The deficiency in comprehension of the function of distinct autoimmune cells in specific diseases prevents the development of superior therapy and treatment towards autoimmune disorders. The conventional treatment of autoimmunity consists of immune suppressants such as steroids, which defeat the majority of immune cells. The patient’s risk of contracting infections and cancer will increase as a side effect.
For decades, the research regarding autoimmunity is at a standstill which is the same with cancer research. Therapies and treatments have no way of pinpointing cancer cells. Consequently, these treatments target the majority of dividing cells as per researchers. These result in substantial risks as side effects of such therapies. However, at the University of Pennsylvania, the current research from Perelman School of Medicine has identified an approach to target a particular subset of antibody-producing cells in an autoimmune disease named Pemphigus Vulgaris without inhibiting healthy immune cells. The research may become a doorway to aiming various autoimmune disorders. https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ have articles on how to help patients deal with their emotional problems brought about by chronic medical conditions.
The researchers led by Payne and Michael Milone modeled their autoimmune approach from an anti-cancer treatment. It is called Chimeric Antigen Receptor therapy (CAR). In CAR, the T-cells are designed to destroy cancerous cells in several types of leukemia and lymphoma. It has succeeded in human trials, albeit some side effects. Team Payne has created Chimeric Autoantibody Receptor Therapy (CAART) from the concept of CAR. In their tests, they devised an artificial CAR-type receptor modeled from a mouse, which acts as a lure to designated B cells that produce anti-DSg3 antibodies. It attracts these antibodies then kills them through the use of the engineered receptors without harming any other cells. As shown in the lack of symptoms such as blistering or autoimmunity signs in the animals, they were successful in killing DSg3.
The team’s researchers are quite confident that CAART will not cause the same painful condition called Cytokine Release Syndrome in CAR T-cell therapy. The reason is that CAART will be specifically aiming at a subset of B cells and is not killing all of the B cells. The researchers say that it would be exterminating one percent of the patient’s total B cells in estimation. That one percent would be the significant cells which are causing the disease. In theory, it would create little to no considerable indications during the treatment.
The team will still do trials to cure dogs with the disease before advancing to human tests even if they feel that they have enough proof of concept combined with the CAR therapy results in cancer patients. They say that it may lengthen the trial to a certain extent, but it will prove to be safer in the long run.
Their discovery from treating Pemphigus Vulgaris with their new autoimmune treatment is possible to become a model regarding several auto-antibody controlled diseases. The team is optimistic about the future of autoimmune disease treatment and therapy due to the results they gained. It is perhaps a small step towards the advancement of personalized medicine (developing a practice using genotyping based on an individual’s disease) and not the type of general treatment approach.
In most cases, a natural growth process called growing pains causes a child to feel joint aches. However, they may be an early sign of a severe inflammatory rheumatic disease called Juvenile Arthritis. Juvenile Arthritis is an autoimmune disease which attacks children in their teenage years or possibly younger. This condition is known to cause growth problems in children and needs immediate medical attention.
It happens when the immune system assaults the tissue lining inside the joints called synovium which causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. In some cases, children would only have one or two flare-ups while others will have symptoms for a lifetime. To understand more about this, BetterHelp presents you with some of the fundamental information.
Juvenile Arthritis is complex, making diagnosis difficult. Doctors may order a variety of tests which include physical examination, blood tests, x-rays, and urine test which can help determine conditions that may cause natural arthritis. Early diagnosis, medication, and treatment can lessen inflammation, pain, and joint injury, and help maintain body movement. It can also prevent any cases of severe complications.
Types of Juvenile Arthritis
There are currently five known types of Juvenile Arthritis (JA) such as:
Enthesitis-related arthritis: It is a type of JA that affects the eyes, entheses, hips, spine, and places where tendons attached to the bones. It occurs mostly in boys eight years and older with a family history ankylosing spondylitis among his male relatives.
Systemic Arthritis: It is also known as Still’s disease, and it affects numerous systems of the body such as the heart, liver, lymph nodes, and spleen aside from joint problems. It causes high fever and rashes that occur on the arms, legs and the trunk.
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (PJIA): It affects five or more joints during the first half year of the disease which is usually the jaw, neck, hands, and feet. It often occurs in the left and right joints of the body symmetrically. It is more common for girls to develop this disorder than it is to boys.
Oligoarthritis: This disorder is also known as pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It affects the ankle, knee, and wrist. Additionally, it may cause issues to the iris of the eye known as iridocyclitis, iritis, or uveitis. Girls are more prone to developing this disorder but will outgrow the disease in adulthood.
