although it may seem routine to wake up every morning feeling depleted from the stress and chaos of everyday life, it’s important to note that constant sleep-deprivation is unhealthy and negatively impacts your health. The quest for a healthy, balanced, and satisfactory life is common for everybody. Drinking coffee for energy is a crutch, not a solution.  Have no shame in the expertise of your coffee game, but get more sleep.  A trip to the doctor may be necessary to help you achieve a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

References

Nichols, H. (2018, February) Why you feel tired all the time. Medical News Today.

Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320800.php

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

The Dangerous Myth of XYY Syndrome by Ellia Manzo

Genetic disorder XYY syndrome has become a fable among sociologists, geneticists, and microbiologists, since the 1970s. Researchers such as molecular geneticists are challenging notions that XYY syndrome has a correlation to criminal, anti-social and/or abnormal behavior. This is a male-specific condition where the male has an extra copy of the Y chromosome. Back in the 1960s, there were early reports of criminal activity linking individuals with XYY syndrome. Males were admitted to more insane asylums, hospitals, and confined to prison systems if that extra chromosome was present, and they were deemed as dangerous or criminal-like. Considerable publicity followed the misconception, dooming all males with this syndrome to a life of anti-social behavior. Such fear of XYY syndrome has even translated for some women to opt out of continuing a pregnancy after learning their fetus had an additional Y chromosome.

There are many instances when researchers might even influence parents when they inform them that their newborn being screened for the XYY karyotype might have some difficulty in their early and adolescent development which could someday lead to a life of crime or unruly behavior. What basis do such researchers have to lead the public to believe such a misconception or dangerous myth based solely on what they see as high-risk? Unfortunately, uncontrolled studies and considerable amounts of publicity have lead the public to unwisely believe such statements. For example, in some American prison systems, screening for the XYY karyotype was not present in most of the inmates as presumed due to their high criminality. Other studies suggested that males with XYY syndrome tended to be significantly taller than the average male, therefore, more of the taller inmates were qualified candidates for the screening which created a bias in the data collected.

Now, let’s analyze how the XYY karyotype occurs. An extra Y copy in a male’s sex cell is present. Typically, there are 46 chromosomes in each cell of a person. That extra Y chromosome is a genetic mutation. XYY is not inherited by parent cells, but occurs as a sporadic mutation during cell development and division. Taller than average, most males with XYY syndrome do not have unusual features that can be identified immediately. These males also have normal levels of testosterone and go through all normal phases of sexual development. During childhood development, XYY syndrome is frequently associated with increased learning disability or difficulty, slow speech and language development, flat feet, hand tremors, scoliosis, and even seizures. XYY syndrome also has an increased connection with behavioral disorders such as ADHD, anxiety, depression and in some cases, autism.

We all have individual internal and external characteristics that make us unique. Some have freckles and strawberry blonde hair, others have alcohol flush, and some can even have a trait for hemoglobin deficiency. Genetic differences such as a different karyotype should not be the cause to assume criminality. Positive attitudes can change and better the life of an individual with XYY syndrome, and all individuals for that matter with different traits and karyotypes.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Depression by Your Marque Team



“Sadness is an emotion, whereas depression is an illness,” says Dr. Ken Robbins.

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that’s characterized by a persistent low mood, lethargy, and feelings of worthlessness. It interferes with concentration, motivation, and everyday activities. Not only does it affect a person’s mood but the entire body; it weakens the immune system, increases susceptibility to viral infections, and even cancer. According to Dr. George Krucik, out of the 7 billion people worldwide, there was an estimated 121 million people that have some form of depression, but less than 25 percent have access to treatment.

There are various types of depression. If the depression is related to bereavement, it’s called complicated bereavement. Unipolar depression is when depressed mood is the predominant feature. Bipolar, also known as manic depression, is when there are both manic and depressive episodes that are associated with periods of normal mood. The last type of depression is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is related to the reduced daylight in the winter. With SAD, the depression only occurs during the winter time and the mood lifts for the remaining of the year.

Who can get it?

The cause of depression can be a factor of numerous reasons. For some, it’s genetic, so for people that have had or have someone in their family with depression, they have a higher chance of having depression as well. Another reason could be from past physical, sexual, or emotional abuse that one has experienced that can cause depression. The death or a loss of a loved one, even if it was natural, can increase one’s risk of depression. Another related cause is substance abuse. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, they found approximately 30 percent of people with substance abuse have developed depression.