Psoriatic Arthritis: It affects children who are suffering from both psoriasis and arthritis. The symptoms usually start with either psoriasis or arthritis before developing the others years later.
Children who have juvenile arthritis need treatment from a doctor specializing in children with arthritis-related disorders called pediatric rheumatologist. Medication is one of the essential parts in the treatment of juvenile arthritis which may take several years until the disease maintains an inactive status. The treatments aim to reduce joint swelling and relieve pain, retaining the ability to do daily functions. The therapy involves treating, identifying, and preventing any complications that juvenile arthritis may bring such as soft tissue damage and other joint related problems.
Parents should be aware of their child’s wellbeing. If parents are not sure about the child’s symptoms, it is better to get help from a medical professional to develop juvenile arthritis awareness. You can try and visit https://www.betterhelp.com/ for more information you might need.
I was already a licensed psychologist and counselor when my childhood friend reconnected with me. We lost our communication when she moved to California to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. When we were already in our mid-20s, she finally landed a significant role in a movie and started getting a lot of recognition. However, that was also the same time when she got diagnosed with lupus.
When my friend called me, she was seeking psychology and counseling. She said that she did not want to go to any mental health facility in LA for fear of the paparazzi hounding her. Everyone knew about her lupus, but no one knew that she was struggling to accept that diagnosis. So, of course, I agreed to be her counselor.
Counseling A Friend
I would say that this was a unique type of counselor-client relationship, considering I had a personal connection with the person seeking counseling. Instead of asking my friend to go to my clinic, I would go to her house and conduct counseling there. My friend had a hard time dealing with the fact her face was often swelling up as it was a symptom of her autoimmune disease. There were also days when she could not get up due to body pains. However, I noticed how her mood improved since I started counseling her.
Unfortunately, the improvement only lasted for a couple of months because my friend eventually got the news that her autoimmune illness aggravated. Worse, it caused renal failure. Assuming you don’t know what that was, it entailed that her kidneys were deteriorating.
Kidneys were important for filtering all the impurities in the system. Only 10% of her kidneys were functioning in my friend’s case, so most contaminants that go into her body stay there, slowly poisoning her.
My friend called me on the eve of that new diagnosis, crying. She said, “I don’t know what to do anymore; I don’t want to live anymore. I get needles stuck in my arms every single day, and I am not getting better. Then, she made a request. “Can you stay at my house for a little while until I figure out what I can do with my life?”
I thought long and hard about it, considering that was not allowed in a normal circumstance. But since we had a long history, I said yes, and we started having an informal form of counseling every day. We would go to work during the day, and then we would have a long talk after dinner. It mainly was her crying and talking about how challenging it was to hide her pain at studios and in front of fans and staff members. Then, I would advise her to stay strong because it was not the end of the road.
On my friend’s next doctor’s appointment, the doctor said that her kidneys could no longer be salvaged. But if she could find a kidney donor, her chances of living longer would go up exponentially.
Organ transplants are that your net worth does not always indicate how fast you can get someone to donate an organ to you. My friend could spend millions of dollars in an instant, but the doctor still placed her on the waiting list along with hundreds of thousands of regular people who needed Kidneys. The only shortcut that the doctor could suggest was having a relative or friend donate their kidney to her.
For an entire month, my friend went through all her family members to see if they could match. Unfortunately, none of them were. She felt like giving up again until I said, “Well, we haven’t tried me yet.” I was willing to give up a portion of my kidney to save my friend. We turned out to be a match, so the operation proceeded. And succeeded.
Being Pushed Away
My friend and her family told me how grateful they were for my sacrifice. They also said that they would be eternally indebted to me. Of course, they handled my hospital bills and future checkups and even got a nurse to check on me once I moved back home to recuperate.
However, I experienced my first heartache since helping my friend when I watched one of her interviews post-operation. A reporter asked about her transplant experience, and she merely referred to me as the organ donor. Although it was on point, it also felt cold because I was her friend before becoming her donor.
When I contacted my friend a month later to ask her to hang out with me, her assistant called me back, saying she won’t have time until next year. That was another slap in the face. It made me realize that people could genuinely change once they got what they wanted from you.
Since I lost communication with my friend, I worked through my upsetting emotions towards her on my own. I chose to forgive her instead of holding a grudge against her. I did it for myself because I wanted to move on and get on with my life.
If my friend would call me one day and ask for my forgiveness, that would be up to her. If she didn’t, it was okay, too. It’s not my ass that karma would bite anyway.
I grew up with a fear of needles. My pediatrician, when I was a child, did not have the softest touch, you see. All I remembered was that she would squeeze the part of my arm to inject the needle and jam it there without warning. It wasn’t very good, to say the least. Because of that, when I became an adult, and my parents were like, “You are old enough to get an executive checkup every year now,” I said, “Uh, no, thanks.”
The reason was that I had seen my parents get those checkups in the past and knew that one consisted of a lot of examinations, and some of them would require blood extraction. Meaning there would be needles involved. Even if my parents told me that not all doctors and nurses were as harsh as my old pediatrician, I still did not want to take chances.
Another reason why I was not so keen on getting an executive checkup was that I felt healthy. I was 5’1; I weighed 71 kg. I was technically overweight, but I felt normal. I said I knew my body more than anyone and was also very young at the time (only 26).
When The Deed Had To Be Done
There were three long months when I worked nonstop due to overlapping projects. I would wake up at 8:00 a.m. and go to work by 9. While most people would go home at 5 o’clock, I would stay in the building until midnight, finishing my projects. To keep me awake, I would order fast food all the time, feeling like the greasy foods would help compensate for my exhaustion.
Sooner than later, though, my feet started aching. For instance, since I had my own office, and I would be alone there most of the time at night, I would sit in an Indian position. I used to do that for hours, but this time, my feet and ankles began to ache after two hours. I found it odd, but I thought that I merely overextended my feet. After all, I learned that it was a thing and that it was nothing that a good exercise could not fix.
During the weekend, I decided to go hiking. I loved working out outdoors instead of signing up for a gym membership; I had just not been able to do that because of my busy schedule in the last few months. However, I noticed that I had difficulty breathing after only walking for 3 kilometers. It used to be easy-peasy for me, considering I had solid lungs and did marathons not too long ago.
Then, when I went on an eight-hour car ride with my friends, I was only a passenger, so I got to extend my feet. I was not paying attention to them, but it felt like someone was gripping my ankles, making my feet a little numb. Once I looked down, I saw that they were very swollen. That’s when I got scared. That’s when I thought, “Oops, that’s not normal. I need to see a doctor after this trip.”
I called our family doctor first and told him about my symptoms. Since I was overweight and knew about my relatives’ history with diabetes, he wanted me to do a fasting blood sugar test to rule out the possibility of me having the disease. It turned out I was prediabetic, but it could be resolved quickly. It could not be the reason why I experienced achy or swollen feet or breathlessness.
The doctor then asked me to get FSH, FT3, and FT4 lab tests as they were all meant to check someone’s thyroid conditions. It sounded a little scary to me. It meant more needles, but there was no going back. I got the tests done, and when the results returned, the doctor gave me devastating news. My thyroids were flaring up.
I most likely have Hashimoto’s disease, a form of autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland. The doctor said there was no cure for it except for a significant lifestyle change and constant monitoring. He must have noticed my devastation; before I left, he recommended a counselor to me. He said, “Sometimes, we need help in accepting a medical diagnosis.”
Our family doctor was spot-on – I could not accept that I had an autoimmune disorder. I knew that my aunt had that, but she got diagnosed in her early 40s. I was too young to worry about chronic illnesses like that.
Those were just some of the issues I mentioned once I contacted the counselor. She was patient enough to listen to me, although I felt like a whiny little kid while doing so. “How can I accept it?” I asked in the end.
“Well, you need to see it in another light. Do you think it’s better if you have not known about your illness? No – it may have aggravated that way. Instead of getting upset, it is healthier to be thankful for knowing your medical condition early so that you can stop doing things that can make matters worse than ever.”
I had to do counseling a few more times, but those words stuck to me. The counselor was correct in every way. I should be grateful for an early diagnosis, so that’s what I tried to do. It was not the doctor’s fault that I had Hashimoto’s disease, after all. I had to change my lifestyle habits, work less, exercise more, and eat more healthily.
I would have become depressed instead of thinking of that if I did not see a counselor immediately.
Being the eldest child in the family was supposed to come with a lot of perks. For instance, the eldest kids often received brand-new clothes, regardless of their moms and dads did not have a lot of money to spare. They could also call dibs on almost everything, from the biggest room in the house after the master’s bedroom to what kind of activities they should play to get which household chore every week.