What are the symptoms?

When it comes to depression, it affects a person psychologically, physically, and socially. Psychologically, there are feelings of persistent sadness, hopelessness and helplessness, low self-esteem, feeling irritable and intolerant of others, lacking motivation, anxiousness, and/or suicidal thoughts. Some might feel guilt-ridden or have difficulty making decisions on their own.

Physically, for someone who suffers from depression, their moving or speaking is slower than usual, drastic chances in appetite and/or weight, unexplained aches and pain, and insomnia.

Socially, one would take part in fewer social activities, neglecting hobbies and interests, and difficulty at work and in school.

How is depression treated?

One of the key factors when it comes to getting treatment for depression is support from friends or family. The ones suffering from depression need to know they’re not alone. Along with the support, psychotherapy is recommended for mild cases of depression.

In moderate to severe depression, antidepressants can be used along with psychotherapy. Some of the classes of antidepressants are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), Tricyclic antidepressants, atypical antidepressants, and Selective Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).

In addition to psychotherapy and/or antidepressants, aerobic exercise helps with mild cases of depression because it raises the levels of endorphins and it stimulates the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which is associated with a person’s mood.

How can I prevent it?

There isn’t a way to prevent depression, but there are ways to minimize the effects of depression and to be aware of a loved one suffering from depression.

To help minimize the effects of depression, find a way to control stress. It will help increase resilience and boost one’s self-esteem. Another way is to reach out to your loved ones in times of crisis. Going through hardship alone is difficult, but with the help of friends and family, one will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There are a number of warning signs of loved ones suffering from depression. The blank stares, loss of interest, and/or inability to express happiness for more than a few weeks is a start. Sometimes crying may or may not be an obvious trigger, but looking out for tearful eyes, furrowed eyebrows, slumped posture, and lack of eye contact and/or facial expression can be helpful indicators of depression. The more obvious signs are when he/she is fixated on past mistakes expressing guilt and/or self-blame. You want to listen for statements such as “it’s hopeless,” “I have no choice,” “nobody cares.” In some cases, one might express thoughts of suicide. Listen for “you’d be better off without me,” “I can’t go on,” “I wish it were over.” If a loved one expresses thoughts of suicide, encourage them to talk about it because it helps lower the risk of following through with it, but more importantly, listen to what they have to say.

“Depression is not a bad mood. It is a biological reality and a medical condition, and when we talk about it as anything less than that, we belittle the people suffering from it.” -Cate Matthews, The Huffington Post

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Constantly Connected: The Effects of Media on Children & Teens by Colleen Kraft, M.D.

Today's children and teens are growing up immersed in digital media. They are exposed to media in all forms, including TV, computers, smartphones, and other screens.

Media can influence how children and teens feel, learn, think, and behave.

What We Know:

Here are facts about digital media use.

  • Almost 75% of teens own a smartphone. They can access the Internet, watch TV and videos, and download interactive applications (apps). Mobile apps allow photo-sharing, gaming, and video-chatting.

  • 25% of teens describe themselves as "constantly connected" to the Internet.

  • 76% of teens use at least one social media site. More than 70% of teens visit multiple social media sites, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.

  • 4 of 5 households (families) own a device used to play video games.


Why It's Good to Unplug:

Overuse of digital media and screens may place your child or teen at risk of

  • Obesity. Excessive screen use, as well as having a TV in the bedroom, can increase the risk of obesity. Teens who watch more than 5 hours of TV per day are 5 times more likely to be overweight than teens who watch 0 to 2 hours.

  • Sleep problems. Media use can interfere with sleep. Children and teens who spend more time with social media or who sleep with mobile devices in their rooms are at greater risk for sleep problems. Exposure to light (particularly blue light) and stimulating content from screens can delay or disrupt sleep, and have a negative effect on school.

  • Problematic internet use. Children who overuse online media can be at risk for problematic Internet use. There may be increased risks for depression at the high end of Internet use.

  • Negative effect on school performance. Children and teens often use entertainment media at the same time that they're doing other things, such as homework. Such multi-tasking can have a negative effect on school.