In truth, I basked in these perks for as long as I could remember. My parents decided to have another child when I was already seven years old, so everyone doted on me for years, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even neighbors. They went as far as saying that family and friends often sent multiple gifts for me on my first few birthdays and Christmases, to the extent that my mom and dad did not need to spend on new clothes for at least half a year.
When my sisters (yes, plural, because they were twins) came to the world, the adoration that I got from everyone did not wane. They all said that I would always be their baby, even if there were new actual babies at home. True to their words, the number of gifts I received annually did not decrease until my high school graduation. I was spoiled to death, and I loved every second of it.
The Stain In Our Picture-Perfect Family
I got to study banking and finance in college and moved to New York City with hopes and dreams of becoming an investment banker or stockbroker. I knew it sounded crazy for many people, especially since there were not plenty of women working in Wall Street at the time, but I pushed through the social limits anyway. I gained an internship and eventually a permanent position in a well-known bank in a span of seven years. It might seem long, but a win would always be a win.
When I thought everything was going well, I returned to my apartment to hear a piece of sad news from my mother via voicemail: one of my sisters, Jenna, attempted suicide.
If I was the family favorite by default, Jenna was the ultimate crowd-pleaser since day one. She had a smile for everyone; she could talk to you as if you had been BFFs forever. Little did we know, Jenna hid an illicit affair with a manager at the hotel she worked at, and he tried to end their relationship. That pushed her to commit a suicide attempt.
I filed an indefinite leave at work and flew back home on the same night to be with my family. Nobody could pick me up because they were all at the hospital, so that’s where I headed after dropping my carry-on bag in the house. I arrived at Jenna’s room just in time for a doctor to come with the resident psychiatrist. It turned out that my sister had been battling depression and anxiety for some time, but we somehow missed the signs.
While everyone felt guilty about it, my mother took the news the hardest. She lost her appetite; she could not sleep, afraid that Jenna would sneak out of her hospital bed and attempt suicide again. No matter how much we coaxed her to go home, Mom refused vehemently. Her lack of appetite and sleep went on even when Jenna got discharged from the hospital, so we decided to bring Mom to the psychiatrist. Several consultations later, the psychiatrist confirmed that my mother developed phobia and depression following Jenna’s.
In less than a month, our family of five had two mentally troubled members, and it was up to me – the eldest child – to figure out how to help them. Luckily, the psychiatrist was there to help me understand their mental disorders and the possible treatments.
What types of treatments are available for psychological disorders?
There are two primary treatments for psychological disorders, namely biomedical therapy and psychotherapy.
Psychotherapy mostly involves talking to the patient and recognizing the problem and the possible solutions for it. Meanwhile, biomedical therapy uses pills to treat patients whose symptoms are too advanced or too severe to be fixed by talk therapy.
What are the major psychological disorders?
Anxiety disorders (e.g., social and general anxiety, PTSD, OCD, phobia, and panic disorder)
Psychotic disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, schizoaffective, schizophreniform, delusional, and brief, substance-induced, and shared psychosis)
Substance abuse disorders (e.g., substance-induced anxiety, dementia, delirium, psychosis, depression, sexual dysfunction, and amnestic, perceptual, and sleep disorders)
Trauma-related disorders (e.g., AD, ASD, DSED, PTSD, RAD, and other unspecified disorders)
What are the five most common mental disorders?
Anxiety Disorders: Various forms of anxiety disorders have been diagnosed in more than 40 million adults in America. When you have this condition, you experience irrational fear towards an object, situation, or person.
Mood Disorders: This is the second most common category of mental disorders, considering it covers depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. Based on research, at least one person out of ten individuals experiences hopelessness, excessive guilt, fatigue, and other mood disorders.
Eating Disorders: People who deal with eating disorders tend to have an unhealthy relationship with food and their body. This is typically the result of their need to meet others’ standards of beauty.
Psychotic Disorders: Psychosis causes folks to have a twisted sense of reality. Experts claim that the illnesses related to it are caused by substance abuse, trauma, excessive stress, or abnormal brain function.
Dementia: It surprises many individuals when they see dementia under a category of its own, but it’s not a typographical error. The truth is that it is the umbrella term for the neurological disorders that cause cognitive declines, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and frontotemporal dementia.
Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a practical way of helping an individual solve their issues. The therapist may help them recognize their thoughts and behaviors and figure out how to change them for the better.
Psychodynamic Approach: Instead of assessing the patient’s behavior, psychodynamic therapists focus on unconscious mental processes. They believe that people feel mentally troubled because they fail to understand the root of their problems.