  • Risky behaviors. Teens' displays on social media often show risky behaviors, such as substance use, sexual behaviors, self-injury, or eating disorders. Exposure of teens through media to alcohol, tobacco use, or sexual behaviors is associated with earlier initiation of these behaviors.

  • Sexting and privacy and predators. Sexting is sending nude or semi-nude images as well as sexually explicit text messages using a cell phone. About 12% of youth age 10 to 19 years of age have sent a sexual photo to someone else. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others they may not be able to delete or remove it completely. They may also not know about or choose not to use privacy settings.

  • Cyberbullying. Children and teens online can be victims of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can lead to short- and long-term negative social, academic, and health issues for both the bully and the target. Fortunately, programs to help prevent bullying may reduce cyberbullying.


Your Family Plan?

Children today are growing up in a time of highly personalized media use experiences, so parents must develop personalized media use plans for their children. Media plans should take into account each child's age, health, personality, and developmental stage. All children and teens need adequate sleep (8-12 hours, depending on age), physical activity (1 hour), and time away from media.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Caring for Your Skin This Season by Your Marque Team

Skin

Your skin is your shell, it protects you within and keeps harmful substances out. The skin is the largest organ in your body, and just like a cell, it acts as a membrane that keeps the bad out and lets the good in.  The National Institute of Health states, “It holds body fluids in, preventing dehydration, and keeps harmful microbes out—without it, we would get infections. Your skin is full of nerve endings that help you feel things like heat, cold, and pain.”  Your skin works hard and rapidly to keep you healthy, so it’s important to keep your skin protected and nourished.

Nurturing

The easiest and most effective way to care for your skin is keeping it clean. Showering and washing your hands keeps bacteria off and prevents you from spreading bacteria from one person to another. After washing and cleaning, you could add a nice moisturizing lotion or cream to lock in nutrients and prevent dry skin and in some cases, a rash. Moisturizers have certain chemicals that help the skin from breaking and drying out. This is highly recommended to prevent a winter rash. Next is to just go outside and feel the sunbeams on your skin. When exposed to the sun, the bones in your body release vitamin D and endorphins. However, too much sun can hurt your skin and may increase the risk of skin cancer. So before going in the sun, just add some sunscreen (preferably SPF 30 or 45) and apply it evenly. And of course, exercise, balanced diet and plenty of sleep are the number one ways to maintain overall health.

Easy Skin Care Tips from the CDC

  • It takes less than five minutes to protect your skin and help prevent diseases:

  • Put on sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher and with both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) protection. Reapply sunscreen after swimming and excessive sweating.

  • Seek shade and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

  • Cover up with clothing and sunglasses.

  • Avoid using tanning beds and sunlamps.

  • Put on insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin to protect from mosquito and tick bites.


 

Sources:

  1. http://www.woundsinternational.com/journal-content/view/the-importance-of-the-skin-barrier-in-managing-periwound-areas

  2. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/kids/healthy_skin.asp

  3. http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/06/21/mouse-study-finds-sun-exposure-releases-endorphins/71511.html

  4. https://www.cdc.gov/family/minutes/tips/protectskin/


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

How to Decrease Your Chances of Sports-Related Injuries and Illnesses by Pete Brundu

I’m sure you have heard of the term sports medicine while at a sporting event, watching your favorite football team, or mixed martial arts fighter on TV, but never really gave much thought about the importance of sports medicine to both professional and amateur athletes.

Sports Medicine is the practice of the diagnosis, treatment and preventative treatment of sports-related injuries and illness.  Any athlete who participates in any sport may at some point need professional and clinical treatment for a sport-related injury or illness.

Why should you consider advise or treatment from a sports medicine provider?  Whether you are training for the Olympics, your children are going to be the next soccer superstars, or you’re the weekend warrior CrossFit novice, injuries can and often happen.

Injury and illness risks are much more likely to occur from exercising without proper stretching, warm-up, and cool down techniques. Your provider can help you determine appropriate warm-up techniques, how long and the reason for them based upon your physical activity, intensity and duration. Your provider can help you prevent muscle strains by giving you a detailed plan of stretching and warm-up exercises to implement before your physical activity. In the event of an injury, your sports medicine doctor can offer orthopedic treatment or refer you to an orthopedic specialist in their group. Another option is physical therapy, depending on the extent of your injury, your provider might feel physical therapy is the proper treatment for you.