Family/Couple Therapy: It is similar to group counseling in which it is the patient who attends therapy and their significant other and other family members. This approach is recommended for people whose relationship with loved ones has been damaged by their psychological disorder.
What is the most formidable mental illness to treat?
Mental health professionals find borderline personality disorder as the most challenging psychological illness to treat. The reason is that it involves complicated behavioral and thinking patterns that specialists are yet to understand.
What are the five signs of mental illness?
Extreme mood swings
Changing eating or sleeping pattern
Is overreacting a mental illness?
No, overreacting is not a mental illness. However, it is a common symptom of bipolar or anxiety disorder.
How do I know if I am mentally ill?
The best way to know if you are mentally ill is by going to a psychologist or psychiatrist who knows the signs of mental disorders and correctly diagnoses them. You cannot go straight to a therapist who does not double as a psychologist or psychiatrist because they do not have the required education and training to perform a mental diagnosis.
How does a mentally ill person feel?
The answer depends on the type of mental disorder that a person deals with.
For instance, if you have depression, you may feel sad all the time; it’s as if the world has turned gray, and you see no way out of your guilt or sense of hopelessness. In case you have social anxiety, you may be afraid of leaving the house, knowing that passing through a crowd or eating at a restaurant may be inevitable.
However, the same cannot be said for individuals with dementia or psychotic disorders. They may not notice a change in their mental processes, so they may continue to feel happy about situations that regular people find odd.
How do you love someone with mental illness?
The first thing you must do is learn about your loved one’s mental illness. What has caused it? What triggers its symptoms? Can therapy or drugs treat it?
Once you have your answers, you need to determine how you should react when your loved one’s symptoms flare-up. The key here is to ensure that they – and you – are safe all the time. For instance, if they are suicidal, you need to hide all the pills, knives, or ropes used to do the deed. It may sound too drastic for others, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
In case your loved one’s actions are draining you, know that no one will judge you if you take a step back and put another person in charge of caring for them for at least a few days. When you love someone, it does not mean that you need to sacrifice your mental health for them.
Does tough love work with mental illness?
No, tough love does not work with any mental illness. This disciplinary action only works for individuals who can understand why you are doing what you are doing. If they deal with psychological disorders, they may fight back or fear or hate you. In that case, instead of helping the person get better, you may push them further down the deep end.
What is poor mental health?
Poor mental health refers to our inability to feel, think, or behave positively due to stressors.
How do you deal with a violent, mentally ill person?
One practical way to deal with a violent, mentally ill person is by showing them your calmness. After all, matching their aggression or showing fear gives them a clue that they have power over you.
If it doesn’t work, you can leave the room. There is no need to remain physically close to a violent individual since they will not listen to reason immediately. You may wait until they calm down on their own before you face them again.
If things continue to escalate, you may call 911 or any institution to help you out. Doing so will be good not only for you but also for your loved one.
What are the early warning signs of psychosis?
Unable to concentrate
Irrational suspiciousness towards others
Odd ideas or feelings
Poor communication skills
What triggers psychosis?
Being the eldest child in the family suddenly became not as exciting as before due to the mental disorders that plagued my loved ones. After all, while making sure that Mom and Jenna could get the best treatments, I had to support Dad and Jean (my other sister), who still seemed shellshocked by the turn of events.
The only silver lining here is that Mom and Jenna are both responding well to psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. We have also done our first group therapy, in which all five of us can work with a mental health professional and heal as a family.
I have had regular checkups for a year since my wedding. It was not because we needed a doctor’s help to get pregnant, no – my husband and I wanted to wait for two more years before having a baby. I got appointments with various doctors because I was dealing with multiple conditions almost every month.
The first time it happened, my vision was blurry for a few days. As far as I knew, it was 20/20; that’s why I did not wear prescription glasses. The ophthalmologist reiterated the same reading, so she told me to get anti-radiation glasses to protect my eyes while I was working. It did not eliminate the blurriness until I got a few days off work and rested for a while.
A month later, I went to a urologist’s clinic because my bladder did not feel like it was ever empty. The doctor ruled out a urinary tract infection, so he wanted to do more tests on me. While waiting, I was ordered to drink more water.
After that, I dealt with muscle spasms and poor coordination. Things got to the point where I almost fell down the stairs a few times, so my husband took me to a specialist. I agreed, thinking that I would get muscle relaxants or – if I was lucky – a full-body massage prescription. That’s initially what the doctor wanted to do until I slipped up and mentioned my trips to other specialists in the last few months.
“Just to be sure,” the doctor said, “You should do an MRI scan and have your blood tested. I will call you when I have the results to interpret.”
However, when the test results came out, I was across the country, so the doctor told me that he could wait until I returned to discuss it. But I was stubborn – I wanted to know what’s up with my body immediately – so I insisted on hearing about it over the phone.
Learning About Multiple Sclerosis
Ever since the doctor said that I had multiple sclerosis, I could not will myself to cry or blame the gods. No, thanks – I was never that dramatic. Although the diagnosis shocked me, it made me feel relief because it was not cancer or worse. At the same time, I could not wait for two more days to learn more about my case straight from the doctor, so I went online right after our call.
The first thing I learned was that multiple sclerosis was an autoimmune disorder. The immune system, which we all depend on to keep us safe from foreign substances inside the body, turned against me – that’s what I understood. Why and how it happened, even the experts could still not figure it out.
For multiple sclerosis patients like me, whenever the immune system would act up, it would attack my nervous system, especially the nerves that send signals to various body parts. Though these were comparable to the copper wires inside the electrical cables, the immune system could not always pass through the myelin to enveloped the axons. Still, such covering could get hurt and endure scarring, to the extent that the axons would be exposed and could not send electrical signals throughout the body.
Looking After My Mental Health
I looked deep down myself and asked, “Am I still okay?” Fortunately, I was.
I must admit that I felt a little scared after finding out that I was forever stuck with multiple sclerosis. While it did not require me to do chemotherapy or radiation therapy and lose my hair in the process, the disease would always shadow me from that moment. If I could not be careful, my immune system could attack my nerves all the time.
But I chose to focus on that “if” part to ease my anxiety as I looked for potential trigger factors of my disease. If I stay indoors often and not get enough vitamin D, the myelin around my axons may sustain more scarring. If I continue being around my husband when he smokes, my immunity can retaliate. If I remain under the sun for too long or catch a virus, both can increase my temperature and push my immune system to act up.
So, I thought, “Hmm, I need to do the opposite of all that.” I informed my husband about my autoimmune disease, and he vowed to stop smoking at that instant. Although he was not a chain smoker by a long shot, he would not light up another cigarette again – a true testament of love.
Then, we started going on light jogs and hikes before the sun rose. We would remain outdoors until around 8 A.M. and go to work until 4 P.M. In the evenings, we would take immunity-strengthening vitamins so that neither of us would catch the flu. My husband also surprised me when I came home to brand-new air conditioners in the living room and master’s bedroom. This way, I had low chances of feeling too hot anytime.
My autoimmune disease still catches me off-guard sometimes, but I already know what signs to watch out for. The doctor also recommended MS therapy for me, which stabilized my mental health further as I knew that my chances of being disabled were low.
When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, all the family members are affected in their different ways. Overcoming the challenges as a family does help in tackling and managing the disease. And because multiple sclerosis often affects women more than men, it’s usually the mom that’s diagnosed. As we well know, mom is the woman of the house and the favorite person that everyone runs to. Mom cooks the meals, does the laundry, and keeps everything in the house running. So when she becomes ill with multiple sclerosis, the whole household routine might probably be dislocated and disorganized. Needless to say, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mom, dad, or whoever in the family is diagnosed with the disease. The truth is that when MS is present in one or more family members, it is perplexing for everybody in the family.
Just like multiple sclerosis, how the family deals with it will be distinct from every other family. This autoimmune disorder is very unpredictable, to add to the fact that all families are more or less different from each other. Someone diagnosed with multiple sclerosis may present with fewer disabilities and don’t need much assistance. For another family, on the other hand, their loved one with MS may be extremely affected by her disease and needs moderate to complete assistance and protection in living her life and performing daily activities.
Helping A Family Member
Two of the most crucial things that families can do to support an MS family member are, knowing more about the disease as much as you can and communicating openly with them. Families who are efficiently dealing with MS are those who are capable of talking freely about it and can resolve problems and concerns as a family. If you can’t comfortably talk about it, it’s going to be difficult to deal with whatever circumstance that may come up. It’ll even be more difficult to get into a new routine than what you were used to before your loved one was diagnosed. Discussing what you can about the diseases allows you and the whole family to manage the condition and create an efficient treatment plan.