Sports medicine doctors will not only help with physical injuries, but also diet and nutrition.

Most of the larger, more established sports medicine organizations will have dieticians and nutritionists available.  As your activity level increases so does the demand your body has for a more proper diet and nutrition. With improper diet and nutrition, you might notice a loss of energy, weakness, lack of endurance and stamina due to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance or both. Your provider, after examining you and listening to your routines, exercise, training schedule and diet, can give you specialized advise to your diet and nutritive intake.  Additionally, they can order laboratory tests to have an accurate representation of what your various blood levels are to customize a more complete intake regiment.  These are ways to help you stay healthy and enable your body to be able to sustain peak performance when in demand.

Do you have to seek the advice of a sports medicine provider if you’re just starting out with an exercise routine? No, but at a minimum you should make an appointment to see your physician, let them know your plans to begin exercising. They can give you advise based on their examination of you and your physical condition about the best way to get started to prevent unnecessary injury and illness as well as keep track of your health and physical improvements.

Who knows? Maybe your simple exercise routine will turn into a passion and more intense workouts will follow.  If so, you already took the first step in preventing exercise injury and illness. Your next logical step in this progression is sports medicine. Congratulations on choosing a healthy lifestyle.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2 by Krista Clark

krista low resDiabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how your body uses blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is vital to your health because it’s an important source of energy for the cells that make up your muscles and tissues. It’s also your brain’s main source of fuel.  Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Many people ask, “What is the difference between type 1 and 2?” Type 1 diabetes wipes a person clean of any insulin being able to transport energy through cells.  As a result, this affects the pancreas from being able to produce any insulin in the cells and pancreas. Type 2 diabetes, which is also related to pre-diabetes is an increased buildup of sugar in the bloodstream, making it difficult for a person’s pancreas to produce enough insulin. Weight plays a huge role in the development of type 2 diabetes; you don’t have to be overweight to develop type 2 diabetes, and many that are underweight can also develop type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors for Type 1 Diabetes:

  • Family history

  • Environmental factors

  • Dietary factors and geography (for instance Finland and Sweden are rated as two of the top countries that have the highest rates for type 1 diabetes)


Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Weight

  • Inactivity

  • Family History

  • Race

  • Age


How Does Insulin Work?

Insulin is a hormone. Insulin is produced from a gland that is located in the pancreas. Insulin is developed in the pancreas which then travels through the bloodstream. Insulin circulates which then allows glucose to enter the cells in your body. Insulin decreases the level of sugar in your bloodstream.

The Role of Glucose

Glucose comes from two major sources: food and liver. Insulin helps sugar that is absorbed to enter the bloodstream.

Complications of Diabetes


  • Cardio Vascular Disease

  • Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

  • Kidney Damage

  • Eye Damage (Retinopathy)

  • Foot Damage

  • Skin Conditions

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Alzheimer’s Disease


Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, can develop at any age, though it’s more common in people older than 40 years of age. If you suspect you or anyone in your family may have diabetes, address it to your doctor as soon as possible, the sooner it’s detected, the better.

Some Signs and Symptoms of Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

  • Increased Thirst

  • Frequent Urination

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Blurred Vision

  • Slow-Healing Sores


Symptoms of type 1 diabetes progress faster than type 2 diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes are mainly based on the elevation of your blood sugar level.

Reference Page

Diabetes Causes-Mayo Clinic

Diabetes Symptoms-Mayo Clinic

Diabetes Complications-Mayo Clinic

Diabetes Risk Factors-Mayo Clinic

Diabetes Facts and Information-Joslin Diabetes Center

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

The Benefits of Exercise by Your Marque Team

Exercise is critical for mental and physical health and well-being.  Here are 4 significant ways that regular exercise can benefit and enhance your health:

Weight Control

Exercising can help control weight gain and facilitate weight loss. Many of us find it hard to exercise on a daily basis, which can be discouraging. Even just a little bit of physical activity can help your overall health. If you can’t find time to make it to the gym, just a little extra activity can help burn calories and keep the heart pumping. For example, walk up the stairs instead of take the elevator, walk to the nearby park instead of driving, ride bikes at the beach instead of lounging. The key to staying on track in any weight loss journey is to stay consistent.