Talking To The Kids About MS
Discussing multiple sclerosis is vital, even though they’re young. If the symptoms of MS are not visible, you may be hesitant to talk to your kids because you think you don’t have to let them panic about something that they can’t see. However, kids of all ages nowadays are typically perceptive to changes in their siblings’ or parents’ behaviors. They’ll somehow notice when something isn’t right, even if dad or mom doesn’t look like they have an illness. If you don’t try talking to them, your children might worry that you have a problem that’s so dreadful to the point that you can’t discuss it with them.
When you decide to explain it to your children, use simple terminology that is age-appropriate and one that they can comprehend. Just lay down the basics so they won’t be anxious or afraid of what you’re not telling them. Hearing it from their parents themselves assures them that their loved one with MS is the same person – mom or dad – despite their illness.
Keeping It Together As A Family
When someone in the family is found to have multiple sclerosis, it can be overpowering, and the whole family may require the help and guidance in dealing with the medical aspects of MS as well as the mental and emotional aspects. Mental health professionals can aid families in finding strategies that would work for all the members of the family.
So how can all family members survive and thrive when one of them has multiple sclerosis? Here are some of the ways.
Make a plan. The randomness and instability of multiple sclerosis can make things all the more difficult to deal with family life. Nevertheless, the family can still enjoy and make wonderful memories together, and one of the best things that can help is by preparing a plan. For instance, if you are planning to eat out for dinner, be sure that you give a few minutes of extra time to travel to the movie theater. You can check ahead online or perhaps check out the place for accessibility.
Confront your problems head-on. The struggles of life with MS are most likely to persist, so it may help to find time for all family members to converse and solve the problems and circumstances that might arise.
Find support networks. Support groups are healthy channels for help, guidance, and inspiration. It’s an outlet that your loved one with MS can vent out his frustrations, which are not uncommon when a family member has been diagnosed with the condition. By connecting with families that are in similar situations, you can listen to others’ dilemmas and learn from them. You can also help and inspire others by sharing your story.
The body’s immune system works a lot in safeguarding you against illness, infection, and different types of diseases. It functions with the vast network of tissues, cells, and organs that coordinates the body’s defense system against any internal health threats individuals may experience. Without the immune system’s function, there is a possibility of getting exposed to billions of toxins, bacteria, and viruses. And when there is a weaker immunity, something as minor as a seasonal cold can turn into a fatal and chronic disease.
Into The Blood Stream
For people with scoliosis, who happens to struggle to keep their immunity during this pandemic, understand that they need to keep their blood cells healthy. That is because it contains the required defensive white cells called leukocytes. These cells come from the bone marrow and migrate into the bloodstream to clear body wastes and toxins. As these leukocytes move around the body, they form a security defense that screens the organs and blood tissues for harmful signs. But leukocytes do not function alone. It flows into a system where it relies on cues called antigens, where pathogens and other foreign substances get detected as invading chemicals. As soon the leukocytes cells detect the harmful substances in the body, it alarms it in just a few minutes. From there, the protective immune defense will start to function.
While there is an assurance of immune system buildup, it is essential to understand that threats that affect the body vary. Some diseases can quickly go away, while some may stay longer than expected. Thus, it is normal for the immune response to become equally adaptable, depending on the situation, types of diseases, and the body’s overall health. So with regard to one of the Coronavirus symptoms, which is fever, the body’s immune system responds because it knows there is something wrong inside it. When the body gets warmer, it slows down the spread of bacteria and viruses. However, relying on the body’s immune system alone is not going to defeat the newly-formed Coronavirus. That explains why proper health medication and hospital functions become a requirement.
Struggle Of The Already Struggling
For people with a healthy immune system, they have a significant chance of fighting the virus. Their bodies can find ways to regenerate damaged cells that can slowly eradicate the damaged ones. But for those individuals who experience certain types of medical conditions, such as scoliosis, the healing process tends to be slower than expected. That is why, instead of getting better over time, most of them end up clinically miserable. In unfortunate circumstances, the growth of unhealthy cells cost their lives.
Until now, scientists and experts do not have clear information about the limits and capabilities of the Coronavirus. People know that it gets transmitted through droplets, and once it enters the body, it begins to show physical symptoms. However, after a couple of research, experts understand the value of the infection getting into an asymptomatic stance. In this, people with the virus won’t have signs or symptoms that will determine if they are positive with the virus or not. Thus, it makes it impossible to quickly identify someone who might be a carrier of the disease.
The target of the virus is the body’s immune system. Therefore, it is essential that individuals should take better care of it. Honestly, there is no right and wrong method to do that. As long as individuals, especially those struggling with a current medical condition, understand the need for a healthier immune system, they can have a chance against the virus.