Reduce Risk of Disease

Moderate aerobic exercise can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. During exercise the heart can pump more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. Regular exercise also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible. This ensures good blood flow and helps maintain a normal blood pressure and cholesterol level. Exercise also helps control type 2 diabetes by controlling blood glucose levels.

Strengthen Bones and Muscles

Weight-bearing moderate physical activity can help strengthen bone density. Weight bearing exercise is activity that keeps you on your feet so your legs carry the body weight. Doing this will help improve bone and muscle strength. Examples of moderate weight-bearing exercise are walking, jogging, playing tennis, walking up stairs, dancing, hiking. These bone strengthening exercise are very important for children and teens because that is the time where bone mass is at its peak level. These exercises are also important for the elderly because it helps prevent osteoporosis.

Improve Energy and Mood

Exercising daily enhances the endorphins in the body. Endorphins are natural hormones that get released during physical activity. Almost any physical activity that gets the heart and blood flow pumping will release endorphins in the blood stream. The endorphins in the body will help provide more energy throughout the day during normal daily activities. It’s significant to note that endorphins also play a role in improving mood and feelings of happiness.  Exercise has been said to help aid in depression and other mental health issues.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/

https://www.verywell.com/bone-density-and-exercise-3120770

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression

 

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Autoimmune Disorders by Your Marque Team

“Autoimmune” means immunity against the self. When an intruder invades your body such as a cold, virus, or bacteria your immune system protects you. Your immune system’s job is to identify and eliminate the foreign invaders that might cause harm. Sometimes problems with your immune system can cause it to mistake your body’s own healthy cells as invaders and then repeatedly attack them. This is called an autoimmune disease.

Examples of Autoimmune Diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Lupus

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Guillain-Barre syndrome

  • Graves’ disease

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

  • Myasthenia gravis

  • Vasculitis


According to the National Institutes of Health, “autoimmunity is the underlying cause of more than 100 serious, chronic illnesses.  There are roughly 50 million Americans living, and dealing with autoimmune disease, more than 75 percent of the people that are affected are women.” Women have stronger immune systems compared to men. As a result, this increases women’s resistance to many types of infection, but unfortunately this makes them more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, especially after childbirth.

Autoimmunity is known to have a genetic background, so you may be more susceptible to developing an autoimmune disease if you have a family member with one. For example, a mother has lupus, her daughter has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, her sister has Graves’ disease; and her grandmother has rheumatoid arthritis. Different ethnic groups are more susceptible to certain autoimmune diseases. “In lupus, African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American women are two to three times more likely to develop the disease than Caucasian women. And 9 out of 10 people who have lupus are women.’” (National Women’s Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health.)

The cause of autoimmune disease is unknown. There are a lot of theories about what triggers autoimmune diseases, including. bacteria or virus, drugs, chemical irritants, environmental irritants. You could have a genetic predisposition to develop a disease and under the right circumstance, an outside invader like a virus might trigger it.

The signs and symptoms of autoimmune disease vary depending on the diseases. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS): “The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted? If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. If it affects the thyroid, as in Graves’ disease and thyroiditis, it might cause tiredness, weight gain, and muscle aches. If it attacks the skin, as it does in scleroderma/systemic sclerosis, vitiligo, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), it can cause rashes, blisters, and color changes.”

Unfortunately, autoimmune diseases are chronic conditions which means there is no known cure, but there is treatment to help keep the disease at bay. Treatment involves attempts to control the disease and to decrease the symptoms. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases come and go, and when they get worse it is called a “flare up.” Treatments can vary.

Examples of Treatment Options for Autoimmune Disease:

  • Pills to replace a substance that the body lacks, such as thyroid hormone, or insulin, due to the autoimmune disease.

  • Blood transfusions if blood is affected.

  • Physical therapy to help with movement if the joints or muscles are affected.


Many people have to take medicines to reduce the immune system's abnormal response to help keep the autoimmune disease at bay. These medications are called immunosuppressive medicines. Examples include corticosteroids (such as prednisone) and nonsteroidal drugs such as azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, or mycophenolate. Targeted drugs called Biologics (or known as anti-tumor necrosis factor (Anti-TNF) Inhibitor can be used for some diseases. Many of these medications are self-injectable taken on an alternating, weekly, monthly, and bi-monthly schedule depending on what medication is prescribed.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.