Seeing the athleticism at the 2019 Athletics Event is motivational for those who need to do daily exercise. Exercise is proven to have long term benefits for those who are suffering from autoimmune disease. It helps manage the flare-ups and symptoms of the disease. Below are some helpful tips to get you going.
1. Start Slow
If you are only beginning after a while, start with easy exercises. Later, after you have adjusted, you can move on to a more challenging routine. Do not forget to warm-up before starting. Go slow and work around your pace. Allow yourself to adjust, which might take some time. Don’t be hard on yourself if there are days when you might miss a workout session because of flares.
2. Choose Low Impact Workout
You can begin walking and jogging, for starters. These exercises are kind to your knees, joints, and back. This kind of activity gives you the option to either run on a treadmill or outside of your house. If you feel like it, you can run in your neighborhood or the park near you.
You can also try doing yoga. Not only that it involves the physical body, but also it helps in calming the mind. Pilates, spinning, and swimming are good options as well if you have the equipment. Try different low impact exercises and see which works best for you.
3. Take Rest Regularly
If there are days when you feel like taking a break from working out, then do so. Listen to what your body says. Sleep deprivation can be unsafe for the immune system, so never miss an opportunity to get 8 hours of sleep.
4. Eat Well
Since you are moving more, you will need more energy sources so your body can sustain you. Fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, and high-quality protein. Avoid inflammatory foods such as sugar, dairy, soy, legumes, and corn. Consuming healthy meals for the immune system helps eliminate unpleasant symptoms. It will help you perform better with your workout. Eventually, you’ll feel better and empowered.
The idea of having to exercise daily might feel overwhelming at first. But once you start and get the hang of it, it will easily be a habit that you will enjoy. Remember, you can begin slow and easy.
Autoimmune disease is a state where the immune system attacks your own body. It is a life long struggle for the individual who has it. It periodically gets worse, especially when situations get unpleasant. It affects certain parts of the body, such as joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, lungs, heart, and brain. Its symptoms vary though it always includes rash, joint pain, fatigue, and fever. Unfortunately, there is no cure for an autoimmune disorder. However, specific treatments, medication, as well as lifestyle changes, aid the condition.
How COVID-19 Affects People With Autoimmune Disease?
In the latest information of COVID-19, the reports show that majority of the virus’s target is the elderly due to their weaker immune system. That is why most people assume that if a person is young, healthy, and active, there is no chance of him getting an infection. As long as he practices social distancing too, that person is also safe from contracting the virus. But contrary to that, people with autoimmune diseases are at higher risk of Coronavirus infection regardless of their age and physical health. That is because these individuals already have a weak immune system.
People with an autoimmune disorder are already struggling. There are things that they can no longer do due to a malfunctioning health condition they have. So imagine the life of these individuals living with all the anxiety and fear caused by the pandemic. These people battle up with their bodies every day. What more now that there is another addition to the already torturing physical, emotional, and mental condition they have? The situation is terrifying.
The Mental Struggle Caused By The Pandemic
Yes, some people with an autoimmune disorder can be overreacting. That is because they got this filed up mixed emotions. These individuals already feel scared for their health because they know any time; certain things can trigger their symptoms. And now that there is a pandemic, all they care about is staying healthy. That is another pressure they need to handle because it requires more than just eating healthy foods and sleeping well.
Anger can also take a toll on this situation. People who have autoimmune diseases already think that this pandemic is unfair for them. The trauma that this situation is causing is disturbing enough for those who only want to live a better life. So what more if the pressure doubled up? Most of these people with autoimmune disease are feeling discouraged. Some of them feel unstable and often look for something or someone to blame. Not because they are naturally angry, but because they are far more scared of what could happen to them.
Individuals with the disease are also prone to depression because some of them are not able to process the adjustment instantly. Their minds are battling between their desires to live a normal life and staying healthy. And since there is no certainty as to where the pandemic would end, these people’s hopes and dreams shatter. And sometimes, even if they happen to be filled with positive energy, the isolation alters their way of thinking, leaving them confused, sad, and lonely.
No, individuals with an autoimmune condition are not asking for special attention. Other people should be mindful and considerate to understand that awareness of the situation is far more critical. The judgments are already mentally and emotionally draining, so it would be better not to add damage to these people’s situations. It is not the time for selfishness and inconsiderate manners. We are all affected by the virus. We have to recognize that the situation is more excruciating for these people who have a higher risk of getting infected.